Portrait of a Manager

by Paul Tarricone, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 8, Pg. 52-54


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Although some are born leaders, most managers are actually created. In a perfect world, the young engineer would receive a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, specializing, say, in structures. For the next several years, he would hone technical skills and gradually be exposed to project management concepts, perhaps working with an in-house mentor. Soon after, he would pursue a master's degree, either in a technical discipline or in engineering management, as a full- or part-time student. After conquering the role of project manager, our engineer begins to oversee other project managers, while learning the nuances of organization management. Some years later, the process is complete and the manager is made. But in the real world, financial considerations and differing career paths mean that managers are created in a variety of ways. At the 1990 ASCE Education Conference, a task force identified at least four ways of creating managers: Undergraduate training; graduate and continuing education; employer in-house training programs; and by seat-of-the-pants experience. Experts discuss the merits of these four methods.

Subject Headings: Engineering education | Management | Managers | Professional development | Training | Continuing education

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