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What should an Engineer choose - A MEM or MBA?

Published On: 24 Jul 2017 | Last Updated On: 24 Jul 2017

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a quite well known and sought after qualification. However, not too many people know of the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree. The MEM degree is for students with a particular educational background – in comparison to the more generic MBA degree.

MEM combines advanced technical knowledge and expertise with the necessary concepts of management and business acumen. Engineers who are interested in an advanced degree could find a solution in MEM – which offers the best of both worlds; engineering and management.

Now if you are wondering which degree you should go for; MBA or MEM, let’s take a closer look.

Educational Background

The MEM degree is more suitable for students who have done their graduation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is a good option for advanced study for engineers, or for students who want to advance their technological knowledge and build a career in technology. MEM teaches management and leadership skills with a special focus on technical subjects.

An MBA degree though is more suitable for graduates of any educational background. Remember though, that a lot of engineering students also do MBA.

Requirement of Work Experience

MEM programs in most of the reputed universities do not require any prior experience for you to get admission. MIT, however, does have a work experience criteria for its MEM program.

Most of the top-rated MBA programs in US, require a minimum of two to three years of experience for admission to their business schools.

Duration and Cost

Most MEM program can be completed within 12 – 15 months. The program fees ranges from $50,000 to $60,000. The cost of living is also less as the course duration is less.

A full time MBA program from a good business school in US would come close to $100,000 or more excluding the cost of living.

Course Content

The MEM degree is primarily an engineering degree closely associated with a business management degree. The curriculum is a combination of advanced engineering courses and core business courses. Some of these courses could be product design and development, product marketing, operations and supply chain management, technology strategy, entrepreneurship combined with finance and management related subjects.

The MBA program covers a wide variety of subjects and does not focus on any particular technology or area. Some of the subjects covered are finance, accounting, operations management, economics, marketing, corporate finance, organizational behavior, strategy and leadership. You are allowed to choose electives of your own interest.

Career Scope

If you are inclined towards the technical areas, then MEM should be the degree for you allowing you to choose from a wide variety of industries and functions.

If you would like to continue in the same industry or move to a totally different one, MBA is the degree you should be looking for.

Weigh your options carefully, evaluate your interests and then choose MEM or MBA as your future qualification.

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