Go from engineering your future to managing it

Engineering and Technology Management (ETM) –  “It’s like a techno-MBA, but a little shorter than a real MBA.” This is how professor Michael Walls describes this MS program offered by the Department of Economics and Business.

As Mines students look toward the end of their time on campus, there are inevitably those wondering what they will do once they graduate. One route that ambitious students can choose is the ETM program. This program is essentially designed to integrate the technical elements learned in engineering classes with more managerial aspects that would be acquired in a business program.

The ETM program is open to CSM undergraduate students, graduate students, and working professionals. There are currently about 60 students enrolled in the program, about 40% of which are CSM students. The majority of the faculty for the program comes from the Division of Economics and Business, though there is participation from other departments around campus as well. As equally diverse as the students and faculty are, the research projects being worked on by them which range from mining economics to energy modeling are even more diverse.

While participating in the ETM program takes commitment, dedication, and hard work, the reward is sure to be worth the effort. “The average starting salary of an ETM graduate is $10,000 more than other graduates of the same major,” reported Walls. However the salary bonus is not the only advantage to the program.

According to one ETM graduate, “You make a lot of connections. Every week we have a speaker. You can harass them and maybe get a lunch date or something. It gives you a lot of management tools that you can use later.” Networking plays such a large role in the program that every year there is an Executive-in-Residence. The executives-in-residence come from various companies in the metro area and deliver leadership based seminars twice a month. These seminars give students a perspective on their future roles as technology managers from the point of view of someone that has already been there. In addition to this, the executives make themselves available to the students throughout the program, allowing them to interact on a more personal level, and allowing the creation of industry connections.

After completing the core courses, the ETM program has a very diverse curriculum that spans many interests. There are two different specializations that can be earned within the program: Operations/Engineering Management and Strategy and Innovation. Students can take classes from one specialty or a combination of classes from  two. In either case, between the programming, ethics, and inventing and patenting classes, no one should have trouble deciding on a track to complete.

The ETM program is composed of 30 credit hours of classes, plus the Executive-In-Residence seminar series and a communications seminar. Of the credit hours, 18 come from the core courses which include “Economics and Decision Making” and “Corporate Finance.” The remaining 12 hours are the specialization courses. Though the communications seminar may sound like a turnoff to some, one student said it was quite the opposite. “When I heard ETM has a communications seminar, I was like, ‘Oh no, it takes up one of my weekends,’ but it actually turned out being one of the best parts. You learn a lot.”

If the prospect of industry collaboration and the possibility of expanding job prospects from being an engineer to managing engineers sounds good, consider ETM. For more information, see the ETM website at: http://econbus.mines.edu/MS-Engineering-Technology-Management or contact the program manager, Kathleen Feighny at kfeighny@mines.edu.

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