Project Management in Engineering?

engineering

Post #50 You Are Also a Project Manager

You might wonder what in the world project management has to do with engineering.  Project management in engineering is a given; they go hand in hand.  And, I’d like to point out some good news for you.  You are currently project managing.  Even better – you should be using the keywords ‘project management’ on your resume.  I will tell you why.

project management

What Does Project Management Mean?

It depends on who you ask.  Different people have different meanings in the workplace.  Project management in engineering terms may look different than it does in business or in finance.  It is always your responsibility to understand the context in which your employer uses language.  As a very general statement, most working professionals would agree that project management is the act of delivering a quality product within budget and on time.  If you want to get formal about the definition, you can investigate the Project Management Institute (PMI) website.  They administer a PM standard as well as an exam for project management professionals.

Why Do Engineers Need to Know?

You’re an engineer.  Eventually, you will be going about your engineering job wherever you end up.  Let’s break down the general definition of project management and see how it applies to you as an engineer.  Firstly, you will be involved in the delivery of a quality product.  You will be part of the process to create or improve something.  Secondly, you will be getting paid to do so.  This means as you create or improve your product, your employer does not want to overpay.  Thirdly, you will have a deadline.  As an engineer, you will play a role in producing a high-quality, low-cost product before its due date.  Whether working solo or on a team, you will be held responsible one way or another.

resume

How to List Project Management on your Resume

You are project managing every day.  As an engineering student, you have multiple tasks to allocate and roles to fill.  This list may not apply to you 100% but allow me to list a few.  You pay bills and you may have a job, car or roommates.  We know you have homework, courses and projects (see Post #48).  Don’t forget about eating, sleeping, cleaning, and laundry.  Then you need time for family, friends, activities and down time.  What I’m saying is that you are managing your life by allocating resources (time and money) based on your judgements.  As a manger of your own life and your own time, you are applying practical applications of project management.

In conclusion, you may not be able to list project management on your resume as an official job title.  However, project management in engineering exists in your list of accomplishments, courses, activities, projects and hobbies.

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