A successful engineering project is built on the back of a strong team. When times are uncertain, the team has to stay focused and motivated. There are difficult decisions to make regarding things like strategy and resourcing. Team members need an open and empathetic listener who will shield them from the tribulations wrought by cost overruns, technical challenges, plus all other distractions and noise.
An engineering manager, who can tackle complex organizational and leadership issues in the technical environment, is someone who meets this demand and the evolving needs of the engineering industry.
Clarkson University — a research university based in New York State — offers an MS in Engineering Management (MSEM) program dynamic enough to bridge the gap between engineering and business, quickly and affordably.
With this route, working professionals need not give up their other commitments. The program follows a hybrid learning model, blending six on-site weekend sessions (in either Beacon, New York, or New York City) with live online classes. Penalties are never imposed for missed weekends or online lessons. A mix of the two learning models ensures every learner is able to interact, connect, and exchange valuable insights in the process. The best part? You can expect to complete the programme within 24 months or less — 85% of graduates have done so.
“The two-year program, coupled with the cohort structure, was perfect for me as a working professional in a demanding career,” confirms Kevin LeFever, a Construction Manager with Turner Construction.
Flexibility aside, the program’s emphasis on career-readiness is what seals the deal for students with management-level aspirations. The programme was developed in conjunction with industry partners such as United Technologies, Global Foundries, Turner Construction, and IBM.
Other participating companies include Google, IBM, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Global Foundries, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Indium, and Amazon, amongst many others.
These corporate partnerships ensure the curriculum remains up-to-date, yet future-focused — meaning students will gain a comprehensive understanding of what industry leaders need now and in the future.
Core classes cover the fundamental leadership skills general engineers may lack, such as: Cost Management and Financial Analysis; Decision Analysis and Risk Management; Operations Strategy and International Competitiveness; Negotiations and Relationship Management; Quality Management and Process Control; as well as Strategic Project Management.
“These classes have greatly enhanced my understanding of the cross-disciplinary discussions at work and concepts that other departments are employing,” says Jeremy Williams, Product Line Manager at Amphenol Aerospace. “As a business administration undergrad working in a technical role, I really enjoyed the program. It felt meaningful and applicable.”
Coursework culminates in a Capstone Project, where students are given the chance to demonstrate their newfound knowledge and skills, as well as their ability to address the challenges faced by their company or industry. Ultimately, they prove themselves capable enough to make technical decisions that result in optimum profitability.
Electives further ensure specific career goals are taken into account. The program offers three focus areas: Operations Management, Digital Transformation, and Construction Engineering Management — each comes with its own array of relevant modules.
Classes are delivered by experts — either from academia or industry. However, all are highly trained and experienced in delivering online classes. Most importantly, they are approachable and ever willing to provide guidance and encourage collaboration. Their professional experiences make the MSEM rigorous academically and workwise. Therefore, prospective students choose it for mix of reasons.
“I chose the Clarkson MSEM programme for its combination of affordability, time to completion, support, and its excellent reputation throughout the industry,” says Sean Kelley, from Cox Automotive.
“I recently took a job in engineering management and needed a disciplined but flexible approach. I liked the small classes and enjoyed meeting my classmates to go over materials and concepts. I was pleased and surprised that what I learned about tools and techniques could be used right away. My management team has taken a keen interest in the coursework I’ve done and its applications to our projects.”