Q: I recently heard of a Business Engineering degree but am not sure what it is. Can you please guide me on the nature of this degree and where I can study it?

In today’s world, it isn’t enough to just be an engineer. Or just be a business person. If the last six months have taught us anything, it is that the digital and business worlds are now one, and for a company to succeed, it must successfully incorporate both. Thus, there is a boom in hiring for employees who can successfully bring skills from both backgrounds to a company.

Business Engineering is a programme that synthesises business administration with technology – people with this degree usually form the bridge between commercial and technological teams in a company. Along with understanding of business processes, the job requires knowledge of digitisation, information technology and the effect of interaction between people and technology in an organisation. It’s a programme which adds value both to entrepreneurs and those who would like to influence business development in their organisation. In addition to this, as companies rapidly undergo digital transformation, the ability to straddle both the business and technological worlds will prove critical to survive and grow.

The business engineering degree helps provide students with expertise in both fields and includes training students in making quantitative decisions in a business environment. Alongside this, students get hands-on training in operations management as well an awareness on how innovations work in an organisation.

The programme usually consists of three main components – production and organisation; purchasing and sales; and services. In production and organisation, the student learns how to add value to an enterprise. In purchasing and sales, you will study how to analyse data and consumer behaviour. In services, you learn how projects are developed and how contracts are written and developed.

The business engineer is a hybrid between a commercial and technical role thereby offering more flexibility and promise than just an engineering degree. It offers the ideal platform and opportunity for growth for mechanical engineers or those in similarly technical engineering roles. A typical job description would include using financial analysis to evaluate business opportunities, interacting with customers and providing commercial and technical support and supporting and training the organisation in technical, commercial and marketing tasks.

Similar to business engineering, engineering management is a programme which employs management studies in an engineering context and can be seen as a variant of this degree.

Typically, graduates of this discipline will find employment in the auto industry, computer science, project management, and aviation, electrical and engineering jobs.

Universities that offer a Business Engineering course would include NUS Singapore, Emory, Pennsylvania State, Drexel, Warwick and Lehigh.

Sanjeev Verma is the managing director of Intelligent Partners, a leading education consultancy based in Dubai (sanjeev@intelligentpartners.com, www.intelligentpartners.com). Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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