Become a technology leader with a postgraduate course in technology management
24 April 2017
Executives interested in giving themselves the edge in business should consider courses with a strategic focus on technology management.
This is the remit of a collaborative initiative from three of Ireland’s best universities; NUI Galway, the University of Limerick and University College Cork. They have come together, under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA), to jointly develop and deliver courses with a unique technology focus, on a part-time blended learning basis suitable for working adults.
Develop a technology strategy
Dr Niamh Nolan at the Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development at NUI Galway says, “Our three postgraduate technology management courses are proving particularly popular with executives at the moment. They feel that the technological dimension of business is becoming increasingly important, and it’s invaluable to a strategic view of what is technologically possible. This trend can only increase as digital penetration deepens in all aspects of business. So opportunities will offer themselves to leaders who have this skill.”
Technology-focused postgrad courses
The MSc in Technology Management was established to create such leaders. Its aim is to develop business excellence through the creation, development and optimal use of technology. Equally important is sound understanding of people and how they interact with technology, both as customers and employees. So the MSc aims to develop leaders at the boundaries of technology, people and process, and to promote innovation at all levels.
Responding to enterprise needs
The programme was developed with the support of Enterprise Ireland in response to the need to augment Ireland’s capabilities in the area of technology transfer and commercialisation and to develop entrepreneurs and inspire innovation.
The curriculum was developed with strong input from industry experts and the programme tutors are a mix of academics with an industry background and industry experts an academic grounding.
“While acknowledging that employability and market competitiveness is key for all employers, from a wider societal view, the positive effects of lifelong learning in terms of personal development and higher levels of job satisfaction and greater staff retention, make economic sense,” highlights Nuala McGuinn, director at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, at NUI Galway.
The MSc is delivered over two years by blended learning. There are all-day workshops one Saturday per month. Participants work in groups and independently, and modules involve a large amount of problem based project work. This allows for truly useful, transformative learning and participants can delve deeply into an area of particular interest to them and implement ideas that relate directly to their work.
The course is delivered using the flipped classroom model, where the background reading is completed by the participant ahead of workshops. Then the face-to-face time is used for deeper exploration of concepts and collaborative learning. Participants typically are managers or senior specialists and have plenty of experience, so the peer-to-peer learning element is exceptional.
The MSc in Technology Management has two thematic streams: Innovation Management and Technology Commercialisation. The Technology Commercialisation stream caters for those with business ideas considering how best to develop their concept and bring it to market, and those working in R&D.
A number of participants have set up their own company during the course, where they can develop their business using best practice from the start and benefiting from expert supervision.
The Innovation Management stream is particularly suitable for companies, big or small, who want to optimise their business processes, design and improve products and integrate innovations in multiple domains. It explores topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship, and the creation, development and strategic use of new and emerging technologies in a variety of sectors.
These two streams are also available as individual postgraduate diplomas. Graduates of the diploma can then move on the full MSc. This is often the preferred route to complete the MSc as it reduces the annual workload and staggers the cost.
Most students work in demanding jobs, often travelling regularly and many have families, so the opportunity to take a less pressurised route is a huge draw.
The individual modules on the MSc are also available on a standalone basis. This is particularly useful for continuous professional development (CPD): to deepen niche understanding, refresh-skills or to break into new areas. It is also a very useful way of testing out a course or subject area and seeing if it is right for you.
The benefits of the MSc are best indicated by the successes of its graduates:
MSc graduate David Ronan is now director of the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway.
Neassa Greene was a senior quality engineer with Boston Scientific when she started the MSc. She has set up her own consulting company since graduating: “Overall, the course was an excellent experience. I’ve made so many contacts in a wide variety of disciplines. I found our group assignments to be a great way of learning more about other types of technology (software, electronics, pharmaceuticals). It has been one of the best learning experiences I’ve had. I’d highly recommend this course to anyone thinking of developing themselves and their career prospects.”
Gavan O’Sullivan is the founding managing director at Nortev Ltd: “The MSc in Technology Management offered both flexibility and structure by setting out a clear timetable from the very start of Year 1, which outlined the content of the modules and the examination methods. Module assessment enabled me to analyse and improve on every day work practices, in addition to opening discussions with company employees and managers. The overall course content was sufficiently comprehensive to greatly help me set-up my own technology led company.”
To find out more about these courses, visit: www.aua.ie.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2017/04/24/postgraduate-course-in-technology-management/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/technology-course-1024x580.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/technology-course-300x300.jpgSponsoredNUI Galway