Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics is home to two STEM programs offering
students a remarkable return on investment: Engineering Management (EM) and Management
Information Systems (MIS). Both straddle the technical and business fields, focusing
on building problem-solving and decision-making skills as well as organizational,
planning and communications capacities. Both majors maintain strong connections to
leaders in industry through professional organizations, faculty research, interdisciplinary
relationships, alumni, and groups such as advisory boards. Because of this, they remain
current and prepare students to be leaders in the ever-changing world of technology
and innovations. MIS and EM students are heavily recruited by major companies for
internships and post-graduation employment.
Professor Dana Johnson oversees engineering management. Michigan Tech is one of only 28 EM undergraduate programs across the US that are recognized by the American Society for Engineering Management. Education experiences in the form of cooperatives and internships for EM majors include eight-month employment placements that span two semesters—unusual for business students but comparable to the experiences in STEM programs on MTU’s campus. EM students have worked cooperatives in such companies as Greenheck Fan Corporation, Dow Chemical, Bobcat, and Caterpillar, to name a few.
All EM students are required to take a project management course offering hands-on experience with projects such as designing an app or starting a technical business. This course is taken alongside engineers and other business majors. Additionally, students take a course in Six Sigma Fundamentals, which provides them with the skills to improve business processes through the DMIAC approach to problem solving: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control, according to the American Society for
Quality. Underlying these essential skills is a strong foundation in engineering concepts.
Dr. Mari Buche, associate dean and professor, heads management information systems at Michigan Tech. MIS is the liaison between business end users and technical programmers. MIS professionals listen carefully to determine what a business needs, then translate those requirements for technical specialists who in turn build the system the company requires. Most majors go
into business or systems analyst roles. The dual ability to understand the technical aspects of a project, coupled with strong client communications skills, is extremely valuable to many employers.
Dr. Buche is an advocate for experiential learning. “We structure courses using real projects that benefit real companies and organizations. Students learn how to interview the client, identify their needs, communicate progress, and discuss challenges.” The MIS program also has an impressive history of internships. Students work alongside professionals at such companies as
Ford, Dow, Quicken Loans, Hewlett-Packard, and 3M. This year a recent graduate landed a job at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Both MIS and EM benefit from dedicated faculty who get to know students as individuals and assist them with internships, co-ops, and job searches. Their commitment has led to two undergraduate major options offering a home to students who may not be sure how to balance their interests and talents. Fortunately, there are faculty like Dr. Johnson and Dr. Buche to help guide them.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.