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Engineer or MBA - who has and should have the upper hand?


Siddharth Sethi

August 18, 2014

Often, I have seen engineers being treated like second rate citizens in the corporate world. They are often times ignored when it comes to making business decisions. Even looked down upon. The MBA types in the hierarchy frown upon suggestions and ideas mooted by the “working class”.

I feel engineers contribute a lot more to any organisation than the managers. The engineers are the ones who are making most of the business decisions that directly impact the end users, more so in the software world. I am not sure if many of the non engineer MBAs understand the importance of what a single line of code, written right or written wrong can do. The impact of charging a customer 10 and not 100 dollars in an ecommerce setup can be devastating.

But the fact of the matter is that any smooth talking MBA can land a much more lucrative and senior position than an excellent engineer who communicates, but just about.

Maybe the engineers themselves are to be blamed for their own plight. They probably need to be more assertive in how they put their points across. It can’t be too difficult. After all engineers are the problem solvers for the problems created by an MBA.

Disclosure – I am in engineer and an MBA. At least by qualification.

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