Throughout the annals of history, man has invented and discovered. Fire, the wheel, the printing press, computers, mobile phones - records of our past and present tell us of our species’ tendency to create and produce new products and improve on the existing ones. Humans have strived to make life convenient and better since the advent of time. The concept of machines came about through this trait, equipments meant to either do humans’ work or make it easier for them. Overtime, the functions of machines have complicated further to inhabiting most spheres primarily occupied by humans while humans’ roles have largely been limited to understanding and handling these machines. This is primarily why the realm of engineering holds importance. The profession and study-area of engineering, irrespective of branches, hold prime significance in the corporate world and education sphere respectively.
Over the past few years, the regulation of professionals working in an organisation or on a project has come to assume great importance. Moreover, with the development of technology and discovery of further resources, there exist umpteen alternative methods to complete a task which brings forward the query of choice. Management is the art of making choices. It comprises of choosing the most efficient and cost-effective method of getting a project completed. It seeks to answer the questions of what is to be done, by whom will it be done, when will it be done, how will it be done and at what cost. From a “fresh process”, management has transformed into one of the most sought-after professions and educational lines owing to the corporates need for a manager to handle their inflating human resources.
Hence, it is clear that both engineering and management are crucial to the functioning of organisations the world over. In lieu of this, it must be noted that at all times, organisations need a manager to be able to lead a project but might find the manager lacking in engineering prowess.On the other hand, an engineer might be alloted to manage a project but might not hold the specific set of managerial skills that are a prerequisite to being an able manager. The department of engineering management remedies this issue.
Engineering management is a specialised type of management that aims to bring together the technical facets of engineering along with the planning, financial, organisational, administrational, controlling and staffing features of management. Students of the department hold sufficient levels of industrial knowledge of engineering subjects while also acquiring managerial skills that enable them to lead engineering and technical teams and projects. These students receive ample in-class education and outside training in both the fields. Its scope and prospects as a profession led to an increase in the popularity of its educational degrees.
Education in the department is delivered at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels even though the postgraduate programs are better renowned and prominent. Bachelor degrees in the subject are of various types:
A degree in Engineering Management like BSc Engineering Management
A degree in a branch of engineering with a few modules on management
A degree with special focus on the business perspective of the engineering subject
A management degree with specialisation in Engineering Management
BSc (Bachelors of Science), BSEM (Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management), BSE (Bachelors of Science in Engineering in Engineering Management), BEEM (Bachelors of Engineering in Engineering Management) and BA (Bachelors of Art in Engineering Management) are few of the bachelors degrees offered in the department.
Master’s studies are generally more popular than bachelors studies in the department owing to the fact that they allow students to study extensively a subject belonging to either of the two different fields that the department teaches, thus providing a strong base. MSEM (Masters of Science in Engineering Management) and MEM (Masters in Engineering Management) are two of the prominent post-graduation degrees offered in the department. Some educational institutes also offer PhDs in the subject. Irrespective of the level or specialisation, there are some subjects that are included in the gambit of engineering management. Subjects like accounts, financing, planning,human resource management, structural engineering,civil engineering, industrial engineering, mathematics, internal psychology, and the like are a few subjects falling into the gambit of the department. The degrees are useful for students who want to foray into management but do not wish to abandon their technical knowledge and education.
Study Engineering Management Abroad
The popularity of the department among Indians is on the rise owing to the significance of the department. Indian students choose to pursue education in foreign universities for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, most foreign countries have access to better technology and faculties that foster the student’s growth and development. Even in the terms of management, countries like Australia, USA and Canada play home to excellent programs in both the fields involved - engineering and management. Secondly, Indian students attempt to take advantage of the vast employment opportunities available in the developed countries. Thirdly, with globalisation’s rising influence and spurred by USA’s treatment of foreign visitors and immigrants, countries like Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand are much more welcoming and open to students from all over the world. This has led to the declaration of several scholarships, financial aids and education loans for foreign students visiting these countries in order to pursue further studies. A visa to study in a country like Germany also includes six additional months to be able to find employment. All of these factors weigh in in influencing Indian students to pursue a degree in the department outside of the country. Most of the colleges and universities offering eminent engineering management courses are located in USA and UK, though.
Some of the best institutes in the world for this department are:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
- Stanford University, USA
- University College London, UK
- National University of Singapore, Singapore
- King's College, UK
- Australian National University, Australia
- Columbia University, USA
- Tsinghua University, China
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
- University of Manchester, UK
All of these institutions provide a myriad of programs and courses in the concerned subjects, ranging from Bachelors of Science (BSc) to Masters of Engineering Management (MEM). While all of them consist of different processes in the entrance plan, a few similarities exist. Most of these universities would require scores of a test proving English efficiency like TOEFL, GMAT, GRE, IELTS and SATS. for countries like China, Japan and Germany, sufficient knowledge of the local dialect is appreciated. Other than that, most universities conduct interviews for its applicants in order to assess their interest and capability in the field. Some universities might conduct entrance exams to test out technical prowess while a few institutes might also take in students through the cut-off process. The cost of education in Europe is likely to be lower than education in any other part of the world (5-6 lakh rupees a year compared to around 20 lakh rupees). The living expenses, however, range around to the same spectrum of 4-5 lakh rupees a year. Most universities and foreign countries offer scholarships and financial aid to international students. In addition to this, colleges also provide their students opportunities in internships and part-time jobs in order to help them handle their daily expenses while gaining useful work experience in a related field, something that is bound to add to the resume of a student.
Students that are educated in the field of engineering management find employment in a multitude of work areas. Corporates need such graduates to execute their managerial skills infused with engineering knowledge in order to be able to handle a project properly or to be able to lead a team. The various areas in which an engineering graduate might find work in are:
- Operations management
- Operations research
- Supply chain management
- Management of technology
- New product development and product engineering
- Systems engineering
- Industrial engineering
- Management science
- Engineering management consultancy
- Research and development
- Customer relationship
- Decision engineering
- Sales engineering
- Quality control engineering
- Purchase engineering
- Automation engineering
- Client services analysis
- Plant management
- Firmware engineering
- Economic consultancy
- Product engineering
Any of these positions would require an individual to assess both new and existing products, build working relationships both inside and outside the organisation and check up on the use and maintenance of machinery used.
A foreign degree in the field increases the employability of a student by a great extent. Owing to the educational efficiency of foreign universities, a candidate having studied in them is far more knowledgeable than their counterpart. In addition to this, the experience of having studied in a multicultural, diverse environment is bound to build up the experience of a candidate. Moreover, an atmosphere riddled with a myriad of ideas, perspectives and thoughts fosters a learning spirit among its residents. If a candidate has work experience outside the country, their appeal to the corporates shoots up even more, implying higher salaries and positions. Some students also choose to do a PhD and delve into the world of academia. Hence, the department of engineering management is riddled with knowledge and bright prospects.