Software Engineering/Business Degree

So, now that I’ve been in my new job for a little over a month, I’m wondering something.  Is there a combined software engineering/business degree somewhere? Because really there should be.  Lots of  young SEs want to start their own company, but seem to have little understanding of the finance and/or marketing side of things.  Don’t you think that’s a good idea? People would learn not just how to create software, but some of the basics of selling it as well.  And don’t tell me that SEs are introverts and don’t want to learn that, because that hasn’t really been my experience.

Anyhow, new job going well.  So many interesting people with great ideas.  I get to talks to lots of small and medium sized business owners about their problems, and help them solve it.  I don’t always know and/or understand the technology (we cover everything), but I do see the passion and it’s inspiring.

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6 Responses

  1. If someone were trying to do a dual-BS, I would have to question why they weren’t doing a joint MBA instead.

    I concur on the entrepreneurial spirit found around software engineers. It is about as common as extracurricular activities in theatre and music. And, it seems to be those same people in my experience.

    • Why would you question this, what is better about doing a joint MBA – would that be a 5 year program, with an MBA on the top? I’m really new to this game, so am trying to learn what I can in terms of what’s out there.

  2. University of Alberta offers a BSc. in Computing Science with a minor in Business (see http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/programs/undergraduate. I went through the program and the business part was really great. Basic finance, accounting, and marketing knowledge is definitely a good thing for a software engineer. I suppose marketing knowledge would be good for those on a research track too; after all, getting research money is all about marketing 🙂

    • I looked at this program, and it’s interesting, but in the description it seems to focus on the application of business to computing, “Computing is constantly introducing new ideas into business, such as using the buzz on the web to predict movie success. Ideas from business find application in computing, for example by using investment decision theory to decide what parts of a software system should be worked on next.” The courses appear to be more flexible, and what I had in mind, which is teaching innovative grads how to take their ideas to market.

  3. This is a very exciting topic, which I happen to be involved with over the last 15 years. I have been teaching “entrepreneurship” to computer science students since 1996. It is not exactly a combined business/technology curriculum, but has produced interesting results along the years (+20 small companies created from students that are still in the market, some in the international market). We have five courses in the Computer Science degree covering from idea generation and feasibility studies to accounting for technical people. Students lear how to evaluate the economic and market feasibility of an idea. The overal goal is to make them think more in terms of market needs rather than from the technology perspective. We use several methods and course material. Currently, I am evaluating a course material from the Kaufman Foundation for a Brazilian organization. I will be happy to share some thoughs on this topic with you.

  4. The University at which I work in the UK, the University of Hertfordshire, provides a wide range of Joint Honours degrees including Business and Computing. The University will this year be offering Entrepreneurialism as a subject on the Joint Honours, so students could potentially do Computing and Entrepreneurialism. The University also provides facilitaties and services to encourage students to commercially exploit their own ideas.

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