Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a MEML degree?

An engineering management degree can provide you with the leadership, management, and communication skills needed to advance your career from engineering manager to VP of engineering to Chief Technical Officer (CTO). It helps to put the individual contributor on to the technical management track.

Is the MEML program different from MEM programs?

Typically called a Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree, the Rice version of this degree emphasizes the program’s focus on creating manager leaders who can both manage projects and inspire and lead people.”

Which is better, a MEML or an MBA?

It depends on your passion. Are you someone at a company (or an entrepreneur) who wants to lead engineering, or are you interested in leaving engineering or other related technical areas to branch out into a company? While an MBA provides broad understanding of the core business disciplines (e.g., accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, etc.), the MEML provides engineers with vital engineering management and leadership skills and advanced engineering insights so that they can advance in their careers as engineering managers and ultimately engineering executives (e.g., senior director, VP of Engineering, CTO, etc.). The MEML is not a combination of engineering and business management, it fills the knowledge gap between them.

Is a Master of Engineering Management and Leadership a STEM degree?

Yes. While the focus of the MEML degree is to develop the leadership and management skills necessary to lead teams of engineers and technical professionals, there is also a strong focus on helping engineers leverage advanced STEM knowledge to connect the fundamental workings of new technology products and ideas to economic outcomes.

What is Industry 4.0?

Companies thriving in the fourth industrial revolution are a part of Industry 4.0 (I4). Industry 4.0 technologies consist of artificial intelligence (machine learning), big data interactions, autonomous robotics and vehicles, additive manufacturing, digital twins, blockchain, advanced materials, quantum computing, augmented reality, cloud computing, cyber-security, simulation-based engineering, and the internet of things. I4 companies develop data-enabled technologies and processes that lead to radically smarter and connected products and services.

Why is the Rice MEML degree unique?

The Rice MEML will develop engineering leaders who not only have fundamental technical management skills, but who also can put an Industry 4.0 ‘lens’ on technical problems, ideas, and products and understand how solutions can be best realized via existing and Industry 4.0 technologies. MEM graduates will be able to lead and manage teams of engineers to continually create ethical-technical product solutions to societal problems; solutions that consider user data and leverage Industry 4.0 technologies.

Why should companies hire Rice MEML graduates?

Today, all companies must become technology companies. For companies to take full advantage of Industry 4.0 (I4), they must hire people who have been extensively educated on the best ways of leading, managing and inspiring teams of engineers and technical professionals in this new technology era. Companies who want to accelerate their pace of technology innovation will need engineering leaders, Rice MEML graduates, who can harness the full power of teams comprised of digital natives and traditional engineers and technical professionals. Whether a hard hat or a software engineer, companies will need an engineering leader manager to not only help their engineering units become I4 ready, but to help engineering organizations put an I4 ‘lens’ atop of existing engineering leadership practices and know how to update them.

Will a MEM professional master’s degree increase my salary potential?

According to the job and recruiting site Glassdoor, a survey of nearly 4000 Engineers and Engineering Managers (in Houston, TX) indicated that the average base pay for engineers is nearly $80,000 a year, while engineering management pays an average of $122,000 per year.

Why should I pursue an engineering professional master’s degree at Rice University?

Rice University is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. Therefore, companies in Houston and Texas are aggressive about hiring Rice graduates. Rice also has a long history of its engineering graduates becoming executives at Fortune 500 companies. While many MEML graduates will choose to remain at their companies outside of Texas, some MEML graduates will choose to remain in or come to Texas or Houston.