In 2014, the U.S. had about 1.6 million engineering jobs—and this number continues to grow each year, Forbes reports. With so many opportunities in this fast-growing industry, many students are advancing their skills and standing out from the crowd by earning an online engineering management degree. This master’s degree can open doors to an array of new opportunities in manufacturing, infrastructure management, supply management, and operations. Below, you’ll find just a few of the jobs you could land with this advanced credential.
1. Systems architect
Systems architects are responsible for developing and implementing computer networks and systems. In making sure these systems are functioning properly, systems architects may conduct technical research and cost analyses, propose new applications for process improvements, define system interactions and interfaces, and troubleshoot any issues that occur. Professionals who excel in this role often go on to become chief systems architects—especially after learning the necessary leadership skills in an engineering management degree program.
2. Project manager
In general, project managers ensure projects run on time and on budget with a smooth workflow from start to finish. In engineering specifically, this can involve managing and overseeing the work of fellow engineers. This may mean properly allocating resources, approving technical drawings, managing budgets, and creating schedules. Many of these professionals eventually grow to become senior project managers.
3. Data analyst
Data analysts gather information, organize it in a meaningful way, and come to conclusions that help other areas of the business make well-informed decisions. This could involve creating reports based on data, offering valuable insights into trends and patterns, and, at some companies, building the programs that gather data. Keep in mind, however, that depending on the organization, data engineers may be used to build the database system, leaving data analysts to analyze its findings.
4. Vice president of engineering
After many years in the industry, some engineering management grads will have the chance to become vice presidents of engineering. While the exact responsibilities of this professional will vary based on the company, they are generally responsible for making sure the entire engineering organization is functioning smoothly and successfully. This can include managing a staff, working with other executives to develop a high-level strategy, creating a company-wide program plan, and ensuring all engineering projects are executed successfully.
5. Chief technology officer
At many companies, there is overlap between the responsibilities of a vice president of engineering and a chief technology officer (CTO). However, generally speaking, the CTO is known as the top technical guru of an organization. In fact, in many cases, the CTO is a company’s technical founder or cofounder. On a day-to-day basis, a CTO is responsible for developing a tech plan (possibly with the vice president of engineering), ensuring the company is abreast of the latest research and technology, managing a patent portfolio, and acting as the technical face of the company at speaking engagements and meetings.