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The Convergence Of Creative Enterprise And Engineering Technology Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Industrial Collaborations

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1242.1 - 9.1242.9



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Paper Authors

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Jerry Visser

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Carrie Steinlicht

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Teresa Hall

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

Session 3448

The Convergence of Creative Enterprise and Engineering Technology Education Teresa Hall, Jerry Visser, Carrie Steinlicht South Dakota State University / Great Plains Rapid Prototyping Consortium Brookings, SD 57007


American industry has undergone significant change in the past decade as evidenced by the outsourcing of manufacturing and high technology jobs due, in large part, to the globalization of technology. The loss of 2.6 million manufacturing jobs and, more recently, new trends in outsourcing high-tech and service industry jobs has been in response to wage differentials, valuation of the dollar, and a shortage of engineering and technology program graduates.1 The traditional career path sought by engineering technology program graduates was to seek employment at a mid-to-large size corporation with the implied opportunity to climb the technical/managerial ladder during a lifetime of commitment to that single employer. This scenario is a thing of the past as multinational corporations downsize, outsource, and streamline management hierarchies and thin the ranks of technical professionals.

At the same time, the growth in small businesses by entrepreneurs and small start-ups providing components to larger companies has provided an alternative career path for newly degreed engineers and technologists. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses accounted for nearly 75% of employment growth in the United States since 19902 and start-up businesses in their first two years of existence have accounted for nearly all new jobs.3 These are significant numbers for our recovering economy and have given business managers, governmental officials, and post-secondary educators more reasons to think differently about the workplace of the future. In response to these trends, engineering technology programs must address the probability that their alumni will be working for small businesses or as entrepreneurs, especially in more remote areas of country.4

South Dakota Issues

The state of South Dakota has a well-established reputation as a tourist destination for families visiting the scenic Black Hills and bikers rallying at Sturgis each summer in addition to attracting tens of thousands of sportsmen during pheasant hunting season in the fall. Less well-known for its manufacturing and high technology industries, the state ranks at or near the bottom nationally in total industrial employment, number of manufacturers and in federal research and development dollars invested. Ironically, South Dakota ranks first in terms of being the most entrepreneur-friendly state for its business environment.5 These dichotomies appear daunting for Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Visser, J., & Steinlicht, C., & Hall, T. (2004, June), The Convergence Of Creative Enterprise And Engineering Technology Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14047

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