Online Engineering Management Master’s Degree

Overview

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Engineering managers are concerned with product quality, employee efficiency and financial management. They work to enhance employee performance, in turn improving the results of complex projects. Engineering managers bridge the gap between creating products and management, which is necessary for a business to thrive.

“Undergraduate education does a great job in preparing engineers, but when they get out in industry, they really need an understanding of business,” Bradley Fox, associate dean and executive director of Duke University’s master of engineering management program, said in an interview with IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 


An online master’s degree in engineering can prepare students for management positions by teaching leadership, problem-solving and economic skills. Some programs also include technical course work to help students address the unique challenges they may face in their organizations.

Course Work

Example courses
Organizational behavior
Engineering statistics
Information systems engineering
Management of high-tech industries
Computational finance
Decision and risk analysis
Supply chain management
Product development

A bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics or science is typically required to enter an online engineering management master’s degree program.

Core course work includes project management, decision and risk analysis, marketing, product development, finance and engineering law. In some programs, students may choose to specialize. Specializations include operations, finance and commercialization.

Online degree programs use case studies, online discussions and group projects to teach quality control and project management.

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Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Biomedical engineering manager $76,000
Project manager, engineering $87,500
Manufacturing engineering manager $98,000
Mechanical engineering manager $108,000
Electrical engineering manager $117,000
Software engineering manager $131,000

*per PayScale.com

While employment of engineering managers is only expected to grow 9 percent by 2020 – slower than the national average for all occupations – graduates certainly have options. Rapidly growing industries such as environmental and biomedical engineering provide a wealth of job opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Organizations such as the American Society for Engineering Management can help graduates enhance their skills through professional development programs, certification programs and employment resources.

Median salaries range from about $76,000 for biomedical engineering managers to roughly $131,000 for software engineering managers, according to PayScale, an online salary database. The highest-paying industries for engineering managers include spectator sports and oil and gas extraction. In both industries, engineering managers earn an annual mean wage of more than $150,000, according to the BLS.

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