Advancement in manufacturing is fuzzier

I read your "Career Update" column, "Flexible career development aids lifetime learning," with great interest (Control Engineering, Dec. '98, p.19). One point I would like to add to the discussion is that, in a manufacturing environment, the decision to move to a management role is a little fuzzier than simply making a choice between managing or staying in a technical role.

03/01/1999


I read your "Career Update" column, "Flexible career development aids lifetime learning," with great interest ( Control Engineering , Dec. '98, p.19). One point I would like to add to the discussion is that, in a manufacturing environment, the decision to move to a management role is a little fuzzier than simply making a choice between managing or staying in a technical role.

In manufacturing environments, technical management positions are typically few and far between, usually with an incumbent staying in the role for the long haul. Most available management positions tend to be in the production side of the business. So, the decision process becomes, "Do I want to stay technical?" or "Do I want to stay technical and manage?" or "Do I want to relinquish my technical field and move over to production?"

This is a tough choice for career-minded engineers who enjoy engineering but still want to move ahead relatively quickly. Good piece!


Author Information

David Pearson, electrical engineer, Tredegar Film Products, Terre Haute, Ind.




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