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Thread: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

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    How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

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    Hi friends, I've been accepted to a great engineering PhD program (that does social science research) with faculty I'm very excited about. I've spoken some with them about the job market I could go into, and they're excited about me doing management-style work and publishing in management journals. However, I'm worried that I will be handicapped in the job market for Management programs by virtue of just not graduating from a business school. What do you think?

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    The major accreditation body (AACSB) requires that a minimum percentage of faculty are classified as a certain type of academic researcher which usually translates into having received a PhD from other accredited business schools and being actively involved in research. Thus, many schools list a business PhD from an AACSB school as a minimum job qualification and will not consider candidates without it.
    I do not personally know any engineering PhDs who are tenured faculty in a management department, but I know a couple who have PhDs in IO Psych, Sociology, and Education/leadership.
    I think that you will have a harder time getting a tenure track management position with an engineering PhD compared to a Business PhD. However, you could potentially overcome this if you have a very strong CV (A level pubs in mgmt journals).
    That being said, A level journals are are not easy to publish in and management likely requires a different approach compared to engineering. I think it would be incredibly difficult to accomplish this as a PhD student.
    Did you apply to any management programs? If you are committed to landing a position at a business school, it might be better to wait until the next application season.

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCB View Post
    The major accreditation body (AACSB) requires that a minimum percentage of faculty are classified as a certain type of academic researcher which usually translates into having received a PhD from other accredited business schools and being actively involved in research. Thus, many schools list a business PhD from an AACSB school as a minimum job qualification and will not consider candidates without it.
    I do not personally know any engineering PhDs who are tenured faculty in a management department, but I know a couple who have PhDs in IO Psych, Sociology, and Education/leadership.
    I think that you will have a harder time getting a tenure track management position with an engineering PhD compared to a Business PhD. However, you could potentially overcome this if you have a very strong CV (A level pubs in mgmt journals).
    That being said, A level journals are are not easy to publish in and management likely requires a different approach compared to engineering. I think it would be incredibly difficult to accomplish this as a PhD student.
    Did you apply to any management programs? If you are committed to landing a position at a business school, it might be better to wait until the next application season.
    Thank you for the reply. Do you think having an AACSB PhD matters that much? Looking at the AOM job board, it seems about 10 out of 56 postings require AACSB PhDs. Do you think more than that actually require it, but don't mention it in their posting?

    I would be working with engineering faculty who publish in A-level management journals, so I think my actual training would be comparable. I just worry about how the actual diploma would affect my prospects.

    I was accepted to a couple management programs (at AACSB b-schools), but I don't think they're as good a fit with my research interests.

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    What are you studying? In Operations Management, faculty in business schools are often hired from engineering departments. However, I don't think this is the case for any other business discipline. I would suggest looking at placements from that program (have any PhD students been hired in business schools?) and also look at faculty backgrounds at your target placement schools (do any have PhDs from engineering departments?).

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    Quote Originally Posted by plasticities View Post
    What are you studying? In Operations Management, faculty in business schools are often hired from engineering departments. However, I don't think this is the case for any other business discipline. I would suggest looking at placements from that program (have any PhD students been hired in business schools?) and also look at faculty backgrounds at your target placement schools (do any have PhDs from engineering departments?).
    Thanks. The program is Management Science & Engineering at Stanford, so it does seem geared towards business. They have a lot of placements outside of academia, but I'll ask more about any placements at business schools.

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodLou18 View Post
    Thanks. The program is Management Science & Engineering at Stanford, so it does seem geared towards business. They have a lot of placements outside of academia, but I'll ask more about any placements at business schools.
    If you want to get a job in the Operations Management department of a business school, you should absolutely go to Stanford and not worry about it being in engineering and not business. Most professors that I interviewed with at top business schools have PhDs from engineering departments (one from Stanford). One thing that they pointed out is that most engineering programs accept a lot of students vs. business schools accept only a couple of students each year so there are more opportunities to work closely with several faculty members. The business schools are also much more focused on getting good academic placements for their PhD students vs. engineering schools where some will end up in industry. However, if these are not concerns for you, then go for Stanford and don't worry about it being in engineering and not business. Good job getting into Stanford! If you are focused on publishing in business journals you will have no problem getting a business faculty position!

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    Quote Originally Posted by plasticities View Post
    If you want to get a job in the Operations Management department of a business school, you should absolutely go to Stanford and not worry about it being in engineering and not business. Most professors that I interviewed with at top business schools have PhDs from engineering departments (one from Stanford). One thing that they pointed out is that most engineering programs accept a lot of students vs. business schools accept only a couple of students each year so there are more opportunities to work closely with several faculty members. The business schools are also much more focused on getting good academic placements for their PhD students vs. engineering schools where some will end up in industry. However, if these are not concerns for you, then go for Stanford and don't worry about it being in engineering and not business. Good job getting into Stanford! If you are focused on publishing in business journals you will have no problem getting a business faculty position!
    Thanks for the input. I'm not interested in operations specifically, but maybe that's still where I would need to fit in for a job at a business school. I'll look more into it. Thanks again.

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    Stanford's Management Science & Engineering program has great faculty. The Center on Work, Technology, and Organization is amazing if you are interested in strategy type research / org theory.

    I really don't think you will be handicapped on the job market for going there. You have a chance to work with some of the leading people in the field, on cutting edge projects. I don't know what your other offers are, but you would have a great opportunity there.

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrategicMGMT View Post
    Stanford's Management Science & Engineering program has great faculty. The Center on Work, Technology, and Organization is amazing if you are interested in strategy type research / org theory.

    I really don't think you will be handicapped on the job market for going there. You have a chance to work with some of the leading people in the field, on cutting edge projects. I don't know what your other offers are, but you would have a great opportunity there.
    The other schools are less generally prestigious than Stanford and have fewer faculty whose work really interests me, but it may still be worthwhile for the access to more b-school jobs upon graduation.

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    Re: How does an engineering PhD look on the management job market?

    What are your other offers?

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