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Ankita Sharma
November 29, 2016

The Best Specialized MBA for Engineers

Over a million young men and women graduate with engineering degrees every year in India. Many of them choose to do a specialized MBA after their engineering degree.

As engineers, you might possess the requisite technical skills. But when it comes to work life, only technical skills are not sufficient; one needs to possess managerial skills as well. These managerial skills are what will help you rise up the corporate ladder.

Choosing a specialized MBA over a general MBA has many benefits: these include exclusive access to the industry of your choice, skills that align with what employers expect from you, an inside network, and a pathway to rise up the corporate ladder.

Choosing Your Pathway To Success

For engineering graduates, the right MBA specialization should ideally be one that builds on the skills they have acquired during their training in engineering. What is equally important is to do a specialized MBA in an industry that is booming and that offers scope for growth—one that will have high demand for trained professionals.

Besides the usual MBAs in finance, marketing, and HR, here are some emerging MBA streams that candidates can choose from, based on their engineering stream. These will help graduates build on their strengths and core competencies:

For civil, mechanical, and structural engineers:

For civil engineers who want to continue in their field, an MBA in construction project management is a natural choice. It will help you build on your people management and project management skills, and is a pathway to leadership. In the energy sector, specialized MBAs include oil and gas management and energy management. An MBA in environment management is something that candidates who want to want to work in the sustainability sector can consider. Quantity surveying is a profession that is sometimes overlooked by engineering professionals. However, if you are analytically gifted and would like a career that makes the most of your number-crunching skills, consider an MBA in construction economics and quantity surveying.

An MBA in disaster management is also an option for professionals who want the expertise to both plan for and cope with the effects of natural disasters.

For electrical, electronics, and computer science/information technology (CS/IT) engineers:

An MBA in telecom management will build directly on the skills that an electronics and communication engineer has gained. The management of the vast amounts of data that are available today is a pressing concern and for CS/IT engineers, an MBA in information technology can be useful across industry sectors.

For all the above: Smart cities are the future of the urban landscape. Electrical, electronics and CS/IT engineers will lay the foundation of future smart cities—they will be required in all areas from big data to mobility (battery operated commuting, metro and bullet trains, and so on) to energy production. Mechanical and civil engineers will also be required for building the infrastructure of these cities—tunnels, sea links, flyovers, smart buildings. An MBA in infrastructure management will prepare engineering professionals from across disciplines for this enormous challenge.

Another specialization that can significantly push up earning potential is the MBA in real estate and urban infrastructure. As an alternative to a more traditional specialization such as finance, this MBA will open up career pathways in investment banking, transactions, leasing, asset management, and valuations in the real estate sector. 70% of global wealth lies in real estate, and all of the Big 4 consulting firms have dedicated arms for real estate and infrastructure clients. The MBA in real estate and infrastructure will help engineers who want to enter an exciting, fast-paced industry with huge earning potential and demand for skilled professionals. The demand is only increasing with time.

Other MBA specializations that can provide value to all engineering graduates include MBAs in risk management, supply chain management, retail management, tourism management, and even sports management.

Choosing Wisely

Each of these specialized MBA streams will open up limitless possibilities in the field of your choice. Also, remember to play to your strengths: pick a stream based not just on your interests, but on the core skills (whether technical or non-technical) that you are good at. Picking the right industry is important as well—some sectors are growing at a faster pace than others, and have higher demand for trained professionals. An MBA can be a huge investment of time and money, so remember to do your research before you pick the right course—your degree should give you useful skills, a career pathway, and high return on investment.