June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.902.1 - 8.902.11
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.
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
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