mooudn wrote: ↑Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:36 am
Hi folks - Thanks again for everyone's suggestions...I re-read everyone's comments and came up with this summary of options (and some follow up questions that might help me narrow down things). I've ruled out JD and MD degrees as I don't have a lot of interest in those subject matters.
- stay within Civil
Lateral change into Structural
Civil design firm or Construction management
Other than management consulting what else can i do with an MBA on top of a CE degree? What doors will this open? the management consulting lifestyle isn't for me long term (I'm not so keen on joining Mckinsey and the like and I don't think I have the personality)
At your age, you are very unlikely to be hired by BCG-Bain-McKinsey. If you were First in your class at West Point, and exiting as an army captain + top 10 MBA, maybe yes. People at your age in those firms are Engagement Managers and are being groomed for partnership (although less than 1 in 10 will make that).
Top 4 ie EY PwC Deloitte KPMG? Maybe. But, again, the Senior Managers are that age.
It's very hard, from a top 10 MBA in your early 30s, to get into the prestigious jobs in the consulting-investment banking track.
- exec MBA
move laterally into management in the field I am in. Are we talking team lead? My company has technical team leads and managers and none of them have MBA degrees. Are we talking more like vice presidents etc? Does the exec MBA degree have to be from a top university?
Generally exec MBAs don't carry the kudos of the FT MBAs, from the same school. Some schools don't even allow access to the same recruiters in on campus recruitment programmes. And these days, the summer internship is really the job interview for post MBA, and an exec MBA would not be able to exploit that.
Most of the exec MBA programmes do however have distance-learning type options. Such as online classes during term time and then intensive "study weeks" where you get together. You can do a U of Chicago MBA in London, for example. And of course with Covid-19 *all* MBAs will be on-line this next year (pretty much, I assume).
So you can do a pretty prestigious exec MBA without living in say Philadelphia (Wharton).
Anyways half decent MBA programme will give you the learning. There may also be more specialised degrees e.g. in Project Management - ie that are relevant directly to your field.
What you can do with an exec MBA in your field, I don't know.
- coding/software development
what doors can coding intertwined with geotechnical engineering open? CE software design firms perhaps? What kind of classes should I take on online platforms such as edx or coursera to be hired by CE software design companies?
Over to our colleagues for thoughts. Might even be worth another thread. There is always ESRI - as I understand it, far and away the world's leader in geographic information systems (things like what pipes & wires are under a given intersection, etc).
I think, though, you would make a mistake if you chased a coding job simply for more money. Coding is a very tough, ascetic discipline - lots of hard concentration & debugging. It's a bit like (I imagine) writing poetry in an ancient language that no one speaks any longer.
What you need to know is whether you really like coding because then there is a greater chance that you will pour yourself into it and find an opportunity that is relevant. It's going to be a hard slog - what people ideally want is undergrad CS or EE + maybe a masters, then boom into the high pressure, high prestige employers (Goldman Sachs now competes against Google & Facebook to hire top coders, I gather). Or there are lots of people out there who don't work in those environments but make decent money coding for software houses or corporates.
- data science
I feel like this is more business oriented. will it any any value to my CE degree?
I worry how many people and degrees seem to be chasing this area. Again it's a question of finding out if you find it really interesting. Because if you do, you can work towards the combination of credentials and experience that might get you hired in it.
So I would look at online introductory courses in the field.
Looking forward to your feedback. From the summary above what's the best degree or certificate to obtain that would add the most value to my engineering degree? Is it the MBA or coding?
I do suggest reading Herminia Ibarra Working Identities
- about how career change works in real life. And What Color is your Parachute
, about the whole job change enterprise (and some useful self-diagnostic exercises).
It will be easier, and probably more lucrative, to find a different niche in civil engineering than in an unrelated subject.
I was in your shoes, at a later stage in life with more capital accumulated. I took a Masters degree (evening course) in something that really interested me which had no possible career relevance. Then, simply surfing online, I found an opportunity related to that field which I was actually qualified for (the financial side rather than the science side). And got that job. Took a pay cut but including pension it's net-net about even.
So at a stage in life when I expected to be doing the same thing for another 10 years (having done it for 10 already) and then to retire, instead I changed direction again. But looking back, I can see how I managed to incorporate parts of all my previous roles into this role.
I think you have a pretty good idea of what actually really interests you, what would lead to greater commitment. I think that is likely to be a better life outcome than chasing some high paying job on Wall Street or in consulting that you are unlikely to actually get.
The question is whether you can afford, financially, to pursue that interest now, or you have to say you are going to build up capital and keep it as an interest, perhaps going into that area later in life, or in retirement.