Q: What does it take to be a manager besides having strong leadership skills?
Welcome to Episode #3 of Engineering Career TV. The topic for this episode is Transitioning from engineer to manager.
I will spend most of the Engineering Career TV episodes answering questions that have been submitted from engineers around the world on how to rapidly advance their careers and live the lives they want to live.
You can submit questions for the show by clicking here.
Let’s jump into today’s topic, Transitioning from engineer to manager, which is based on a question from Zach, where he asks the following:
Q: I’ve been working as a structural engineer for the past three years in Massachusetts. I’m currently going for my master’s degree in structural engineering, which my company is paying for, and I plan on taking the SE exam some time next year. Like many engineers my age, I aspire to be a manager some day. However I’m not sure what it takes to be a manager besides having strong leadership skills. Do you need to have a knowledge of finance, business, and marketing? Are there any good books you recommend that provide insight to taking on a managerial role?
A: The full answer can be seen in the video, but here are a few of the main points:
- You’ll need to focus on is business development, which essentially is bringing new business into your company.
- Most engineering CEOs are looking for engineers that can do the work but then sell the work. We’ve referred to them through our podcasts as seller-doers.
- You can’t learn about the business side of engineering unless you have time to, which means you’re going to have to get comfortable in letting go and becoming a more productive manager
- Consider online courses that relate to business for engineers, like master’s of engineering management programs, or at least auditing a few courses of an overall degree program.
Resources mentioned in today’s Engineering Career TV:
Purdue University Master of Engineering Management
I hope you found this episode of Engineering Career TV helpful.
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What questions do you have about transitioning from engineer to manager?
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success