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Why Engineers Opt for MBA Programs – Candid Conversations with Engineering Graduates

Posted on Nov 17, 2018
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It is no secret that most engineers wish to pursue an MBA instead of a Masters degree after their graduation. By the end of the 4th semester, most engineering students are actively seeking admission to MBA programs in India and abroad. Not just in India, the trend is skewed towards MBA as the choice of postgraduate study than a Masters in a tech field. Now, why would that be?

ReachIvy.com talked to a cross-section of students, working professionals, parents, and educators to get to the bottom of this debate. Is there a systemic pressure to pursue an MBA? Are engineers bored or inundated with the Master’s curriculum? Or is it that the job prospects seem to favor one type of candidate over the other?

1. So which one do you find more suitable for engineers? MBA or Masters?

Over 86 out of 100 respondents felt that it was a personal choice. While most engineers do make a beeline towards MBA programs, some graduates prefer to go for Masters because they find the subject more fulfilling. Not just that, students who wish to dive deep into technology and become thought leaders in the niche space, prefer Masters over an MBA. The defining line is what the student aspires to do after graduation. If research is his or her calling, then Masters is a natural choice. However, if the engineering student wants to keep all options open, an MBA offers a wide gamut of careers that go well with an engineering degree.

2. Why do we a rising number of engineers opting for an MBA program?
More than 79% of the respondents felt that an engineering plus MBA combo equips the student with the perfect mix of technical and managerial skills. Corporates prefer MBAs with an engineering background for several reasons. Engineers are good with numbers, math, and formulae. They develop an ability towards problem-solving, a key credential for every aspiring MBA. Engineers also approach problems in unique ways, which gives them the added edge of thinking outside the box. Engineers pick up management skills easily as they go about it with a process-driven approach. Institutes that offer engineering programs recognize the need for engineers to understand basic concepts of management. Hence, the curriculum includes management subjects as part of the curriculum. Of course, with the high salaries that MBAs command, after completion of the course, more engineers prefer to pursue an MBA program.

3. What kind of careers do people have after pursuing a Masters program?
Students who pursue a Masters program develop deep, incisive knowledge in their respective field of study. Some go on to pursue a Ph.D. after their Masters. Some join research teams in corporate and government institutions that offer handsome compensation. A few also choose to join as teaching faculty at world-class institutions where they can pursue their area of study while passing the knowledge to others.

Is an MBA a better bet for Engineering students?

While an overwhelming 96% of the students felt that engineers should take up an MBA after graduation, only 77% have actually decided to follow the path. The respondents had differing views. Some felt that there was a growing need in the tech sector for specialists. So a student with masters in core tech subjects have great career opportunities. Students with computer engineering background also felt strongly about Masters in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Data Management, and the like. About 28% felt that an MBA is a natural progression after graduating with an engineering degree. A small group of students remained undecided.

ReachIvy’s Viewpoint:

MBA or Masters? Well, the choice is up to you. You have to evaluate what kind of career path you would like to follow. Do you see yourself heading a research department, or working on cutting-edge technology or teaching at prestigious universities? Or do you see yourself managing teams across continents, heading business units or starting your own venture? What skills do you need? Do you have the patience and focus to work on core subjects? Or are you better at people management, organizing and spearheading projects or marketing products?

Don’t follow the herd. Follow your heart. Take the time to dabble in different subjects to familiarize yourself and find your comfort zone. Talk to alumni from your school or take up summer jobs. Immerse yourself in a real work setting ng to understand the functions of business. When you have found your career, the benefits will naturally follow.

If you want to know whether MBA is your true calling, here are 5 reasons you should know why engineers should pursue an MBA after graduation.

Posted in Study AbroadMBA