Business administration graduate degree importance relative to personnel transition from engineering to management membership

The objective of this thesis was to investigate the hypothesis that the attainment of a Master's Degree in Business Administration is more beneficial than attainment of an advanced engineering degree for the engineer who is assigned the responsibilities of management. The primary source of data was 500 questionnaires returned by managers who had previously been trained or employed by engineers. Combined with these data findings were the results of other studies in similar areas of research. The investigation reviewed the education, experience and training of the engineer. A comparison was then made between the background of the engineer and the management function to determine the adequacy of the engineer's preparation for the administrative and technical responsibilities assumed by him as manager. Determination of the educational needs of the technical manager was then made, followed by an analysis of the effects of participation in either a Master of Business Administration program or a graduate Engineering program. The investigation did not prove, but did reveal positive indications that the proposed hypothesis was valid. It was found that neither the engineeer's preparation for his profession, nor his work experience placed sufficient emphasis upon disciplines required of him as a manager. Technical requirements of the management position, however, had been relatively well-satisfied. It was also found that managers with an M.B.A. degree had relatively fewer educational needs pertaining to the management function, and they experienced less difficulty in making the transition into management. As a result, they eventually were of greater value to their organization.