Degrees of Debate: What Should Managers Know?

By Dan Hounsell, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Proactive Emergency Planning Avoids Managers Getting Burned

A lively discussion is taking place that will affect the foundation of the maintenance and engineering management profession for decades.

In-house managers, building owners, and facilities management consultants — along with educators at technical schools and two- and four-year colleges — are debating the body of knowledge required to earn a degree or certification in facilities management and maintenance.

Technical information? Obviously. Financial knowledge? Absolutely. Guidance in personnel management? Probably.

Take part in one such discussion at by entering "technical schools" in the search box.

The real debate, of course, will center on the mix of courses any given institution believes will prepare students for one — or even all — of the challenges facilities present daily. Managers who have been on the job for any length of time know their success depends on being able to move back and forth easily between the technical world inhabited by front-line technicians and the boardrooms where top management makes bigger-picture decisions.

As one manager put it recently, "My entire workforce is blue collar, and all my 'clients' are white collar, and never the twain shall meet."

If managers are the bridge between those two worlds within facilities, a formalized body of knowledge making up a degree or certification program is one way to give the bridge its strength.

The debate is yet another sign of the evolution of maintenance and engineering management from a job into a profession.

Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities.

Continue Reading: Talking Points

Degrees of Debate: What Should Managers Know?

Proactive Emergency Planning Avoids Managers Getting Burned

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  posted on 7/8/2010   Article Use Policy

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