The Advantages for Engineers Earning a Project Management Degree
Engineering graduates have already mastered very specific skills that enable them to succeed in their jobs. Given that, many of them might question the benefits of also developing further skills through a project management degree.
However, there are advantages to learning project management through certification or a master’s degree program that focuses on engineering project management. The foremost is that it can vastly improve the chances of success with any given project.
That, in itself, makes an engineering project management degree worthy of consideration. Here are some other advantages.
Success Depends on Non-Technical Skills
Project management has gained in popularly through the years for the simple reason it works. Having a standardized, proven approach leads to less project failures. For engineers, it’s important to realize that non-technical, project management skills are just as important to success as engineering skills.
Having a Standardized Framework
Working on projects involves repetitive tasks. Having to reinvent a framework for accomplishing those tasks for every project is both tedious and a waste of time. Project management, by its very nature, focuses on making each step of a project as efficient and effective as possible. These steps can be standardized for every project.
Decades of experience from project managers has resulted in a wealth of knowledge that can be applied to every project. These areas can range from developing a project charter and fostering executive buy-in to benefits realization and avoiding scope creep.
A Boost To Your Career
Those who couple skills from a project management degree with engineering skills are immediately in a better position to take on a leadership role. Earning a master’s degree in engineering project management prepares graduates to understand the dynamics of an organization and the management of people. They also will have skills in both accounting and finance.
Even if an engineer does not have ambitions to move up higher on the organizational chart, having these skills will simply make them better at their job.
The ability to analyze the potential risks of a project beforehand and set up steps to mitigate those risks is invaluable. One of the key components of project management is analyzing a project specifically with risk assessment in mind. This is another area where experience in using these skills leads to better outcomes with each passing project.
Part of learning about successful project management also involves picking up valuable leadership abilities. These include the skills mentioned in the section above. But they also involve so-called “soft skills” such as good written and oral communications, good listening skills, management of presentations, and the ability to pull from a variety of managerial tools to increase the chance of success on complicated projects.
Engineers don’t become engineers with the idea they will lead projects, although many end up in that role. Having the skills that a master’s degree in engineering project management provides can greatly improve their chances for success.