Prof. Sumit Saxena
The MBA course has been the logical next step for engineers since some time now. Is it herd mentality? Or a fad? Or does this actually make sense?
Without getting too technical about it, I’d like to point out a few simple reasons why a good course in management is a solid extension of a technical education like engineering. The perspective that a MBA adds for a person from a technical background can be very useful for the following reasons:
- An engineer has the base to understand key operational issues that his/her employer may be faced with. With a strong understanding of management theory, the solutions that come up can be comprehensive and relevant.
- Optimal resource management is a skill that people from technical backgrounds often lack. Management is about managing optimally and managing with constraints.
- Being adept at tools like PERT, CPM, etc., which are used extensively in project management during engineering provides the engineer MBA an advantage over other colleagues who may not have come from the same background.
- Understanding of finance is crucial for any business manager given that finance is the life blood of a business. A technical person with a working knowledge of cash flow management, investment appraisal, and an understanding of cost of capital can be a very valuable resource.
- In today’s dynamic workplace, managing people, dealing with diversity, and providing leadership are expected traits from a manager. All these skills are imbibed during the MBA course.
- Communication skills are developed optimally in MBA courses, which helps the employee to articulate the knowledge that he/she possesses.
Having said this, one does need to bear in mind that a management graduate is not necessarily a good manager. There are many notable exceptions of people from a purely technical background making great managers and wonderful leaders. However, the points above hold true for a majority of cases.
Sumit Saxena is Assistant Professor in the Department of Basic Science & Humanities at SRMS College of Engineering, Technology, & Research, Bareilly.