The combination of the global economic crisis and growing international competition in science innovation has created a demand for professionals who possess a unique skill set – a balance of scientific training and business savvy.
The state university is helping professionals respond to the evolution and complexities of modern industries and business with a new graduate degree: Rutgers’ Master of Business and Science (MBS). The innovative degree program, recently approved by the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, is designed to allow working adults and full-time students to pursue coursework in science, engineering and management while developing workplace skills highly valued by employers.
The offering of business and science graduate degree programs is part of a growing national trend. The National Science Foundation has allocated $15 million this year to expand these programs.
Rutgers is one of the first major public research universities to develop a statewide program. Courses on the New Brunswick and Camden campuses begin this month, and the program is expected to be approved for the Newark Campus later this semester.
Some of the applied science concentrations include:
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Statistics and Biostatistics
Urban Environmental Analysis and Management
“The degree’s modular structure allows Rutgers to combine offerings from many disciplines and quickly develop new areas of specialization in response to changing industry demands,” said Professor David Finegold, dean of Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, who initiated the planning for the new degree.
New tracks are under development in interdisciplinary areas, such as drug discovery and development, information technology, nanotechnology and actuarial sciences will be available for Fall 2010.
Professor Deborah Silver, director of the Rutgers new business and science degree program, noted that feedback from New Jersey employers was considered when creating the MBS program. “New Jersey regional businesses were surveyed to determine their perceptions and demand for a Master of Business and Science degree program,” Silver said. “The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The survey confirmed that businesses see value in the degree.”
According to the 2009 Employment Survey Report conducted by the National Professional Science Master’s Association, 43 percent of alumni who participated in a degree program similar to the new one being offered at Rutgers earned a promotion. Of those, 44 percent indicated their eligibility for the promotion was a result of having received their business and science degree.
The business curriculum includes courses in finance and accounting, strategic marketing, communication and leadership, project management, management of science and technology and ethics. In the capstone course, student teams are given a real technology from a Rutgers lab, or one of its academic or industry partners, and asked to develop a plan to commercialize the technology.
“We hope that this will become a new driver of innovation and economic development for the state and a chance for students to create their own jobs,” Finegold said.
A certificate in Science and Technology Management is available for those with graduate degrees but seeking business and technology background.
For more information about the program, go to psm.rutgers.edu.
Media Contact: Nicole Pride
732-932-7084, ext. 610