Wed Feb 13, 2019, 04:53 PM

I am just curious - Engineers with MBAs?

I've mentioned here several times that I am an engineer with an MBA. I think at least a couple of other folks here have also so noted. So I got to wondering, how common is this? I know throughout my career I knew several engineers that went back to school and got an MBA rather than a Masters in Engineering. Sometimes they stayed in engineering, but it seems more often they went on to sales, project management, or some other management activity. ( I also knew some that went to law school and became lawyers, but that's another discussion.)

So who here is in the same boat? I'm just curious as to how common it is, even in our little group.
1. What was your basic engineering degree?
2. What prompted you to get an MBA?
3. What were the years between?
4. Did you stay in engineering, or move on to a management field?
5. Do you know many folks that did the same thing?
6. Anything else interesting you'd like to share.

I'll start:
1. BS Electrical Engineering - 1970.

2. Getting an MBA was an opportunity that presented itself. I had Viet Nam era GI bill benefits to use and there was a program of night school nearby. Plus, I kinda liked business and Finance.

3. I got my first MBA - Management - concentrating in International Management in 1982. I went a little crazy a few years later (still had some GI Bill bennies) and went back and took another 2 year program and got another MBA - Finance - concentrating in Financial Planning, in 1989.

4. I primarily stayed in engineering and technical work. I always did and still do identify as an engineer, even when I was a little kid in the '50's. But, in the last 10-15 years of my Army career I got slowly absorbed over to the contracting and finance side of some of my larger techical projects. I was appointed a Contracting Officer's Representative and also a Certified Army Comptroller. Especially for some of the more classified projects where it was hard to find contract and finance people with the appropriate clearances and access to administer a contract. But I still always stayed in an engineering/technical management slot.

5. I guess I knew at least three people that I worked with that did something similar, and heard about others.

6. You probably already heard way too much about me. TMI. But, I was sitting here this afternoon and the question just popped into my head. Anyone else want to share any similar experiences? Maybe even other interesting career changes?

Who's first?

8 replies, 200 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply I am just curious - Engineers with MBAs? (Original post)
fools_gold Feb 2019 OP
Ilovestx Feb 2019 #1
Oldgeezer Feb 2019 #2
foia Feb 2019 #3
fools_gold Feb 2019 #4
foia Feb 2019 #5
Lowrider1984 Feb 2019 #6
fools_gold Feb 2019 #7
Lowrider1984 Feb 2019 #8

Response to fools_gold (Original post)

Response to fools_gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 06:16 PM

2. I see 'lovestick' deleted as usual....I guess an Associates in pudding cup operation can't compete

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to fools_gold (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 06:22 PM

3. OK

1. BS Civil - concentration S&M - structures and mechanics. Started out in EE but got bored chasing electrons and switched to CivE since I always enjoyed studying physics and math. (I took graduate level math classes as electives for "fun" because I always enjoyed math.)

2. Went straight to MBA. Although I did well and really enjoyed learning about engineering I had absolutely no desire to do it as a job.

3. Enjoyed getting an MBA since it was hard and learned graduate level business without having to get a BA in business which probably would've bored me because the basics of business and econ are pretty simple.

4. Chose a career in IT consulting doing large corporate systems. Enjoyed that because it was both technical and business.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to foia (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 09:01 PM

4. Thanks. May I ask

what year (or decade if you wish) you received your BSCE or MBA? Just for a historical timeframe.

Do you ever get the itch to build a big building?

My roommate sophmore year was a CE. I was in ROTC. We used to tell him EEs built weapons, CEs built targets.

Seriously, I appreciate your responding. It is a subject that interests me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to fools_gold (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 09:39 PM

5. BSCE 83, MBA 85

I do Bob Vila type stuff all of the time and play with motorcycles a lot but never had the urge to be a CE. In school I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the math and physics, just never had the urge to be a professional CivE. I am still in awe of how math can be used to model the physical world. My love of math and physics and how they tie together is what drew me to engineering.

I do always check out skyscrapers and bridges though. On 9/11, as unbelievable as it was when the buildings collapsed, I did understand at a marco level how the buildings could collapse. And afterwards spent God knows how many hours reviewing details of the collapses in order to really understand the collapses and make sense of them. That's the most I ever actually applied my degree.

What's really funny was how I ended up in engineering school. I was not thinking about my future life much when I was 17. When I filled out my college application for the U of Washington there were two boxes to check: College of Arts & Sciences or College of Engineering. I didn't really know what that meant. I was torn though. I'd always really liked science but didn't want to have to take art classes so I checked the engineering box. LOL.

Aerospace Engineers build the bombs. (I get your joke though. LOL.)

My favorite bathroom graffiti in undergrad:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to fools_gold (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2019, 01:47 PM

6. Not an engineer with an MBA, but

BS in Civil Engineering 1974
BS in Environmental Science 1982

Company I worked for (independent oil and gas company) wanted someone on-staff with Environmental degree, so I volunteered.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Lowrider1984 (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2019, 02:33 PM

7. Interesting

I've never looked at the Environmental Science field. I'm not even sure what's in it. I would think, though, that expertise in that field would be handy in dealing with environmental impact statements and various EPA regulations? I don't know, but I would guess that it's a growing field.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to fools_gold (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2019, 02:43 PM

8. Yes, the impact statements and EPA regulations were the main reason.

We had a retail arm (service stations/convenience stores, etc.) that required some expertise.
Of course, in the early 80s, the regulations were just getting started.
I think it was a little naïve of Management to think the environmental issues could be handled as a "side job".
The company now has an entire Environmental Division that has continued to expand with the regulations.
I enjoyed the degree program and the field, especially since the company allowed me to attend school during office hours (with pay).
I'm retired now, left as the head of the Engineering Dept.
Good times.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink