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Design Classes Help MBAs Think Outside the Box

Classes in product design help MBA students take an innovative approach to entrepreneurship.

MBA students may take courses with students from other disciplines, such as engineering, when in a design class.
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He says there are a few skills designers have that MBAs can use. One skill is finding many solutions for a single problem, something most people don't do, he says.

People often think of a single answer and then proceed with it, but "the first solution you think of isn't likely to be a very good one," he says.

In the product design and development course he teaches with other professors, the class Markle took, Eppinger covers understanding problems by talking to customers, prototyping and other topics.

MBAs with a design background can have a range of job opportunities, says Kevin Frick, the vice dean of education at the Carey Business School.

"I don't see it as something that necessarily limits students to a particular track on the business school side," he says. "Many of the students see it simply as a different way of differentiating themselves from the competition."

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