The Department of Engineering and Technology at Texas A&M University-Commerce is introducing enhancements to the Master of Science in Technology Management program. Technology management has been deemed an emerging field of study by the U.S. Department of Education.
The revamped program, which began in 1997, will provide more flexibility for students while responding to continually evolving expectations of the technology industry.
Dr. Andrea Graham, associate professor and head of the Department of Engineering and Technology, said the department began a process over the past year of implementing significant changes to better align with increasing need for advanced degree seekers to have scheduling flexibility and a shorter time to achieve their degree.
“The M.S. in Technology Management is now a fully online program with core courses on an eight-week rotation,” said Graham. “Part of the strategic vision of A&M-Commerce is to transform lives by providing excellent, relevant and personalized education to a diverse group of learners,” she continued. “The Department of Engineering and Technology is positioned to be a key player in fulfilling and sustaining that vision for years to come.”
Technology managers utilize their technology and business skills to manage people, projects and systems in technology-intensive industries, government agencies and non-profit organizations. They must also understand the value of specific technologies to their organization and know when to invest in development.
Since each of the five professors teaching in the Technology Management program has real-world, industry experience, they retooled the program—in conjunction with industry partners—to address the day-to-day challenges faced by today's technology managers. With heavy emphasis on applied techniques over theoretical knowledge, areas of focus include strategic planning, financial planning, strategic development, project management and vendor management.
Dr. Jason Lee Davis, associate professor of engineering and technology, who serves as advisor for the Technology Management program, said project management is a big aspect of the technology manager's role.
“We want our graduates to be able to fill in the gaps in industry,” Davis said. “Their job is to work between and communicate with the engineering side of the house and the business side of the house.”
The Technology Management program is designed for students seeking to advance their current technology career or transition to a new career in technology-intensive industries such as healthcare, education and retail. The program is also a good fit for students who have just finished their bachelor's degree and want to continue their education before entering the workforce.
“We have students who are continuing from their bachelor's degree, students who are already in the workforce, and several former and active-duty military members,” Davis said. “They all recognize this program as an opportunity to expand their knowledge of managing technology for their current or future companies.”
Davis added that the eight-week, rotating course structure means that students can complete the 36-hour, online program at a pace that accommodates their work schedule and other obligations. The program can be completed in as little as four semesters with full-time study. Part-time students can complete the program in seven semesters or less.
He said another appealing aspect of the program is the ability for students to customize their degree plan with complementary minors and graduate certificates.
“This program builds a strong foundation in the priority aspects of technology management and how those concepts and tools relate,” Davis said. “It's broad enough for students to visualize how they can apply those concepts to their area of interest, yet flexible enough to add electives and minors that strengthen the overall degree.”
The department believes the program enhancements will allow people who might otherwise be unable to advance their education to pursue a graduate degree that provides upward mobility to positions of greater leadership and management responsibility.
“I am excited to see the implementation of these progressive changes,” said Graham. “These changes provide an opportunity for non-traditional students to seek advanced degrees while balancing the many other elements of their busy lives.”
Learn more about the M.S. in Technology Management program.