Asee peer logo

Opportunities In Education At The Confluence Of Technology And Management

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Strategic Issues in EM Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.902.1 - 8.902.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Elise Barrella

author page

Keith Buffinton

Download Paper |

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

Session 3542

Opportunities in Education at the Confluence of Technology and Management

Elise M. Barrella and Keith W. Buffinton Bucknell University


Due to the increasing need for an understanding of technology and engineering for individuals in management positions, a familiarity with both business and engineering principles, as well as their interdependence, is required. This paper is a study of the academic opportunities offered by selected colleges and universities to prepare students to become business leaders in fields that require the systematic and efficient solution of technological problems. It first describes the categories of programs offered, along with descriptive examples, and then focuses on a unique program offered at Bucknell University. The strengths of these programs are highlighted and suggestions for improvement are given for developing the most effective program.

1.0 Introduction

The business world has become increasingly technology-dependent, and with that has come new expectations for college graduates. Employers look for graduates with strong leadership and communication skills and experience in both engineering/technology and business management. In order to obtain and excel in managerial positions, graduates must have a firm understanding of the interactions between technology and management. The Engineers Leadership Foundation and the Foundation for Professional Practice conducted a survey of almost two hundred senior engineering managers and leaders, in which they concluded that engineering knowledge is essential, but that leadership positions can be attained earlier if engineering students are exposed to management, public speaking, and other non-engineering coursework. The most highly recommended courses included business management, public speaking, and marketing. In addition to taking courses, the professionals surveyed suggested involvement in activities like sports, internships, volunteering, and clubs to improve interpersonal skills. Engineering and technology-related careers involve life-long learning of not only technical skills, but also people skills, written and oral communication skills, and teambuilding skills.6

Institutions of higher learning have responded to the new demand with a variety of degree programs and special centers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These educational opportunities can be classified into several categories: engineering management, systems engineering, engineering entrepreneurship, and leadership, internship, and other multi- disciplinary programs. Most of these programs are designed to introduce engineers to the business world through courses, project teams, and interaction with business enterprises and business leaders.

The overall purpose of this study is to summarize the approaches taken to combining management and technology education in preparation for employment in a demanding business world. It evaluates the most effective approaches to achieving this goal by examining current

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Barrella, E., & Buffinton, K. (2003, June), Opportunities In Education At The Confluence Of Technology And Management Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12654

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015