When it comes time to apply to college, many students who want to make their mark in the Silicon Valleys of the nation have often had to choose between tech or pursing an entrepreneurial bent in a business program. Or, they’d have to spend extra years in school learning how to turn their tech know-how into a successful business.
But now, they can study both fields at once in the new Management, Engineering, & Technology (M.E.T.) program at UC Berkeley. At the end of four years, they’ll have two degrees, one in engineering and one in business.
The program this week welcomed its inaugural class. Forty students were admitted — drawn from about 2,500 applications. The class is 30 percent women, with students enrolling from 12 states across all regions of the U.S. and from four other countries.
The program, a collaboration between the Haas School of Business and the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, aims to build deep leadership and technology skills. Undergrads who are admitted to M.E.T. combine business courses with one of three engineering tracks: electrical engineering and computer sciences; industrial engineering and operations research; or mechanical engineering. They spend time in class at both the schools throughout their four years.
“M.E.T. will lay the groundwork for the next generation of entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Silicon Valley leaders,” said Marjorie DeGraca, executive director of the M.E.T. program. “These students will study together in a tight-knit cohort, learning from each other and from close mentoring relationships from top faculty in both schools.”
“Typically students seeking an advanced career in technology management first focus on earning an engineering undergraduate degree, get hired, then return to school for an MBA,” said Michael Grimes, who earned his engineering degree at Berkeley in 1987 and is head of Global Technology Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley. A founding advisory board member of M.E.T., which is funded by alums and members of the tech community, Grimes welcomed the students during several orientation sessions.
“M.E.T. speeds up the process by turning nine years into four,” said Grimes.