Engineering Management or Operations Management: What Are They and Which is Best for You?

Greg Parnell
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Greg Parnell

Greg Parnell, director of the M.S. in Engineering Management and M.S. in Operations Management programs, will discuss the differences and similarities between engineering management and operations management in the latest installment in the Lunch and Learn Webinar Series at noon, Wednesday, March 9.

Register for the webinar.

For an organization that sells or provides technology-driven products and services to be successful, engineering managers need to understand operations management and operations managers need to understand engineering management.  

Organizations have different names for engineering management including R&D, technology management and product development.  Engineering managers usually have undergraduate engineering degrees. An M.S. in engineering management provides the skills for engineers to become project managers and engineering managers. Many organizations have different names for operations, including supply chain management, manufacturing, transportation and distribution to name a few. Operations managers have a wide variety of undergraduate degrees. An M.S. in operations management provides the skills to lead and manage operations. 

This presentation compares and contrasts the two master's degree programs and is designed to help you identify the best program for you. In addition, the various graduate certificate programs will be discussed as well as new micro certificates available in summer 2022.

The Department of Industrial Engineering in the College of Engineering has two professional graduate degree programs: The M.S.O.M. in operations management and the M.S. in engineering management. The operations management program began in 1974 and is designed for professionals from a broad range of backgrounds including business and government operations. Students learn how to create value to the production of goods and services while working with worldwide suppliers and customers. The engineering management program began in 2017 and prepares engineers to lead and manage teams, projects and organizations with technical workforces to meet strategic objectives. The programs also include graduate certificates in operations management, engineering management, project management, Lean Six Sigma and homeland security to broaden student understanding of current skills needed by operations and engineering managers. All programs have a goal of "Learn It Today. Use It Tomorrow."


Karin A. Hickenbotham, marketing and communications, Department of Industrial Engineering
College of Engineering


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