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5 Exciting Business Careers for Engineers and Computer Scientists

5 Exciting Business Careers for Engineers and Computer Scientists main image

Sponsored by IE Business School

Not all computer science jobs are confined to tiny office spaces, nor do all engineering jobs involve wearing hard hats and high-vis jackets.

For a start, did you know that 47 percent of CEOs in the F100 companies have a bachelor of science degree, or that 'engineering is the most common undergraduate degree of the Fortune 500 CEOs'?

There’s a reason why engineering and computer science graduates are highly-sought after in business. Their ability to ‘think outside the box’, pay attention to small details, understand numbers and think logically - along with their ability to solve complex problems and utilize their technical expertise - is highly valued. 

If you’re weighing up the decision between pursuing a career in business and engineering, or business and computer science, you’ll be happy to learn you can indeed do both. But what type of business careers are engineer and computer science graduates well suited to?

Consultant

Average business consultant salary: US$73,478

Consultants work across all areas of business and industries, from healthcare to education, IT to cyber security, offering expert advice on know how to maximize returns on a business’ strategy as well as helping with the business’ day-to-day projects.

Consultancy is often regarded as a sociable role where you will work face-to-face with clients. This means your interpersonal and communication skills will need to be first-class.

Above all else, you will need to have a head for numbers (looking at you engineers and computer scientists), and also possess excellent IT skills as you’ll need to analyze statistics, conduct market research, assess the outcomes of proposed strategies and successfully implement relevant procedures you’ve developed.

Competition for a consultancy role is tough. Having relevant qualifications, such as the Tech MBA offered at IE Business School, can help increase your prospects of getting your foot in the consultancy door.

Supply chain manager

Average supply chain manager salary: US$82,113

Roles in supply chain management are good for those who are analytical thinkers. Engineers in particular tend to have good systemic thought processes meaning their ability to manage plans, resources and cross-functional teams is something that is highly desirable in a business setting.

As a supply chain manager it’s your job to maximize the efficiency and productivity of the entire production flow by managing and overseeing supply chain logistics and operations. While this may not seem overly linked to business, this bit will…

In order to ensure the process is as efficient as possible you’ll need to collaborate and liaise with all business teams including finance, sales, operations and customer services. This is to ensure positive working relationships are maintained with distributors and traders while the movement of goods to the stores from distribution centers goes as smoothly as possible.

IT business analyst

Average IT business analyst salary: US$68,548

Bridging the gap between IT and business, engineering graduates and computer science graduates will excel in this role as your operational knowledge of analytics, computer literacy and leadership skills will be vital.

The roles and responsibilities of an IT business analyst vary. You will need to be comfortable analyzing large amounts of data in order to devise relevant technological and general business solutions, while working to enhance the quality of the business’ IT services and products.

Extensive experience along with a relevant undergraduate degree and a master’s such as a Tech MBA is necessary for this type of career path. 

Digital strategist

Average digital strategist salary: US$58,898

The term ‘digital strategist’ would have been an almost alien concept twenty years ago. In today’s world, advancements in technology means seeing emerging roles such as ‘digital strategist’ becoming just as usual as a consultant, business analyst and project manager.

Expectations of the roles and responsibilities of a strategist can vary dramatically depending on your specialized area. In this instance, digital strategists work cross-functionally with their own team and a business to help develop the business’ digital strategy in order to bring together the business’ values, objectives and its customers’ needs.

You’ll need to understand applications of technology and how best to devise an action plan for the business/client’s campaign. The ability to think critically and creatively along with possessing good business knowledge are a sure-fire way of finding yourself breaking into this particular industry.

Project manager

Average project manager salary: US$73,654

While engineering graduates are renowned as being effective project planners, computer science graduates are well-acquainted with applications of technology. Today, 84 percent of employers want business graduates who possess a technical and quantitative skillset. As a project manager, you’re in a great position to use your engineering or computer science knowledge to the max and be in a position to create real value for society.

If you’re a tech-savvy innovator who wants to take your career in a different direction, you might want to consider the Tech MBA to help get you started. Applying your knowledge of engineering or computer science principles to business practice, as a project manager you will oversee projects, as well as handle budgets, resources and manage personnel and teams.

Almost half of employers plan to place their new MBA graduates into a strategy/innovation role, demonstrating a clear demand for graduates who can fill the talent gap. So while talk of innovation, transformation and technology may seem like it’s becoming old news, over the last few years advancements in these areas have been quite extraordinary.

How to get there…

If you’re from an engineering or computer science background and like the idea of venturing into a more business-focused role, having the right experience and qualifications can help increase your prospects.

An MBA, for example, can help set the foundations of your business knowledge allowing you to expand your professional portfolio, therefore increasing your marketability as an employee. The MBA isn’t exclusive to those with a business background. Engineers and computer scientists translate well over to the MBA too!

The Tech MBA at IE Business School will experience its first intake in September 2020 and is the ideal platform for those who are looking to enhance their knowledge of technology and management, as well as enhance their transformation leadership skills.

Lead image credit: IE Business School

Written by Stephanie Lukins

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopMBA.com and TopUniversities.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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