Should You Consider an MBA? | AIChE

You are here

Should You Consider an MBA?

Professional Development

In this article, three chemical engineers describe their experiences pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and give advice for those considering returning to school for an MBA.

Many chemical engineers find that a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a perfect complement to their chemical engineering experience. Being an engineer in an MBA program is rare, but not unheard of. Approximately 15.7% of MBA students have engineering degrees (1), and about 8.5% of engineering bachelor’s degrees are earned in chemical engineering (2).

In one ranking of the top 100 performing CEOs in 2018, 34 of the top 100 CEOs had an engineering degree, and eight had both an engineering degree and an MBA (3). The skills taught to engineering students have direct benefits when applied to an MBA program. “Scientists and engineers naturally have a long-term perspective because what motivates us is game-changing technology and being associated with something that’s going to change the world in a positive way,” writes David A. Patterson (Univ. of California, Berkeley) (4).

This article presents a Q&A with three chemical engineers looking to change the world with their MBAs. The first engineer, Samantha Salazar, is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co., and graduated from Harvard Business School with her MBA in 2019. Elizabeth Horahan, a Recruiting Operations Leader at Lutron Electronics, pursued a part-time MBA program with a supply chain concentration at Lehigh Univ. and received her MBA in 2013. The third engineer who participated in the Q&A is Elizabeth Haughton, a Program Manager at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, who attended the Moore School of Business at the Univ. of South Carolina (UofSC) part-time and graduated in 2020.

All three engineers pursued their MBAs at different points in their careers and were motivated by different factors. Here, they share their advice and experiences for those engineers who are also interested in pursuing an MBA...

Would you like to access the complete CEP Article?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. AIChE Membership

    You must be an AIChE member to view this article. Join now.

Copyright Permissions 

Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.