Author Topic: Higher Education for an engineer  (Read 1740 times)


  • Apprentice
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Higher Education for an engineer
« on: October 29, 2018, 12:35:21 PM »
My question is, would something like an MBA be a good thing for a seasoned engineer to have better opportunities?

Personally, I am good at the technical aspects of my job, it just doesn't pay as well as I would like, and my ultimate goal is to have passive income to not have to earn a paycheck. However, this is life and my current situation will require a some time to get out of, so the best way to combat this is to get a better paying job.

I've been an engineer for about a decade. In my corner of the job market, there is a limit to growth as the glass ceiling is somewhat low. Engineering in an R&D setting or a support role rarely generates significant revenue for high dollar salaries and raises. It's a comfortable job that plays the grind, but never has any game-changers. Moving over to production, there are many more possibilities because work there are higher probabilities of getting into a managerial position, however, production has its own headaches and drawbacks.

Personally the allure of a corporate type job helping make the decisions in revenue generating paths forward and all the upper level thinking is attractive. Yes, you have to earn your keep to get there, but what is that step and would additional education help? One option that I've been weighing heavily is a (relatively) inexpensive MBA for $12-14k through a certified program (UL-Lafayette, UT-Corpus Cristi, UT-Commerce, etc)


  • Apprentice
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Re: Higher Education for an engineer
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 07:27:34 PM »
I don't have an Engineering background so take that into context with what I am writing. I work in banking.  I am just finishing my MBA after working 13 years.  To me it is a piece of the puzzle that is a single punch in the ticket of your career.  I learned very little that I didn't already know or doesn't add value for me. For example it is very manufacturing focused for some classes which isn't something I can apply in banking.

I think attending a reasonably priced university with a solid reputation is the best bet.  The larger schools that aren't ivy league are super expensive and have marginal additional return for the money.  Likewise if you go to a super tiny university that nobody has heard of it may not help furthering your career.

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  • Apprentice
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Re: Higher Education for an engineer
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 07:43:06 PM »
Have you thought about leveraging your knowledge in your current field into a more in demand version? A cheaper degree in a similar field can still be both desirable and pay more. From oil and gas to technology sectors.
But if you're burned out and looking for something completely different then MBA is def starting to be sought after again.

Money Ronin

  • Aonisaibushi (Amateur Samurai)
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Re: Higher Education for an engineer
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 05:22:57 PM »
I have an engineering undergrad with an MBA.  The engineering degree gives me the technical "street cred" whether I really have it or not, and the MBA gives me the business "street cred".  Add my consulting career to the mix and it's really opened a lot of doors. 

Often technical people find it difficult to transition into management--the MBA will give you the practical training to do so and reassure your future bosses.  The MBA allowed me transition from IT consulting to Strategy/Business consulting.  In my corporate career, it convinced my IT peers and bosses that I was the person to handle all the Finance stuff--in large part because they wanted nothing to do with it.

If you go the MBA route, make sure you put in the time to learn and network.  Getting a degree online without learning the people skills isn't the same.  Also, be prepared to switch employers as getting a new job after B-school is the best time to re-brand yourself.