Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce graduates- Who makes a better manager or CEO?

Let’s first state the obvious. A great manager can be from any academic background or discipline.

Having said that, I will just choose to concentrate on the two groups of graduates. Bachelor of commerce graduates, otherwise known as BCOM, and Bachelor of Engineering. Both groups of students have fairly developed analytical skills and it is also true that many managers and CEOs have a background in these two disciplines.

Some examples of CEOs that have a background in Bachelor of Commerce include Linus Gitahi, the Nation Media group CEO, Adan Mohamed, MD of Barclays Bank for East and West Africa. On the other hand, some CEOs who have a background in engineering include Mugo Kibati( a former CEO at East Africa cables and now the Director General of the Kenya Vision 2030, Nation media Group chairman and former CEO Wilfred Kiboro, and Kenya Airways MD Titus Naikuni and Peter Njenga, the CEO of the Nairobi stock exchange.

So, what exactly distinguishes these two groups of managers? By its very nature, engineering tends to be very analytical and long term. That’s why many engineers are sought after by various companies to take up non engineering positions. For instance, in an interview some years ago, the founder of Kameme FM, Rose Kimotho, said that she mostly hired engineers because of their deep conceptual skills. On the other hand, Bachelor of Commerce graduates (mostly Finance and Accounting in this case), have been trained to crunch up the numbers for shareholders. In a nutshell therefore, the very nature of their training prepares them to be short term since various stakeholders want to see results here and now. They may be suited to companies that have already stabilized and all they are needed to provide is stability and continuity. Their ideal management strategy may be cut costs. It doesn’t matter whether workers are retrenched or laid off. CEOs with an engineering background on the other hand thrive in companies that are undergoing rapid growth and need more long term planning.
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3 comments:

  1. Well researched article but you need to do more of it, there are so many intances you could also add to this scenario. But its wonderful.

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  2. Thanks for the comment, & the recommendation also in consideration.

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  3. Well put...& nyce site. You should also invite guest bloggers to add rich content in areas they specialise.

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