Online Mini-MBA™ for Engineers and Technology Managers - Curriculum

The curriculum is structured into ten modules. Each module is highly specialized and based upon real-world business and technology best practices.  Instructors are top-rated Rutgers faculty members and experienced industry practitioners steeped in engineering, science, and technology. Topics include:

Business Strategy

For technology firms, business strategy is about how to create value for shareholders. This module provides the tools necessary for you to make key decisions about markets in which to compete and how to win against the competition in those markets. Gaining competitive advantage is critical to winning. This module will also help you determine the capabilities and management systems that are necessary for you to execute strategy.

Business Ventures and Innovation

Successfully creating and launching new technology ventures and introducing novel products and new services to fresh markets are based on creating new opportunities and implementing innovations within existing organizations. This module introduces participants to entrepreneurial thinking and different methods of effectively executing new ideas. Topics include evaluating opportunities to recognize good ideas, forming great teams, preparing business and technology commercialization plans, pinpointing and obtaining necessary resources, designing test scenarios, and developing and knowing when to use exit strategies.

Managing New Product Development

Technology product development has become somewhat of an arcane art. A visionary invents the spreadsheet or the iPhone--or some other better mousetrap--and millions beat a path to the door. But is that all it is--a stroke of genius? Lean Product Development shows us a new way; based on the realization that making the technology work is usually the easy part of technology product development. Finding something people actually want to buy--that's the real challenge. Whether you build for internal clients or external customers, you must test with your user base throughout the development process to ensure your technology actually meets the mark.

Analyzing Financial Statements

Understanding technical descriptions, complex schematics, and engineering models are a given for today’s technical professionals.  But when presented with financial reports, technical professionals might as well be reading in an unfamiliar language.  This module will acquaint participants with how to read and analyze financial statements, as well as understand the underlying story they tell.  Topics include the balance sheet and the income and cash flow statements, in addition to fundamental financial analysis using net present value, time value of money, rate of return, and other measures of investment attractiveness, trade-offs between risk and return, and making effective capital budgeting decisions.

Keys to Successful Negotiation

This module could be subtitled "How to Get What You Want and Move the Relationship Forward." Using discussions, exercises, and humor in a relaxed atmosphere, each participant will have the opportunity to evaluate and improve their communication skills. The premise of this module is that while everyone has been negotiating to obtain satisfaction of their wants since they were infants, they have not typically considered the reasons why they succeed or fail. During this module, each participant will individually evaluate goals, strategies, and tactics to learn how they can be employed to achieve a successful negotiation.  

Impacts of Global Economics

This highly-applied and 'real world' module is designed primarily for participants who have technical backgrounds.  It will demystify the role of the Federal Reserve and of national fiscal policies, not just here in the US, but also in the Eurozone, India, and China.  Given global supply chains, any macroeconomic analysis that is not global would be seriously deficient. Engineers and scientists today "wear many hats" and are key players in the design of global R&D strategy, which necessitates a thorough analysis of the global/monetary backdrop. This module will ensure that technical professionals and engineers alike will be well-equipped to thrive in today's multi-faceted workplace.

Managing Human Capital

One of the key drivers of organizational success in the engineering and technology fields is how well managers are able to get the most out of their workforce.  In this module, we will discuss several techniques that managers may use to influence their employee talent and motivation, as well as maximize the opportunities employees have to contribute to project and organizational success.  Considerable time will be spent on aligning how employees are managed with business conditions and environmental considerations. 

Selling Ideas and Influencing People

We are all in the business of sales. No matter what you were hired to do or what you think you do, you are in the business of marketing and selling your ideas.  Without salesmanship your brilliant idea or technical innovation may flounder instead of turning into a golden opportunity.  Unfortunately, many engineers and technology professionals do not fully understand how to influence others and encourage decision makers to take action on their ideas, products, and services.  This module covers the fundamentals of influencing people and selling ideas, including effective strategies and tactics that work.

Intellectual Property Strategy

Managing and protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is key to success in technology businesses. This module includes a look at IPR both inside and outside the U.S. Other specific topics include: patents, copyrights, and trademarks; in- and out-licensing, materials transfers, and cross licensing; technology management; and enforcement. Participants will also discuss FTC/anti-trust laws, patent reform, and challenges to exclusivity, technology licensing, and identifying critical Go/No Go decision points for IP.

Transformational Agility

Shortening the time between ideas and action is transformational agility.  It’s never been more important in business, engineering, and technology to be receptive and responsive to change in the marketplace.  The expertise required to be successful is dominated by communications skills sets – quickly understanding the situation, preparing a solution to deliver, and communicating it internally and externally.  In this module, participants will learn what it takes to drive rapid change and attain speedy results.