Engineer vs. Manager

This topic contains 16 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Akshay Sakariya 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #3274


    This entire semester we went through a ton of topics and learned about different stages and phases of industry, projects, deadlines etc.

    My question to you is if you were given a choice between a management role vs engineer/tech/scientist role which one would you choose? And why?

    Share your experience.

    I would personally work as an engineer for 3-5 years and eventually want to move to management because that is where I truly see myself 10 years from now. I find I have the skill set and with my project coordinator position I see things from both ends and have aquired the skill set to lead a team.

  • #3277


    I would personally like to have my end goal to be a manager, but I first would want to get a couple of years working as an engineer to understand how the industry actually works. This semester we learned many important concepts of FDA regulation and how the project management process works. This is important background basis for a project management. However, in real life, nothing follows a textbook definition. For example, the design control steps may be different in one company compared to another. Thus, to answer the question, I would choice a management role after I garner some experience as an engineer or even a scientist. Moreover, I see a management role as more of leader who guides a project to completion. Almost like a surgeon conducting an operation. A surgeon not only has to know the procedure of an operation but also needs to know is the anesthetist is giving the right amount of anesthesia and if the surgical tools provided as the correct.

  • #3283

    Hiren Rana

    I agree you and say that I would like to work as an engineer for maybe 6-7 years and then move up to a managing role. I have always seen myself as some sort of manager and I think that it would be a good fit for me personally. I want to work as an engineer for quite some time because I really want to be able to understand that processes and techniques that engineers have and possess. This in turn would only make me a better manager. The best managers are those that have been in their employees shoes. This past summer, my manager worked as a frontline employee in the department that she now manages. The team has such a great communication between any issues and conveying them to her. This is because she has worked there before and she has experience in what her employees are doing. I think that this transition would be ideal for any manager to take. There would be great communication upstream to management. I’ve heard from a number of people who have managers that have no experience in engineering and communication is terrible. The manager has no clue what their employees are talking about because the manager does not have the technical skills.

  • #3284


    I completely agreed with hiren rana. I also heard this through my internship at hospital dealing with medical instruments such as calibrating, perform testing and problem solving on devices. I was surprised by knowing that there are places where manager doesn’t know what his/her employees job and need which makes communication worse. I think it is very difficult to work in that environment where manager and employees speak different languages. At my internship, manager knows employees need, and how long should take to finish project since he has been through everything and have technical knowledge. if employees get stuck, they just simply asked him which makes easier for employees to work and they also can explain it in better manner. I would like to work as an engineer at least 3-4 years to be familiar with environment before any managing position because I believe in quality work rather than just finishing project and not knowing what others are doing under me.

  • #3286

    Roberto Pineda

    I agree with most of the posts above, in the point that you have to start in the bottom and then rise up. It is key to start as an Engineer because you will be dealing with a lot problems and you will get a real sense of what that job is. Eventually if a manager position is reached then the person will have higher chances of becoming an effective manager since he/she has already performed the same job he supervises. This will lead to positive changes in the company such as getting rid of habits that are not necessary and implanting others that are necessary. As my father who is an Engineer always tells me: You have to start in the bottom, demonstrate what you are made of and then rise up. He first started as an Electrical engineer with a position that did not give him a lot of benefits but gave him a lot of experience. 20 years later he has created his own company and is a wonderful manager/owner who understands the scenarios that his employees work under.
    Let me know what you think
    Roberto Pineda.

  • #3307


    I believe that I would like to follow a similar path as some of our classmates. I would like to be an engineer during the first stages of my career to get a hands on understanding of the duties and responsibilities. Later I would like to move into management, but still have a heavy involvement in the engineering field. This is because managers often have a great deal of administrative responsibilities,which do not seem as interesting as the engineering work.

  • #3309

    Chris Vasquez

    Great question, but I am quite sure where ideally I would like to end up. Ideally, I would like to work as an engineer for a few years… gain experience within the field and develop my career. Ideally after maximizing my options through engineering, I would like to take a manager role. I don’t know exactly what type of manager role I would like to pursue, but it is something I would like to experience. I know people who went to manager roles but never enjoyed the position, they wanted a more technical aspect instead of leading the team.


  • #3312


    In my opinion, both engineers and managers make great supervisors. And engineers especially have those qualities which a managerial position demands as they are analytical, good at managing risk, innovative and very good with figures. So after working in the industry for a few years, i would definitely like to become a manager one day. Obviously, who wants to stay at the same spot all their life.

  • #3322


    I would choose a manager role. There were several engineers at my company who would never want to be in management and prefer moving up the ladder as a more senior engineer. This was due to that fact that managers needed to stay longer each day and do more paperwork. I would actually prefer to just stay longer each day and do the paperwork because I thought the benefit of actually having a say in how the place was run on a bigger level out-weighted the bad. I was very frustrated as an engineer and not being able to give feedback or really speak up about hiring practices and raises/benefits. I feel that as a manger you are put in a role that you can actually give feedback and be heard more than an engineer on these practices. Another benefit would be that you yourself would also get paid more as a manager than as an engineer.

  • #3324


    After graduating from college, I would initially choose to work as a scientist or an engineer in order to gain experience and learn more about the current technology and field. I think it would be a great opportunity to start from the bottom and understand the ins and outs of the business and eventually rise to the top. By doing so, I would have gained insight within the workforce and the different sections of the company which will allow me to better run the company if I get a management position in the future. More importantly, I want to better understand the science and my goal is to make a positive impact in society through biomedical engineering and that is why I want to become an engineer. For now, I care more about the science than the money and that greatly influences my choice to become an engineer.

  • #3341


    I personally have zero desire to be a manager. It could be a function of the experiences that I have had with managers that I have worked for currently and in the past. While there is a large salary increase to be had at the manager position, it comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility and pressure. Not only is their pressure from above (higher level managers and C-level officers), but there is also the pressure of dealing with individuals and being responsible for their growth, output, and security/stability. As I mature, I am sure my feelings may change, but as of now, I think I would be content with attaining senior level engineer status. Making me an expert in my area of application.

  • #3345


    I want to keep working as an Engineer because I will be directly involved in the project. Engineer also have an important part to perform in the project. If an engineer’s job is done so poorly as to make the product non-marketable, the product will fail and won’t be used. When the quality along all dimensions passes the adoption threshold, every improvement along any dimension is effectively a gift to the users – who’d be using the product anyway. This is false where improvements contribute significantly to popularity, but true where they don’t.

  • #3346


    Given the options of a management vs an engineer/scientist/tech’s role in a company, I would prefer to eventually end up as a manager much like many of my classmates before me have answered. However, my desired path to achieve this terminal position would be a bit different because I would like to spend a large majority of my career in a lead engineer role. Currently, my last few positions I have held are of the entry level scientist/ tech/ engineer variety and I look forward to moving up the ladder soon. Eventually, when I reach a lead engineering position, I will be in a situation where I am able to manage my staff of middle/ entry level engineers while still being able to physically be involved with the creative process. Only after many years in this role will I choose to make the final step and move into a pure management position where I am mostly hands off and purely administrative.

    Also, I would make sure to spend time at each “rung of the ladder” on my way up to a management position because I have personally seen that managers who have worked the lower jobs are most effective. In my experience, I have seen both situations where a manager is hired with little background and knowledge in what his/her staff actually preform and managers that have risen through the ranks. It makes all the difference in both effectiveness of management and respect from their staff if they see that their manager is both knowledgeable what is going on in the lab and is able to effectively lead the team. Those managers that have just been ‘given’ the position due to unrelated experience or an advanced degree always seem to do worse in my opinion.

  • #3349


    After becoming more familiar with managerial roles over this past semester, I can say that I don’t particularly want to become a manager anytime soon. I have a newfound understanding and appreciation for what managers do, but I think I’ll use that knowledge to be a better employee rather than become a manager. I think once I have more understanding of a specific company’s workplace culture I’ll feel more comfortable in a managerial role. Ironically I really management simulation games, but I feel like when you’re managing actual people, the stakes become real and stressful instead of enjoyable.

  • #3352


    This is a great question to discuss. After graduating from college, I would start working as an engineer or at least be on the technical side of a project. I believe most people choose this path to gain some experience technically as an engineer and move up to management. I want to work 6-8 years as an engineer to gain more insight into the technical world of things. I would like to be constantly involved in a project technically to keep me busy while experiencing new things every day. Eventually, I want to move to a leadership / manager role that guides the team on completing a project. After having an engineer experience in the past, it will be easy as a manager to communicate to the team on the issues that arise. It is very important to speak the same language as an engineer to facilitate and resolve the problems quickly and effectively.

  • #3358


    I would rather be an engineer for a good number of years before considering trying to become a manager. It all comes down to you want the extra responsibility and accountability. Speaking with the general manager at my workplace now, he asked if I would consider doing an internship for the company in some assistant manager position. I respectively declined as I am only working in the company while I am in school and he said it was for the best not to take it if I wasn’t behind it. He said that management easily becomes “babysitting” when you do it long enough and that is not what he originally wanted to do going into management. If you want to be in management you have to have the experience of running the gauntlet and you have to be ready for the responsibility and accountability as I stated before. It is not for me at this point, and at this point I am content with working as an engineer and taking direction.

  • #3359

    Akshay Sakariya

    I need to continue filling in as an Engineer since I will be specifically required in the venture. Build likewise have an imperative part to perform in the venture. On the off chance that a specialist’s employment is done as such inadequately as to make the item non-attractive, the item will come up short and won’t be utilized. At the point when the quality along all measurements passes the reception edge, each change along any measurement is adequately a blessing to the clients – who’d be utilizing the item in any case. This is false where upgrades contribute essentially to ubiquity, yet genuine where they don’t.

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