Three quick career tips for engineering managers

This blog has posted some helpful career advice over the years for current and future engineering managers. Some of it can be found in the tales of PTC customers who overcame problems using their own unique skills, and some of it can be found in blogs we regularly post from expert commentators.

Looking back at some of this material, the most compelling career tips are those that encourage engineering managers to hone their business skills and continually broaden horizons. Here’s a list of three career tips that should serve as remind engineering managers of today and tomorrow that to be successful, you need to know about a great deal more than just technology:

1. Think like a businessman. If you’re going to make the business case for new technology or a new approach to a particular product design, you need to be able to speak to decision makers from the business side of the organization. Companies need engineering mangers who understand strategy, planning and who know their way around a balance sheet and income statements.

2. Think outside your discipline. A degree in mechanical engineering may get you that dream job, but to keep it you’ll need to continually enhance your education and learn new things. Just think about all of the technology that goes into products today and how they are increasingly interconnected through the Internet. The rapid pace of technological change means that you’ll need to have great software skills and other abilities that they fall outside of your chosen discipline. 

3. Beef up your communication skills. If you are a manager, or if you want to be one, you’ll need to be able to speak to customers – and not all of them will be people with technical knowledge. You’ll need to be comfortable giving presentations and working with outside suppliers and agencies. Good communication skills will increase your value to the organization by helping you bridge the gap between technical and business professionals.

The video below shows some comments from mechanical engineer Nicola Soper, who tells a great story about how she began her career with a desire to become an astronaut. Her inspiring story is a great example of what it takes to be successful in engineering:

To learn more career tips for current and future engineering managers, read this blog by Barb Schmitz. For more from Barb Schmitz, read this set of tips on the best ways to bring rapid prototyping in-house.

If you’re an engineer or designer looking for a job, or an employer looking for new design talent, point your browsers to the PTC Global Talent Hub.

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