Technology. Every business school talks about it, but few embrace it quite so fully as Scheller, at Georgia Tech. In fact, it would be pretty hard to avoid even if you wanted to, because the school is located in the middle of Atlanta’s Tech Square district, 1.4 million square feet of space that’s home to 100 startups and 50 accelerators and incubators, as well as the R&D wings of major corporations like AT&T and Coca-Cola.
Not content with this, Georgia Tech recently announced that it plans to build a new, two-tower complex in Tech Square that will add another 400,000 square feet, to be used by Scheller and other departments of the wider university. The first new building is expected to be open in 2022.
As you would expect, Scheller’s program has its fair share of tech-focused courses, especially when it comes to electives. MBAs can choose from eight “immersive tracks” that consist of four related electives. Examples include Technology Commercialization, Business Analytics, and Leading Digital Transformation. Tracks supplement academic work with projects with businesses, talks and panels featuring guest speakers, and networking events.
A number of students are also selected for the TI:GER technology commercialization track, a four-semester project that brings together Scheller MBAs, PhDs from Georgia Tech and law students from Emory to take a business idea to market. Given Georgia Tech’s specialization in engineering, analytics, computing, cybersecurity and biomedical research, places are in hot demand. The number of MBAs who can take part in TI:GER recently increased from 25 to 40.
In 2019, Scheller launched its Innovation Fellows program, which includes classes on innovation and a two-semester internship for selected students with corporate innovation centers and other participating companies, in which students will work on live business challenges.
Students can also cluster electives in “concentrations,” which consist of three electives centered on a particular area. Some are functional, such as Accounting, Finance, or Marketing, and others are interdisciplinary, such as Entrepreneurship, Business Analytics, Leadership and Collaboration, or Cross-Cultural Human Resource Management. Overall, students take 11 electives, giving the intellectually curious plenty of space to explore.
Scheller’s experiential learning comes largely in the form of “practicums,” semester-long consulting projects involving real-life problems. Students work alongside businesses, which gives them insight and great networking opportunities; these range from an IT practicum to an international practicum which involves a study tour to another country; there are more left-field opportunities, too — for example studying why the regional sawtimber industry has been slow to sign up for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
Of course, all of this is also aimed at channeling MBAs into great jobs, and Scheller is renowned for its top-notch careers service. As soon as students begin their course they are assigned a career coach. These advisers also work closely with companies, so they understand the skills they need and can find good fits for students. Given that Atlanta is also home to 17 Fortune 500 companies, those connections can be handy. Three months after graduation, 97% of Scheller’s most recent MBA cohort had a job. The top sector is consulting, at around 35%, while about 20% go into tech.
Candidates looking for a lively location will not be disappointed, as Atlanta is a thriving international city awash with bars, restaurants, arts, and sports. Scheller’s MBA also gives great bang for your buck: at a cost of about $30,000 for Georgia residents and $40,000 for non-residents, it has some of the best ROI stats around.
Katie Lloyd, Assistant Dean, MBA Programs
We prepare people to work at the intersection of business and technology. Our MBAs are leaders who understand how technology makes an impact in an organization, and we are one of the few programs that has an IT course as part of the core course. Also, our careers service is exceptionally dedicated. They give students assignments even before they arrive so they already have several hours of projects under their belts by the time they set foot on campus, and then they have 20-25 hours of careers-based activity during their first couple of weeks.
Jessica Howard, MBA 2020
After six years in marketing communications, I decided the time was right for an MBA to help me pursue higher-level roles in future. Initially, Scheller’s Atlanta location and the Jones MBA Career Center attracted me. We get frequent individualized attention from our advisors and are well supported to pursue roles that best suit our talents and interests. A highlight of the program was my IT Management course in the first semester, which was jam-packed with current topics and tools for IT, cybersecurity, business analytics, and digital marketing. I was able to build on these skills and speak confidently about current challenges in technology in my internship interviews.