Saturday, January 12, 2013

Engineering Degree Limits HR thinking


All degree courses not just build your thought process, they also build you. That is what they are there for. Law degree should build lawyers and Medicine degree, a medic. And all that in true sense and not just to churn out a market ready "product". Degrees may be a "commodity" today, people are not!

My question is, "Does engineering degree added by MBA in HR, make a complementing or condescending combination for an HR professional?"

My understanding is, "HR is more an art than a science". Mind you, if not more,  there are equal amount research and analysis done on all subjects of human significance, not just in science and technology."

 I am struggling with a thought for quite sometime and that is, "Does Engineering degree plus MBA in HR make a good combination, if one has chosen to work as an HR professional?
I believe, this is non-aligned and non-synchronized combination as I see, technical insight, at one hand makes one a great "solution thinker", on the other, it narrows down one's capacity of "broader" and "holistic" thinking. Refer to Bono's six thinking hats. HR is not always numbers. Even if you have many numbers in HR reports, they are just numbers. Key is insight out of numbers. That is a leadership function!

I saw a Job Posting on Linked in today for an MNC for http://Sr.HR Business Partner, which clearly mentioned that they are looking for non-technical/non-engineers with MBA/Masters in HR.
With this job posting today, I believe, there are many others who have thought over the issue in discussion here and have reached a conclusion.

Same as "nerds vs lerds", as Chetan Bhagat wrote sometime back, when he described that nerds are application guys, while lerds are policy, document and education guys.

While I know being technical helps in HR, when you have to validate and test HRIS tool, PMS tool or any other tool having easy to complex matrix on people productivity, effectiveness, quality, etc.
But we need to remember, that number in any stage, pre-analysis or post-analysis remain just 'numbers'. Building insight based on numbers and patters and trends that they create is "application". On top of data and application rests "insight", which is not 'algorithmic' function alone, it is rather more of "heuristic" brilliance to see beyond the obvious and view future through closed eyes.

I am of opinion that engineering and HR make a great combination, if you act as technical/functional consultant in building SuccessFactors or Peoplesoft application. Again more applied shall be technical skills and less of functional. Functional is again insight and application, as Chetan Bhagat believes in and I absolutely agree with.

Hope such great thoughts prevail! pool in folks!

No comments:

Post a Comment