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Midcareer program launched

Science and technology fields move fast, and professionals who leave their jobs for a few years often face barriers when they try to return. This summer, the Professional Education Programs office is launching a new program to help MIT alumni and other accomplished professionals relaunch their scientific or technical careers.

The new Midcareer Acceleration Program (MAP) incorporates career and personal development, a technical skills refresher, a semester-long MIT course and an internship or research project. Students will complete the 10-month, part-time program with either a job or a strategic plan to find a professional job that matches their abilities and ambitions.

Associate Dean of Engineering Dick K.P. Yue, who serves as MAP's faculty director, said the program is designed for women and men who have left their jobs because of personal reasons, such as caring for children, or professional interruptions, such as a job loss related to company closures or mergers.

"The professional environment is changing rapidly, but that problem is compounded when there is a disruption in employment," Yue said. "Several of my own advisees, who have been very successful at MIT and at their companies, are having difficulty going back into the workplace. It's scary to jump onto a moving train from a standstill."

The program brings participants up to date with new technologies, key discoveries and fresh learning strategies, beginning with an August orientation that introduces them to fresh perspectives and tools. Participants gain new technical skills by enrolling in a regular MIT course in the fall. In the spring, an internship with a nearby company or a research project working with MIT faculty will provide practical skills that align with career goals.

Career development skills are also included in the program. Sharpened communication and presentation skills, for example, will help participants demonstrate their capabilities in job interviews and later on the job.

"MIT's educational mission does not mean just the four, six, or eight or more years needed for a bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. degree," Yue said. "Learning is a lifelong engagement and MIT has a tremendous ability -- and obligation -- to provide the education needed throughout a professional's career."

The deadline for entry to the inaugural Midcareer Acceleration Program is Saturday, July 15. Students need the academic and professional background to succeed in MIT-level work and are admitted based on the overall quality of their applications. To learn more, visit

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 24, 2006 (download PDF).

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