UMBC is excited to announce our innovative new graduate program in Technical Management.

We sat down with program director Dr. Toby Gouker to discuss why professionals should consider a graduate degree in this exciting and emerging field. Find out more about the industry, the unique highlights of our curriculum, and why even those without a tech background can benefit from a degree in Technical Management.

Who should consider a graduate degree in Technical Management?

The Technical Management degree program benefits professionals who work in some kind of a technical organization or who have a technical background. However, a person doesn’t necessarily have to have a technical background to be successful in this program because it is not a technical curriculum. Specifically, it’s a program that teaches how to interpret technical answers and look at their business implications.

Why should a student consider a degree in Technical Management?

If you stop and think about the world we live in today, everything is technically-oriented. Whether it’s nanotechnology, information technology, or biotechnology, many factors drive forth commerce. So, the real purpose of this degree program is to help people take advantage of the new and emerging technologies that exist in the world today.

How does this program benefit professionals?

The only thing that’s constant today is change. This common phrase means that we function at a truly accelerated pace. Think about computers and software: Updates occur on a two or three year cycle. In the field of cybersecurity, for example, the senior leadership will tell you that of everything known about cybersecurity today, half will be obsolete in eighteen months. Therefore, the field of technical management is very important today because of how it addresses change.

There’s a process called disruptive change where new technologies emerge. For example, let’s look at the iPhone. It’s a collection of a bunch of different technologies put into one package. Moreover, its emergence became a game changer that others then had to follow. A Technical Management degree program helps professionals stay abreast of these types of advances and helps them better monitor when an industry is about to go through a disruptive change. Finally, the program teaches them how to react to it in a strategic way to the benefit of their organization.

What makes this program stand apart from other institutions?

The thing that really makes this program stand apart from other programs can be summed up in three words: equations of state. In the natural world there are equations of state that govern:

  • The way the clouds move
  • The way the rain cycles happen
  • How water flows
  • How bridges stay up versus falling

Overall, these are the underlying technical principles that guide and govern the way things operate.

Similarly, UMBC’s degree program focuses on developing equations of state for the business world. We give students the underlying organizational principles, law and ethical processes and procedures, and the budgeting terminology to be successful. With these, students will better understand the industry and be less frustrated as a technical professional in advancing their objectives.

What does the Technical Management curriculum look like?

We’ve laid out the Technical Management program in a very unique fashion. The primary focus is on innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation in this program doesn’t mean invention. Invention is the creation of an idea for a product or a service. Innovation, on the other hand, is the ultimate manifestation of that idea in the marketplace.

The Technical Management program’s curriculum focuses on:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial and legal questions
  • Strategic management and policy issue
  • Decision-making under uncertainty
  • International team leadership
  • Project management

So, this program offers all the skills needed to take ideas and turn them into successful innovations.

One of the key elements of the program is its focus on communication skills. This is a critical skill for leaders because if professionals don’t have followers, they’re not leaders. This program helps to build oral and written communications and effective presentation skills. It also prepares students to effectively convince and motivate others to take the actions that will move an organization forward.

If you want to become a leader in today’s world and have an impact on the future of your organization and society, then the Technical Management graduate degree program from UMBC is right for you.

 

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