I regularly interact with Daytime MBA alumni and their first question is generally, “What’s new at Fuqua?” 

Of course, I’m quick to tell them about our newly created Second Major in Management Science and Technology Management (MSTeM). I’ve had so much interest from alumni and others about MSTeM that it occurred to me, I should write this blog! Here are the four things you should know about MSTeM, based on the questions I’m frequently asked.

1. We believe this offering is hitting a sweet spot in going deep in data while also honing leadership skills and business fundamentals.

Our primary reason for creating the MSTeM Second Major was to give students in our full-time MBA program a chance to go deep into opportunities and challenges related to big data and managing innovation and technology. We think the combination of focused work in data analytics—plus the leadership skills and business fundamentals that are part of an MBA—are a powerful combination.

One of the challenges in innovation, particularly in tech, is not losing the value of human judgment. Therefore, we think it’s an advantage for the people who will lead innovation if they not only have a deep understanding of technology but develop the communication and strategy skills needed to action insights and ideas in a meaningful way that can benefit society at the same time.

2. Our approach gives students an advantage across functions and industries.    

As we developed the curriculum for MSTeM, we wanted to give students not only depth of data knowledge but also some breadth across disciplines. In other words, rather than a traditional concentration that focuses within one industry or function, we wanted MSTeM to be applicable in all of them.

That design resulted in a Second Major that requires the completion of eight electives from a menu of classes like Data Analytics for Business, Marketing of Innovation, Supply Chain Management, and Innovation and Cryptoventures. We believe that breadth of exposure gives our students a broader foundation that will ultimately serve as an advantage as they move into various roles in their careers.

3. Alumni and students are fans of MSTeM.

The interest in this offering was apparent immediately after we announced it last fall. Around 25 percent of the Class of 2018 completed the field of study in its first academic year.

We’ve received positive alumni feedback about how the skills have been immediately applicable in their careers and were thrilled (but not surprised) that students landed the jobs they desired after completing the field of study.

4. MSTeM has STEM designation which has visa implications for international students. 

An added benefit to students who complete our Daytime MBA with the MSTeM field of study is that it qualifies as a STEM designated field with the U.S. Department of Education. Students who complete it are eligible for the potential visa considerations in the U.S. that come with STEM designation—an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). This is on top of the one-year eligibility of OPT—thus it increases OPT to three years. It’s important to note that a student must not only earn the MBA degree with the Second Major but also go into a STEM-related field in order to be eligible.

We are a school that highly values diversity and are supportive of ways our international students can fully use their talents and work in the U.S. if that is their goal. We also believe this is important for the U.S. economy in being able to retain top talent and helps us fulfill our mission to the business community of providing the talent needed today. You can read more about that philosophy in this piece by Dean Bill Boulding on LinkedIn.