In a major new initiative to enable MIT students to add basic business skills to their powerful science and engineering arsenal, MIT Sloan School of Management will this fall begin to offer an undergraduate minor in management. The minor, which will initially be limited to 100 undergraduates chosen by lottery, is in response to employers seeking graduates who are better prepared for today's increasingly complex responsibilities.
"We kept hearing from recruiters that while MIT students are technologically adept, they need to know more about how to get things done within a business organization," said Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan, who chaired the MIT faculty committee on the management minor. "This new initiative will help our students hit the ground running as they graduate from MIT and move into technologically driven organizations."
"We see this as one of the major undergraduate educational innovations at MIT of this decade," said MIT President Susan Hockfield. "While our immediate goal is to meet an important need of students at MIT, we are setting a standard for other universities as well."
Kochan noted that while many universities offer management majors or individual business courses, the Sloan minor in management will serve as a coordinated curriculum aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and leadership potential of students majoring in science, engineering or other MIT concentrations.
For the minor, students will take four required courses--principles of microeconomics, corporate financial accounting, people and organizations, and marketing management--and two elective courses from a range of offerings. To better link this academic component to the real world, students will be encouraged to participate in summer internships and bring their experiences back to Sloan in a follow-up course titled Leadership and Organizational Change.
To help meet the new program's demand, MIT Sloan will be expanding its faculty by three new members.
"MIT Sloan is uniquely positioned to offer this minor because we already have a strong relationship between our school and other parts of the campus," said Richard Schmalensee, dean of the Sloan School. "With this minor, MIT graduates will be more productive because they will better understand the economic, organizational and workforce setting in which they will pursue their scientific and technical work."
"We applaud this new management minor at MIT," said Margaret Ashida, director of corporate recruiting for IBM. "Innovation, which is the engine of economic growth, requires top talent to be equipped with high-value IT skills and the business knowledge to apply them. This will make MIT students even more competitive."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 16, 2005 (download PDF).