Working as a computer engineer usually involves programming software, mobile apps or middleware to help software communicate more successfully. It’s an exciting field with plenty of new developments, but how about when reaching management level?
Is the typical computer engineer suitable as a manager or should an outsider be brought in to manage a team of coders, social media managers and other experts in their own right?
Let’s look at this now to see which solution is the most suitable.
What Training Do Computer Engineers Usually Have?
Some are completely self-taught while others have been through a few online courses on specific languages and perhaps learned about social media marketing for good measure.
There’s also some who have a Computer Science degree course under their belt. These engineers have more well-rounded education on the subject matter, but they’re no managers. This is often because they’ve never studied management or corporate finance to appreciate how business decisions at the management level are made which impact the whole organization.
Is It a Better Idea to Bring in a Non-Coder from Outside?
Generally, it’s a terrible idea to have someone who’s never written a line of code in their life come in to manage people who’ve made that their life’s work.
Why is that? Because they have no appreciation of what’s involved in putting together a complex mobile app, Windows application or SaaS. The difficulties, the intricacies and how people must work together towards a common goal are difficult for an outsider to fully appreciate.
Also, it will be very difficult for a tight-knit group of programmers, social media managers and other technicians to trust and follow a leader who’s not stood in their shoes. They won’t believe any targets or goals set will be realistic or reasonable either. And quite often, they’d be right! Staff retention will become increasingly problematic in this environment too.
So, What’s the Answer?
For computer engineers looking to their future, getting into a management level position is the way to boost their salary over time. Given employers’ predilection for younger computer engineers over seasoned ones, it behooves engineers that are getting older to get into a position to rise up the ranks as a way to extend their career.
Studying for an MBA at the University of Redlands provides a wealth of knowledge for a technical person to broaden their skillset. Instead of a narrow concentration on computer engineering topics, as a student they would learn about finance, marketing and other subjects covered in a typical MBA degree. This would provide them with the clout to get on the promotional track to lead teams of younger computer engineers successfully.It’s stands to reason that as companies continue to outsource tasks through offshore workers to optimize expenses wherever they can, becoming more valuable is essential. Growing into someone who’s capable of leading regardless of whether the team is in the local office, remote working or on the other side of the world, it avoids appearing as a replaceable cog in the wheel. This provides enough career longevity for older engineers to feather the nest for a little while longer.