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Why you need a Master of Engineering Management

21 January 2017

If you’ve ever wondered how a Master of Engineering Management (MEM) differs from a Master of Engineering, you’re not alone. The main difference lies in the skills an MEM can provide. While an engineering degree will develop the skills necessary to become a high-performing engineer, you may find yourself thrown into the deep end when it comes to managing a team and keeping projects on budget.

A MEM combines typical engineering skills with subjects more commonly found in an MBA program. It’s kind of like an MBA for engineers. You’ll learn how to handle complex business problems, take on leadership, manage stakeholder relationships, use emerging technology and ensure the financial viability of your projects.

Southern Cross University graduate, Steve Garnett shares one of the reasons why he decided to study a Masters degree in engineering management.

To help you decide whether a MEM is the step-up your career needs, we’ve outlined some of the key points of difference that make engineering management such a promising career pathway.

Develop sought-after skills

Engineering management requires a set of highly technical skills coupled with emotional intelligence and team management skills. You’ll also need to understand how to manage a project. Unlike a standard Master of Engineering, the MEM program provides you with an understanding of how to run a business. In a competitive market, these skills are invaluable. Employers are on the lookout for engineers who can not only do the work, but will also have a strong grasp of what goes on behind the scenes in a business.

Having a practical business perspective on top of your engineering skills means that you’ll be able to manage projects while keeping higher-level business needs in mind. This is a quality that prospective employers look for in candidates, the ability to do the work while meeting business targets.

Open new career opportunities

Many engineers overlook how they can benefit from an MEM degree. However, when it comes to long-term career growth, the benefits are clear. Entering a leadership position with a Master of Engineering leaves you lacking important team and project management skills. Many employers value an MEM qualification when hiring for leadership roles, so you may find yourself struggling to step-up in your career without one.

MEM graduates go on to enjoy a number of diverse positions that aren’t open to the majority of Master of Engineering graduates. Some have worked as marketing managers, business analysts, project managers, systems architects, risk management associates and more. Plus, an MEM gives you the business skills you need to make it on your own. You can open doors to indulge your entrepreneurial streak or open your own private consultancy company.

Prepare for a changing industry

There’s no doubt that engineering is constantly evolving. While a Master of Engineering makes you highly employable, an MEM degree could be what you need to weather the storm when things don’t go to plan. When markets change—such as the current decline in Western Australia’s mining industry—you want the skills that make finding and keeping work easy.

Unlike a standard Master of Engineering, an MEM degree prepares you for changes in the market. With a more diversified skillset, you can adapt and grow within different roles and provide value to your organisation in more than an engineering capacity. Therefore, if you’d rather be in control of shaping your industry rather than at the mercy of a shifting landscape, an MEM is by far the better choice.

Learn more about our 100% online Master of Engineering Management course by speaking to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 589 882.