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Intersections Of Engineering And Management: What Do The Data Show?

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.369.1 - 3.369.18

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Paper Authors

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Linda Parker

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Lawrence Burton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2242

Intersections of Engineering and Management:

What Do the Data Show?

Lawrence Burton, Linda Parker National Science Foundation

The opinions and findings in this paper are solely those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Science Foundation.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Engineering Workforce Project is a set of studies to identify, examine, and describe important dynamics of the portion of the U.S. workforce that includes (1) engineering degree recipients at the baccalaureate or higher degree level, and (2) people in engineering occupations with and without engineering degrees. The Project addresses a wide range of topics, including those related to educational backgrounds, occupations, job activities, and mid-career training. (See Appendix A for more information on the Project, including data sources and how to order publications.) It will also examine changes in the profession of engineering in the latter half of this century.

This paper is based on Project analyses that examine a pervasive theme in engineering practice: the intersections of engineering and management. The relationship between engineering and management is discussed in three ways. First, the complete educational histories of persons with a degree in engineering—in terms of degrees obtained at the baccalaureate level or above—are discussed with emphasis on combinations of engineering and degrees in business or management. Second, patterns between different educational histories and movement into management occupations are described. Finally, the involvement of practicing engineers in management activities is estimated.1

1 Findings in this paper are based on interviews with 37,000 persons with at least a baccalaureate degree and at least one degree in engineering at the baccalaureate or higher level. Data throughout have been weighted to national population estimates as of the appropriate reference date, i.e., April 1993 or April 1995, depending on which survey year is being discussed. In NSF’s coding of occupations, senior managers—i.e., managers of managers—are coded as non- engineering occupations. Thus in this paper “engineers” and “managers” are discrete groups of employees. However, in the second section of this paper the authors present an estimate of “technical managers” with educational backgrounds in engineering and jobs that require technical backgrounds.

Parker, L., & Burton, L. (1998, June), Intersections Of Engineering And Management: What Do The Data Show? Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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