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March 13, 2007

Degree in Innovation

This is an idea I have been working with, since I read about the best D-Schools on David Armano's blog, Logic+Emotion.  What if UW created an interdisciplinary degree in Innovation, where students would be required to take courses from business and entrepreneurship, design studies, and engineering?  The degree program would be housed in the Business School's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A degree program such as these would attract the best and brightest from around the school and the world, because many students have a variety of interests.  The program might take up to 5 years to complete, because of the amount of courses, but it would be a lot of fun at the same time.  Wouldn't you enjoy taking a course each on engineering, business, and design each quarter?  You would never get bored.

The creating a business course for the Innovation major would be changed from the current two quarters (for entrepreneurship) to one year, and students would not be required to fold their business at the end.  Instead the students would pay back the program for the initial money raised, and give a program a nominal equity stake in their enterprise.  This way if anyone strikes it, the program will receive a windfall endowment.

As to whether employers would hire people with this degree, these might be the most in demand students.  Advertising/Marketing, Computer Hardware, Software, Internet, Nanotech, and American Manufacturing (including cars) companies, to name a few, could utilize the unique breadth of skills offered by these students.  Of course the students would only need to corporate if they desired, because they might already be running a successful company.


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