Two years after completing his bachelor’s degree, Januario Mendes wanted to upgrade his engineering skills while gaining business expertise that could position him to move into leadership as his career advances.
After some research, he decided that only one master’s program fit what he was looking for – the online Dual Master of Science in Engineering (MS/MSE) + Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Purdue University. The program combines technical training in engineering with valuable management training, giving students the skills they need to confidently step into leadership positions at the intersection of engineering and business.
“Since graduating, I have transitioned into a more senior engineering role in which I gained managerial responsibilities,” said Mendes, who graduated in the fall of 2022 and is a senior industrial engineer with Cummins, Inc., in Columbus, Ind. “My master's degree has prepared and equipped me with the skills and knowledge required to help my peers and coach other fellow junior engineers.”
The dual master’s program is one reason Purdue has been ranked No. 1 in Best Online Master's in Engineering Management programs by U.S. News and World Report for two years running. Purdue's overall online graduate engineering program has consistently ranked among the top three programs by U.S. News & World Report and ranked No. 2 in 2023.
In addition to the dual degree program, Purdue offers an online Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree (MSE/MS) with a concentration in Engineering Management and Leadership, designed for professionals who want to move into team lead- or project management-type positions but don’t feel the need for a full MBA.
“There's a common need for technical engineers as they move into management and supervisory positions to expand out beyond their engineering courses,” said John Fassnacht, principal managing director of online programs for Purdue’s College of Engineering.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the engineering management job market is projected to grow 2% through 2031 with a median salary exceeding $150,000. Earning an advanced degree provides a competitive edge for engineers looking to advance to management and supervisory roles.
Employers are also looking for engineers with interdisciplinary skillsets. Communication and business acumen – both emphasized in Purdue’s programs – are two particularly important skills often overlooked by traditional engineering programs.
Austin Nagy originally enrolled in Purdue’s online Engineering Management and Leadership master’s program because his employer at the time, General Motors, sponsored it. But Nagy, who graduated in the spring of 2022, stayed with it even after he change employers because he felt that Purdue had established a high-quality online program. That persistence has paid off for Nagy, quality manager at Knox Company in Phoenix, Ariz.
“As I was finishing my degree, I was able to negotiate a promotion at my current company from quality engineer to quality manager,” Nagy said. “From a networking perspective, I do find many more recruiters reach out to me for job opportunities.”
Besides such material benefits, completing Purdue’s program has been a win from a professional development perspective for Nagy.
“Furthering my education has given me a seat at every table in the company,” Nagy said. “My perspectives on management and corporate strategy have changed significantly and I find more and more employees reaching out for consultation. From a purely technical standpoint, I find myself able to not only participate but lead in almost all technical operations decisions we make.”
The bottom line, Nagy said: “The Purdue program was fun and a good investment in myself.”
To learn more, visit this website to access online information sessions about Purdue University’s interdisciplinary engineering degree programs and to meet with enrollment counselors.