As technology spreads to every tiny aspect of our lives, role of engineering management is becoming more relevant in every domain and industry. Be it pharmaceutical company or an agricultural one, everyone is dealing with engineering challenges at some level – chemical, mechanical, civil, hardware electronics engineering dealing with tangible products while software and computer engineering dealing with the abstract information.
Understandably, there has been a constant increase in the demand for managers who understand technology and engineering aspects alike which gave rise to programs such as MEM (MS in Engineering Management), MIS (Management Information Systems), MIM (MS in Information Management), MSIS (MS in Information Systems) and so forth. With few differences, these programs aim at combining technical depth with business breadth so that the students can understand both management and engineering language. One theme that underlines all these programs is that they are core business programs with engineering electives. The focus is still on management courses such as statistics, analytics, supply chain etc and one can pick electives in database, programming, networks etc.
Remember that these programs are likely to be biased towards applicant with some work experience.
Some of these course names might be confusing, so lets take a look one by one-
MEM – Core management programs with courses in Marketing, Finance, Management, Operations, Modeling and available engineering electives (not just software but industrial engineering, nanotechnology etc). Typically, prepare candidates for consulting, business analysis in any engineering related work function. Duke’s MEM program is leading in this category. Look at their electives to get a sense of the course offering. Above chart shows how the incoming student profile is distributed. As you can see, it is widely spread among various engineering majors.
MIS – More like MEM for IT, so focusing on IT electives such as data mining, AI, networking etc. One might think of it as a less competitive version of MBA specializing in IS (but then, less reputed than an MBA too). Expect roles such as system analysts, data analysts, systems engineer, database admin after this.
Here are top 10 Management Information courses as specified by US News in 2013 (these are not restricted to MIS but include MBA in IS courses too, so don’t try searching for MIS at MIT)-
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- University of Arizona
- University of Texas, Austin
- University of Maryland, College Park
- University of Pennsylvania
- Georgia State University
- University of Georgia
- Indiana University– Bloomington
MSIS, MIM – These are other variations of MEM and MIS programs. You will find some more such as MSTM, MSEM offered with various names in different schools. Before you decide which one to apply to, take a good look at the curriculum to ensure it suits your background and goals.
I have seen a lot of engineering grads going for these courses recently and we receive lot of inquiries about this program. So check out this post on FAQ for MIS/MEM programs.
If you found this useful, there is lot more information in MS Book: Smart Engineer’s Complete Guide to MIS in USA
Since there is a bigger demand for these courses right now, acceptance rates are fairly high. For more admission data and professional counseling help if you are applying for MIS/MEM in Fall 2014, please check our counseling packages.