July 25, 2013
Technology plays a huge role in our everyday lives and it is likely to only have more of an impact as it continues to evolve. The same can be said for business, which is why Cornell announced that it would launch a new unique one-year MBA program that combines the worlds of technology and business.
On Monday, Cornell Chronicle reported that the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell has created a rigorous one-year, full-time MBA program that combines business and technology in a hands-on learning environment. The program, which will start off on the Cornell campus in Ithaca and mid-way move to Cornell Tech in Google's New York City building in Chelsea, will provide students with the foundations of business as well as a deep understanding of how technology affects and transforms the way business works. Examples of coursework include design thinking, leading innovation, big data opportunities and managing technology disruptions. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, graduates of the program can pursue careers in project management, business development and consulting.
"We're creating a program that addresses the fact that technology has changed the way business is done," explained Soumitra Dutta, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson at Cornell in the Cornell Chronicle. "It's not about adding technology courses to an existing MBA, but about developing a new education and learning experience for business leaders in the digital economy."
Doug Stayman, associate dean for MBA programs at Johnson, told Poets & Quants that the program, curriculum and even the admissions process were based on market research and consulting help from Bain & Co. and Deloitte Consulting. With these firms, the school visited numerous tech companies across the country to determine what was needed in the world of business and technology.
"We talked to everyone from three-person startups to Intel," said Stayman in Poets & Quants. "We asked, 'What industry needs are not being met well by the traditional MBA?' And then, we worked back from there on what would meet those needs."
The research offered surprising, but insightful information. For example, most tech companies actually preferred a one-year MBA program to traditional two-year programs. This was primarily because technology moves and changes so quickly that companies felt workers could not afford to be out of the industry for too long. Stayman also found out that tech companies favored hiring students with three to five years of professional experience. Lastly, research showed that most companies struggled to find people who were skilled in both technology and business. Keeping all this in mind, the school designed the program to be different from other MBA programs, including Cornell's existing one-year program and accelerated MBA program.
"…[W]e'll start with the foundations of business, move to an understanding of how technology is transforming business, and then the third part will be how to apply it: how to lead technology teams, do projects and implement change within companies," said Stayman in Poets & Quants.
The price tag for such an education will not be cheap, however. Poets & Quants noted that Cornell has priced the three-semester program at $95,000 or higher.
The school is looking for applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in a technical field such as engineering, computer science or mathematics and have relevant work experience, according to Cornell Chronicle. Individuals can apply starting August 2013 and the inaugural class will start in May 2014.
Compiled by Heidi M. Agustin
"Cornell's $95K One-Year MBA in New York," poetsandquants.com, July 23, 2013, John A. Byrne
"Cornell Launches MBA Program at NYC Tech Campus," businessweek.com, July 17, 2013, Louis Lavelle
"New one-year MBA program at Cornell NYC Tech," news.cornell.edu, July 22, 2013