I have a BS in Engineering Management (EE minor) from UMR and it was the
right decision FOR ME. Although my interest and aptitude pointed me in the
direction of an electrical engineering degree, I was really bored and
UNinterested in the engineering studies and I decided, after 3 1/2 years to
change to Eng Mgt. That was in the early '70's when the Department was just
That decision was influenced by summer jobs that I had (in sales of radio
and TV broadcast equipment). I was able to use my technical background to
help me sell a sophisticated technical product. So, Eng Mgt was the right
choice for me. "Your results may vary."
A better choice would be the full engineering degree followed by an MBA.
That's a dynamite combination if you have the time, money and inclination to
spend the extra time in school. I didn't.
It all depends on what you want to do in life. I have enjoyed traveling all
over the country, meeting high-powered folks, solving complicated
technical/business problems, having freedom and a flexible work schedule and
making lots of money! I would not be happy sitting a a desk/bench crunching
numbers or running experiments - but that's just me. You need to figure out
what YOU like.
So, how do you do that? Start with your faculty advisor. You will be
assigned one when you enroll. He/she won't have lots of time to spend with
you but you should establish a good relationship with him.
The first year or two of your studies are basic stuff. Take that time to
seek out engineers and engineering managers in your area. Go out and talk
with people who actually WORK in a certain career field. Ask what they do
on a daily / weekly / monthly basis. Find out what they like and don't like
about their jobs. The chairman of the Eng Mgt department and the EE
department (I assume your are intereasted in EE) should be able to help you
make contact with these folks. Call them up, tell them you are interested
in their career field and would like some advice. Most professionals are
happy to offer their advice to students - especially if you are a Miner and
they are graduates of UMR.
Remember. marketing brochures and "department propoganda" paint a rosey
picture of the benefits of a degree from their respective departments.
Incidentally, make as many contacts as you can. You will be looking for a
job in a few years and it never hurts to have a network of professionals
when you are seeking employment.
Find a summer job in your field of engineering and one (the next year) in
engineering management. This will give you valuable insight into the career
Finally, realistically speaking, during the first couple of years at UMR you
will be taking mostly generic courses. You really don't need to make a
committment to Eng. Mgt right away. Stick with EE and take those courses
(youi're going to need those course credits if you transfer to Eng Mgt
anyway). If you LIKE engineering, great. If not, change departments - it's
easy. You don't have to make a FINAL department selection when you first
enroll in school.
Information is the key. Get as much information as you can. Assimilate
that information and, over time, form your own conclusion. Then go for it!