Penn State Online Degree Will Prepare Engineers for Management Roles

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Penn State’s new master of engineering management program is designed for experienced engineers who want to advance their careers. The online program offers engineers flexibility in learning the business and technical skills they need to manage complex engineering projects. Applications are being accepted for fall 2011.

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The vast majority of engineers who want a graduate degree are already working and have families and other responsibilities. They need the flexibility an online degree offers.

In today’s global work environment, workers no longer have to be in the same building or even the same country to work together on a project. That’s especially true for engineering corporations with teams in multiple locations. Penn State’s new online master of engineering management program aims to help by preparing experienced engineers with the business and technical skills they need to be effective managers of complex engineering projects.

“Engineering students generally do not learn about business in undergraduate programs,” said James A. Nemes, D.Sc., division head and professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies. “Engineers can pick up some business skills through their work experiences, but if they want to advance their career into engineering management, they will need a graduate degree.”

Penn State Great Valley’s Engineering Division is partnering with Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration and School of Science, Engineering and Technology to offer the program, which is being delivered online through Penn State’s World Campus. The 33-credit program is designed for working engineers and can be completed in two years. Students will progress together through the 12 courses, which run in continuous five- or seven-week terms.

Stephen Schappe, Ph.D., director of the School of Business Administration at Penn State Harrisburg, said, “There is a growing need in corporate America for interdisciplinary programs like this online engineering management degree. Our courses integrate both engineering and management issues. Engineers, like all good managers, need to learn foundational knowledge about management and critical thinking skills to be successful.”

Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration faculty members will conduct three courses focusing on the topics of negotiation, communication, teamwork, management, organization, problem solving, and organizational learning.

Penn State Great Valley is offering the program online to reach more engineers who want to become managers. As Nemes pointed out, “The vast majority of engineers who want a graduate degree are already working and have families and other responsibilities. They need the flexibility an online degree offers.”

Penn State’s engineering programs are consistently ranked high among leading U.S. engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Applications for the online master of engineering management are now being accepted for fall semester 2011. Visit the website or call 800-252-3592 for more information.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 70 of Penn State’s most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, which serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

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Deborah A. Benedetti