Colleges and universities are rushing to turn the study of business on the Net into degrees, majors, minors, concentrations, specialties, certificates, fellowships and research centers.
The dot-com crowd are offering the e-commerce credential in as many different instructions as there are institutions offering it. Of the few programs now available, some focus on Internet technology, with training in Web-site design, electronic data interchange and authentication technology along with marketing and consumer services.
Some involve intensive curriculums and undergraduate degrees in subjects like computer science or finance. Others have fewer course requirements and appeal to students who are not proficient with computers.
Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate business school last May introduced a master’s of science program in electronic commerce that combines instruction in business and in computer science. The year-long program costs $38,000 (US).
At Vanderbilt University in Nashville, 110 students, or a quarter of the MBA candidates, have chosen e-commerce as either a concentration or speciality.
Many companies think that employees with a good knowledge of modern computer technologies and e-commerce strategies might give them a competitive edge. Some companies are helping to sponsor e-commerce research centres, sometimes as a means for converting their business problems into case studies that students can try to solve.
Universities and colleges in Canada are also moving rapidly along with their own e-commerce programs and courses. The new $240 million (Cnd) Technical University of British Columbia is one such institution.
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