Originally Posted by MikeM
I don't think it's a fine line at all. I don't aspire to a management position and I work for a firm with less than 100 people (industrial, mechanical, & electrical engineers). You'd be hard-pressed to find any of our engineers who've balanced a chemical equation, computed a double integral, or convoluted anything since college. Do we work with those principles day in and day out? Of course, and it is important to understand where all this engineering comes from.
I'm on project teams that design everything from cogen power plants down to the M&E for K-12 schools (and a whole lot in between). I can do 3-phase power calcs and control system design all day long, but get me anywhere microchip design, radio-wave anything, digital signal processing and I'm a babe lost in the woods - despite that I studied that theory in college.
So I guess it not a fine line, but you are in the nitty-griddy of the engineer and design. So you'll use the standards that are out there and theory that you remember to optimize your design, which is awesome. Project managers and people on the commercial side of things got there BS in engineering, but decided to through all that hard work away and be managers and trade power on the business end of stuff. I guess I'm just jaded in that respect. If you want to be on the commercial side of things, be in business school some engineering/business hybrid program, not my engineering class where you're slowing everyone down.
I got my BS to do real science and engineering. They got their BS in engineering to do business. I feel like that devalues my BS, because they are going to forget 80% of what they learned in school for business knowledge they pick up on the job, and then go out and flaunt their BS in engineering like they can still size a piston shaft, design a PID controller, solve differential equations, etc. Its like people with a top of the line gear that can't keep time. They are out out looking hip and cool on stage, but they need to trade in those drums for some lessons.
There are definitely exceptions. Not saying everyone/everywhere is like this.
How did this get so off topic? lol. Sorry.