Water Resource Specialists
Strong technical knowledge is essential for engineering and natural sciences managers, who must understand and guide the work of their subordinates and explain the work in nontechnical terms to senior management and potential customers. Therefore, most managers have formal education and work experience as an engineer, scientist, or mathematician.
Education and training:
Engineering and natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as engineers or scientists. Nearly all engineering managers therefore have at least a bachelor’s degree in some specialty of engineering. Many also gain business management skills by completing a master's degree in engineering management (MEM) or business administration (MBA), either before or after advancing to management positions. Employers often pay for such training. In large firms, some courses required in these degree programs may be offered onsite. Typically, engineers who prefer to manage in technical areas pursue an MEM, and those interested in less technical management earn an MBA.
Similarly, since most science managers begin their careers as scientists, they may have a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree in a scientific discipline. Graduate programs allow scientists to augment their undergraduate training with instruction in other fields, such as management or computer technology. Future natural science managers interested in more technical management may earn traditional master's or Ph.D. degrees in natural sciences or master's degrees in science that incorporate business management skills. Those interested in more general management may pursue an MBA. Given the rapid pace of scientific developments, science managers must continuously upgrade their knowledge.
Engineering and natural sciences managers must be specialists in the work they supervise. To advance to these positions, engineers and scientists generally must gain experience and assume management responsibility. To fill management positions, employers seek engineers and scientists who possess administrative and communication skills in addition to technical knowledge in their specialty, since they must effectively lead groups and coordinate projects.
Engineering and natural sciences managers may advance to progressively higher leadership positions within their disciplines. Some may become managers in nontechnical areas such as marketing, human resources, or sales. In high-technology firms, managers in nontechnical areas often must possess the same specialized knowledge as do managers in technical areas. For example, employers in an engineering firm may prefer to hire experienced engineers as sales workers because the complex services offered by the firm can be marketed only by someone with specialized engineering knowledge. Such sales workers can eventually advance to jobs as sales managers.
The data sources for the information displayed here include: Virginia Career VIEW Research.