Science News carried an interesting article on Professional Education and Continuing Education in Sciences in the June 20, 2009. The article emphasizes the growing number of jobs for people who have knowledge in both of these fields. New college graduates can earn a Professional Science Master’s degree at 71 universities.
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Will the Professional Science Master’s, the science-based professional degree created nine decades after the MBA, manage to meet the needs of 21st century private and public enterprises? That’s the view (and hope) of the directors of 134 PSM programs at 71 universities, their employer partners and the 2,500 math/science graduates now enrolled.
The PSM is intended for math and science graduates bent on careers at the intersection of science and management. In large public and private enterprises, PSMers serve as lab and project managers and/or work in close collaboration with specialists in finance, intellectual property or regulatory affairs. In smaller startups, they carry responsibilities in both science and management. And in the public sector, their value is just now beginning to be recognized.
Judging by the successful hiring record of graduates, PSMers appear to be getting jobs that need to be filled.
“It’s best to think about the PSM not as a step down from the Ph.D. but as a step up from the bachelor’s,” says Bogdan Vernescu, the founding president of the National Professional Science Master’s Association. Eugene Levy, Rice University provost, goes further: “The master’s degree will evolve to become the normal expectation of professional careers.”