April 23 2014

Frequently Asked Questions - Courses

I am an underclassman (freshman/sophomore). What TEC courses can I take?

I am an upperclassman (junior/senior). Which of the TEC courses should I take first?

As a graduate student, do I need to be enrolled in a specific program to take a TEC course? If not, which one should I take first?

I am thinking about going to law school - I have heard patent law is a good career option for engineers. Are there any TEC courses that would be good preparation?

I don't think I want to start my own business. I plan to get a job as an engineer working for a company, but I am definately interested in moving into management later on. Are there any TEC courses that are useful to me?

 

If you have any questions related to TEC courses or certificates, please contact Brooke Newell.

 

I am an underclassman (freshman/sophomore). What TEC courses can I take?

Freshmen and sophomores usually enroll in ENG/TE 360: Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship. This one-credit course introduces students to some of the basic issues associated with entrepreneurship and technology commercialization generally, but some of the content provided in the assigned texts and in the presentations given by our guest lecturers may be beyond the typical sophomore's present academic preparation. As lectures from previous semesters are available on our website, interested sophomores (and even juniors) might do well to review some of these lectures and evaluate their difficulty.

I am an upperclassman (junior/senior). Which of the TEC courses should I take first?

If you haven't already taken ENG/TE 360: Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship, you will want to start with this class. This one-credit course introduces students to a broad spectrum of the most basic issues associated with entrepreneurship. Guest lecturers discuss topics like: the elements of a business plan, the types of financing that are available and how to get them, how to convert a technology into a product, what market analysis consists of, how to commercialize a technology coming out of a university, what are necessary leadership skills ... and much, much more. Students in that course often enroll in other TEC courses subsequently, in order to pursue their interests in more detail.

Students interested in more in-depth coverage of building a technology-based business specifically may wish to take ENG/TE 461: Technology Entrepreneurship. In this course, students actually write and present a business plan over the course of the semester, and compete for prize money in the V. Dale Cozad Business Plan Competition.

As a graduate student, do I need to be enrolled in a specific program to take a TEC course? If not, which one should I take first?

Graduate students from all departments in the College of Engineering are welcome to take TEC courses; you do not need to be enrolled in any specific Masters or Ph.D. program.

Unlike undergraduates, graduate students have many more choices in terms of the TEC course they may wish to take first. Many graduate students do choose to take ENG/TE 460: Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship - if they have had no previous exposure to any technology business, commercialization or entrepreneurship issues. Graduate students who know they are interested in working for a research and development laboratory in industry may prefer to start with ENG/TE 560: Managing Advanced Technology I . This course looks with more specificity at the unique concerns associated with that business context. (Please note that this course IS a prerequisite for ENG/TE 561: Managing Advanced Technology II)

Your best bet is to read the course descriptions available on this website, and decide which course's content best matches your interests, professional goals, and academic preparation. If you have more specific questions about particular courses, our faculty members who teach the courses are always happy to respond to questions by phone or e-mail.

I am thinking about going to law school - I have heard patent law is a good career option for engineers. Arethere any TEC courses that would be good preparation?

Many of the TEC courses address legal themes. One course in particular that you may want to consider is ENG 400: Engineering Law. It is open to undergraduates from any college or department. It provides undergraduates with their first exposure to general legal principles with which all engineers should be familiar, including contracts, torts, products liability, intellectual property, administrative and regulatory law. It also provides a general overview of the operation of the American legal system. It satisfies the university's advanced writing requirement, and provides the opportunity to read, brief and analyze actual cases.

These two courses provide excellent background for an engineer considering the legal profession as a career, or one who simply wants greater familiarity with the law.

I don't think I want to start my own business. I plan to get a job as an engineer working for a company, but I am definately interested in moving into management later on. Are there any TEC courses that are useful to me?

Yes, there are. All TEC courses emphasize the commercial context in which technologies are developed, and many of the same principles apply, whether these technologies are being developed in a start-up company or an existing enterprise. Having said that, however, there are some concerns that are unique to each type of entity, and we have courses that focus on both.

If you have no exposure whatsoever to entrepreneurship or technology commercialization, we suggest you start with ENG/TE 360: Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship. From there, courses that might be of interest to you would include ENG/TE 560: Managing Advanced Technology I and its sequel, ENG/TE 561: Managing Advanced Technology II (each of these courses is only 1 credit hour), and ENG/TE 565: Technology Innovation and Strategy . Students who wish to pursue the financial aspects of technology commercialization in more depth would benefit from ENG/TE 566: Finance for Engineering Management . Each of these courses is taught by individuals with undergraduate degrees in engineering, coupled with graduate degrees in engineering, business or law, as well as years of experience in private industry dealing with issues associated with commercializing technologies. For more information on these courses, please consult their respective webpages, or e-mail the instructor with your specific inquiries.

 

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