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Set Apart by STEM

In recent years, companies across the globe are recruiting future leaders who not only have business acumen – but also a deeper understanding and appreciation of fields like science and technology. To meet the demand, many top business schools have elected to create STEM tracks within their MBA program. 

But as the flagship STEM campus for the University of North Carolina system, the Jenkins MBA Program at NC State’s Poole College of Management opted to pursue a STEM designation for its entire program. 

“As more companies have come to rely on data-driven decision making, the design of the MBA curriculum and the content of NC State MBA courses have changed to better prepare graduates to manage data and make informed judgments about finance, marketing, operations, staffing and strategy,” explains Steven Allen, interim associate dean of academic programs at Poole College.

Allen added, “STEM aligns the NC State MBA program with the mission of NC State and the needs of the top employers in the Research Triangle.  We intend to own our backyard as the MBA program of choice for those companies.”  

As MBA enrollments at other universities have declined in recent years, enrollment in the Jenkins MBA Program has increased by more than 70 percent since 2014. Allen sees it as a testament to the quality of the program and its ability to graduate business leaders equipped to succeed in this new, technology-rich work environment.

The Jenkins MBA curriculum not only provides students with an understanding of traditional business management principles – such as accounting, finance and economics – it also focuses on how to apply statistics, data management, and quantitative models to make better business decisions.  Jenkins MBA students now have the opportunity to obtain a graduate certificate in business analytics if they complete 12 hours of coursework in that area.  

All of this gives Jenkins MBA graduates a competitive advantage as they pursue new careers or grow within their companies.

Additionally, the change in designation will provide international students who graduate from the Jenkins MBA Program with the opportunity to be eligible for an extra two years of Optional Practical Training (OPT), allowing NC State to be more competitive in recruiting and retaining the very best international applicants. 

“As a college, we are constantly evaluating our program to align with the needs of our business community,” Allen says.

This post was originally published in Jenkins MBA News.