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Science and Management

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sat May 18, 2013 11:26 am

Those that have a science background who are in management or looking to get into management, and looking for a job, may be interested in what one of my Cranfield alumni is doing. Kim has set up a recruitment agency covering that sector and yes, she does have a PhD in science as well as an MBA. Here's a very recent article on what she is doing: http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba ... dium=email It may well be worth getting in contact wit her.
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Re: Science and Management

Postby Brian Jordan » Sat May 18, 2013 6:31 pm

It's a pity there's a need for a recruitment firm for Ph.D.s who wish to leave science. I suppose there's no money at all in finding recruits for jobs in science - the employers will just take the next good candidate from an endless queue.
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Re: Science and Management

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun May 19, 2013 9:56 am

Brian Jordan wrote:It's a pity there's a need for a recruitment firm for Ph.D.s who wish to leave science. I suppose there's no money at all in finding recruits for jobs in science - the employers will just take the next good candidate from an endless queue.


There's no doubt that the money is in management; the average annual salary of a Cranfield MBA a few years back was £80K. Moreover, there appears to be a glut of PhDs whatever their subject is. Still, my basic argument is that a PhD in science is a very good tool in management. I've long been impressed by some of my colleagues, and family, who have taken that route. Physics, in particular, is exceedingly useful in the areas I work in. They grasp precisely what radio waves can do as well as the associated mathematics. Somebody with competence has to manage businesses applying advanced and rapidly changing applied technology.

I'm also strongly inclined to the view that MBAs are a good way of producing professional managers rather than the "pick it up as you go along" viewpoint. My view is that the MBA has been the prime vehicle for the huge improvements in management quality since I graduated way back in the early 1980s. Prior to the rise of the MBA, the typical "professional" route into management was accountancy and I don't think a process-oriented professional is a suitable substitute for the real thing.

In fact, the biggest source (17%) of MBA students when I was at Cranfield were engineers and most have not got out of engineering. Instead they are in senior management in engineering firms, or have set up their own successful engineering businesses, typically in consulting.

Yes, PhDs can be notoriously badly paid, especially if they hang around in academia. That's sad if not, ultimately, dangerous to research. But, then, many bright people find academia too dry and narrowly focused so have little option than to get out of it, irrespective of salaries.
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Re: Science and Management

Postby cathy » Mon May 20, 2013 4:28 pm

So is it worth pushing second child towards physics? She's probably opting to do it at A level next sept but hasn't a clue what to do afterwards. I was trying to suggest management or accounting.
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Re: Science and Management

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue May 21, 2013 8:34 am

cathy wrote:So is it worth pushing second child towards physics? She's probably opting to do it at A level next sept but hasn't a clue what to do afterwards. I was trying to suggest management or accounting.


Difficult one, Cathy.

If she does a degree in business studies, it's just that. It is not an MBA which is a post grad degree in management. Different thing altogether. It's something many get confused about. An MBA is basically geared towards two occupations - general management and business development and in that sense is a low narrower than a first degree in business studies. put another way the business studies degree is geared at providing middle management, the MBA top management. It's normally expected in business that someone with a business studies degree goes on to get specialist professional qualifications - say in accountancy or personnel management.

Accountancy is fine but it is dreadfully dull and process oriented. The career route is to finance director, a non-line management occupation and, in the pecking order of business, not highly rated.

It's also difficult to, later, get into a decent business school to get an MBA if you are an accountant.

However, if she were to do physics and then wants to get into business, it's easy. As far as I am aware, all the major professional bodies including law, do not stipulate what degree you have to get their qualifications. It's certainly no bar to doing an MBA either. The brighter employers would probably not want a combination of business studies and a professional qualification such as personnel or accountancy as it would be seen as too narrow. Other employers favour it, though.

My own personal view is that if she can get into a good university, don't bother with business studies. Physics is also great if she wants to work in the engineering, IT or communications sector, whether from a technical or managerial position.
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