Master of Engineering Management: A postgraduate qualification for today’s engineers

In a highly globalised and competitive market, engineering concerns all over the world are hard-pressed to find engineers armed with both technical expertise and business management skills to help them stay on top.

Consequently, as many practising engineers find their careers moving increasingly towards engineering management, there is an increased need for them to acquire engineering-oriented management skills that encompass the management, business and commercial aspects of engineering.

“For engineers progressing toward, or having attained, management responsibilities, pursuing a Master of Engineering Management is appreciated as a far more logical choice than an MBA,” said Professor Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman, Head of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia).

He said engineering managers combine management expertise with engineering knowledge to lead teams of specialists who may work on highly technical tasks. An engineering manager’s role may focus more on the processes and procedures of project realisation and on budgets, rather than technical input.

Professor Muhammad said Curtin University based in Perth, Western Australia has been offering its Master in Engineering Management for over 18 years to meet this demand, and for some two years now, Curtin Malaysia (Curtin’s largest international campus and global hub in Asia) has been offering the course to meet the needs of Malaysian and international industry.

Incorporating the engineering expertise of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science with the business leadership of its Faculty of Business, the course provides students with management skills highly relevant to their engineering careers. The course has furthermore been systematically reviewed and modified to suit the needs of modern engineering management and the coursework is relevant to all engineering disciplines.

The course includes attractive features to suit the diverse needs and work schedules of practising engineers. Part-time students can complete the course over a minimum period of 24 months while full-time students can complete the course in 12 months of study. Intakes are open in January, May or September.

“Upon completion of the course, graduates will be able to represent themselves as engineers with a management perspective and able to make strategic and operational decisions,” said Professor Muhammad.

“They will be armed with the added advantage of possessing the technological know-how and business competency, the understanding of the technology they are managing, and the managerial skills to facilitate the development of that technology.”

He added that graduates may find enhanced employment prospects with their current employer or with organisations in research and development seeking experienced engineers with the skills to manage engineering technology.

As Curtin’s largest international campus, Curtin Malaysia offers students the same widely-recognised undergraduate and postgraduate coursework and research degrees as its parent campus in Australia. Its degree programmes are closely linked with corporate business, industry, government and the community, enabling students to gain valuable work experience and lead them to opportunities in career development, travel and further study.

Besides meeting Curtin’s minimum English language entry requirements, applicants require a bachelor of engineering or equivalent qualification in a recognised discipline of engineering with at least one year of relevant work experience since graduation. Practical engineering experience will be beneficial.

Engineering managers combine management expertise with engineering knowledge.

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