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Business Leaders in the Decades to Come


Today's business world differs significantly from the 1960s era when Industrial Technology was launched at Cal Poly. Now, a large and growing fraction of manufacturing and design is outsourced with parts, components, electronic files and finished products moving through complex networks of commerce that span the globe. At the same time, value is increasingly derived from technological innovation, time to market and compelling product design and packaging. The MS-BT program is targeted to address those competencies.

Individuals who have the requisite substantive knowledge, technical skills and managerial talents appropriate for this new context will become business leaders in the decades to come.

Program Learning Objectives

The MS-BT program courses collectively provide students with background information and training to:
1. Understand global and national issues affecting Industrial Technology, in terms of the state of knowledge in the subfields of: value chain management; packaging science and technology; technology entrepreneurship and innovation; and industrial processes and systems.

2. Be able to generate timely and creative solutions that jointly improve business, technological and human outcomes, in the key sub-fields of Industrial Technology.

3.Understand and apply decision tools and methods to a range of business and technological problems pertaining to the IT-relevant subfields of: value chain management; packaging science and technology; technology entrepreneurship and innovation; and industrial processes and systems.

4.Understand and apply knowledge of important societal issues that pervade the business and technological environment, particularly: environmental sustainability; business ethics; and workforce growth and development.

5.Demonstrate organizational leadership skills via: written technical communication; oral communication and presentation; and effective team behavior. These knowledge objectives are imparted via traditional class work, coupled to a significant industry-focused research project that emphasizes problem-solving, experimentation and the use of business-based decision tools. Overall, the program is designed to enable graduates to lead and innovate in industrial environments characterized by economic, technological and organizational change.

Program Accreditation

The MS-BT degree at Cal Poly is a 45-unit program that is housed in the Orfalea College of Business . The Cal Poly Orfalea College Of Business and its programs are accredited by the The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Industrial Technology program is accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).

Program Options

The MS-BT program is structured into two parallel but uniquely targeted tracks.

On-Campus Research and Development Track:
This track is designed for recent BS recipients (engineering, industrial technology, physical sciences) who have interests in enhancing their skills in applied, problem-focused research methods and practices, as well as broadening their expertise in management-of-technology knowledge. This 11-month accelerated cohort track begins with a 3-week intensive summer experience and ends with an early summer international business study tour.

Enrollment in this track will be capped, and this set of students will work closely during their tenure in the program with IT faculty members on research projects as research assistants and in qualified cases as paid graduate assistants (supporting the undergraduate Industrial Technology labs and classes).

Students selecting this track are anxious to enter the workforce but also understand the benefits offered by a full-time on-campus graduate program that offers industry experienced faculty, emphasizes the learn-by-doing philosophy of Cal Poly and offers the lifelong benefits of close mentoring during their graduate education experience.

Off-Campus Working Professionals Track:
This cohort track is designed for the early-career full-time employees already working in a technology-focused company. Candidates for this track will possess a bachelor's level technical degree and are on a trajectory to move up into more senior management positions in technology related functions. This track is designed for those that will continue to work full-time but have the ability to dedicate a limited amount of time away from work.

Spread over six academic quarters and 21 calendar months, this track offers a mixed delivery format of approximately 20% face-to-face on-campus delivery, during scheduled on-campus weekends, and the balance delivered online through a variety of courseware options and distance learning facilitation.