BS in Enterprise Development - New Undergraduate Major for Fall 2008

BS in Enterprise Development - New Undergraduate Major for Fall 2008

In the fall, the School of Management at NJIT will offer a new bachelor degree in Enterprise Development.  If you are the kind of student who wants to start your own business or would like to to help an existing firm create a new division, this is the degree for you.  Associate Professor Annaleena Parhankangas, who teaches at the School of Management, discusses the new degree.

Parkankangas teaches International Enterprise Development at NJIT.  In the past, she has taught in Finland and Sweden, as well as at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Wharton School of Business. She specializes in technology, innovation management and international business. She studies how new technology-based companies affect the overall development of technology.


Can you define enterprise development?

Enterprise development can be anything from the creation of new enterprises to the redevelopment of existing enterprises, or many activities in between. The critical issue is that it relies on ideas about innovative product initiation that responds to human needs. This can include building a new firm to produce and distribute, say, creative websites. It can also include the creation of a new product line for a major corporation such as Nokia, where a group in the research and development unit might design a bio-medical implant device in the form of a mobile communication. Nokia could create a new division for this product, or, if it is not yet ready to produce the device, it could spin off the idea, as well as the employees developing it, into a new firm.

What will the enterprise development program focus on? Will there be an emphasis on computing and technology?

There will be an emphasis on idea discovery or creation, where computational processes can be very helpful. The ideas will primarily relate to high-technology product development, but could involve hybrid combinations of new and old technologies. Learning how take product-related technology and commercialize is what this program will emphasize. It will not focus on engineering the technology itself.  But students who are curious about all aspects of technology will only benefit from that mindset.  

I know you are also starting up a new major in business management.  How will this enterprise development degree differ from a business management degree?

This program is for those students interested in enterprise development, with an emphasis on teaching better ways to meet consumer needs. It’s less for students who want to stable jobs in traditional industries. The program will also emphasize the diverse international dimension of enterprise development.  In Silicon Valley, for instance, many newly initiated firms are “born” as international; that’s because so many internationals were involved in creating the firms. NJIT students are very diverse -- quite similar to the international workforce of Silicon Valley. Traditional business education courses usually train loyal citizens for life-long work in stable firms with stable products that resist change. Students in this program will be different. They will be prepared to embrace and take advantage of change. They will be the leaders in seeking out a world of new products that will meet the redefined human needs of the 21st Century.

 What kind of student might consider doing this major?

The program should appeal to high school graduates who want to be involved in risk-based endeavors, such as starting or buying a business. It’s for students who dream of leadership in meeting challenges and doing things that will make a difference in their world. It will attract, and be limited to, students with an interest in experimenting -- in how to do the right socio-economic thing instead of continuing to do the wrong things, although ever more efficiently.

What kind of jobs will this degree help students get after they graduate?

For these graduates the central question shifts from what kind of job they will get to what kind of jobs their ideas and actions will create for others. Enterprise development is a process which brings people, opportunities and resources together in innovative ways to create value for customers, shareholders and society as a whole. In today’s fast-changing contradictory landscape, the skills of opportunity recognition, business development, sustaining ideals over time and reinvesting the economic rewards from doing so are critical characteristics of new enterprises. Consequently, individuals possessing such skills are highly valued and sought by new and active firms. This program is to help prepare graduates for valued positions in progressive and innovative firms.

Bachelor of Science in Enterprise Development (855 KB, pdf)

(By Robert Florida, University Web Services)