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What would be a good technical degree to combine with an MBA that would allow me to be an executive of a technical/scientific company.

I am a senior and thinking of going into Biomedical engineering and then later going on to become a business executive. I don't really think that I am going to become a practicing engineer (but you never know). I began questioning whether I wanted to do all the work for a engineering major if I never become an engineer. I was thinking maybe physics or something like that? #engineering #science #buisness #mba #executive

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Mathew’s Answer

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Hi Deshawn,
This is an interesting question that you presented. Since you're a senior in high-school, its awesome to see you're thinking so far ahead with with your career plans!

As an executive with an MBA, I personally believe that the work you do in college (i.e. your Major and internships) combined with all the work you do after college will strongly impact the type of business school you go to for your MBA and ultimately the type of business executive you might become.
What type of work do you want to do as a business executive (i.e. Marketing, Finance, Sales, Biz Dev, Product Mgmt etc) and would you like to remain in the Biomedical industry?

Here are some things you might want to consider:
1.) Before you get an MBA, remember most top tier business schools will require you to have a minimum of 2-3 years post-college work experience. This ensures that when you finish the MBA, you can transition into a higher-level career opportunity and potentially become an executive in the future.

2.)The type of work experience you get after you graduate college will most-likely be based on the internships you did in college and your major (i.e. engineering, physics, Econ etc.).

3.) So what does this mean If you study biomedical engineering as your major and you get internships in that field? It means you are more likely to get a full-time job in that field when you graduate. Plus your engineering experience combined with a future MBA will likely give you much more knowledge and skills needed to likely needed to likely become an executive in the biomedical industry.

However, what you need to consider is that an engineering background may or may not be a requirement for the type of executive you want to become. So as next steps, think about the type of executive you want to be? The type of Job you want to do? and the type of company you want to work for? Now, interview some of these types of executives and they'll tell you if an engineering degree is necessary for the type of work they do. For example, if you plan to become a marketing executive at a big biomedical company, than it might be better to have a minor in engineering or physics combined with a major in Marketing. Hopefully this answer was somewhat helpful to you.

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Gordon’s Answer

Hi, having an MBA is no gurantee of becoming a Corp exec. I have seen plenty of colleagues who have both and thought that was the ticket, Follow your passion and interest, in my case mechanical engineering in getting the manufacturing floor to run with perfect parts like I did at Toyota (NUMMI) nfor 10 yrs in Fremont, CA. Then became an independent contract engineer for 16 yrs in PA while my son was growing up (now 21). My engineering gave me more flexabilty in my job options/carrer. Still doing contract engineering (just myself as my wife died). So while you have no family responsibilities other than to yourself, follow your interests, you will be doing what you want to do for some time.

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Shreeraj’s Answer

I think if you have a good engineering/econ/accounting background then that would make your MBA ride much smoother because I have seen students struggling with econ/accounting subjects after joining B school. So if you have prior knowledge in those fields, nothing like it.


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Eric’s Answer

I like your ambition!

Right now, probably the hottest fields to enter are those that combine Computer Science and Statistics. The combination is often referred to as Data Science or Data Analytics. I'm thinking of doing graduate work in this field myself. I believe those with this background will have many lucrative job offers because it combines two skills that are in-demand and hard to find.

An MBA is great but, unless you go to a top 25 program, you might find it has limited value. There are just too many people with MBAs and, to be frank, it's a degree that many people can attain. On the other hand, not many people have the technical skills needed to be good in programming software or doing multivariable Calculus.

If you are a math and computer kinda person, a degree that combines the two will be more valuable than an MBA. I believe Google and Apple would much rather have someone with a masters degree in Data Science than an MBA.