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Graduate Student Practice Of Technology Management: The Cohort Approach To Structuring Graduate Programs

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Engineering Management Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.593.1 - 7.593.19



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Paper Authors

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Ken Vickers

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Ronna Turner

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Greg Salamo

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 3142

Graduate Student Practice of Technology Management: The Cohort Approach to Structuring Graduate Programs Ken Vickers, Greg Salamo, Ronna Turner University of Arkansas


Many conferences have been held to discuss the skills needed by engineering and technology program graduates to be successful in technology based careers. These conferences strive to understand the full spectrum of job requirements by typically including representatives of academe, government, and industry. A common result of these conferences 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 has been lists of desired characteristics in newly hired technologists, including first and foremost the academic competency demanded by the technology job position. But they follow this need for technical competency with a need for proficiency in operational and interpersonal skills, skills that allows technologists to apply their academic training in an efficient manner in today’s high tech work environments.

In the field of technical decision-making, it was felt that technical proficiency will not be sufficient to assure that future scientists and engineers make proper decisions, or to even assure that they are successful in their personal careers. They must also be able to work effectively in areas outside of their technical expertise, as they are no longer allowed to exist in an isolated technical environment. The fact is that many products require a high level of technical sophistication to even evaluate if it is the proper product for an application. As a result, today there must be more interaction between the developers of a new technology product and the customer. The scientist or engineer is therefore forced into active participation in such areas as customer negotiations, marketing and business planning, and manufacturing support. While their need for technical competence is not being reduced to support their primary task, their need for other non-technical knowledge is being increased by the many secondary roles that they are being asked to play.

From the large industry perspective, the need for a broadened knowledge base in their scientists and engineers lies in the broad financial impact of the decisions they will make. In a survey of manufacturing engineering jobs, Mason 4 reports, “The results…also emphasize the importance of a broad education. Engineers need to be technically proficient at their job and at the same time understand the economic and engineering implications of their decisions.” The Boeing Company CEO Philip Condit has stated, “…it is important that engineering education also have breadth. Students need to know about business economics: What does it cost to build a project? What’s involved in integration?” 6

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Vickers, K., & Turner, R., & Salamo, G. (2002, June), Graduate Student Practice Of Technology Management: The Cohort Approach To Structuring Graduate Programs Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10348

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