UIC RETOOLS FOR NEXT GENERATION OF E-BUSINESS
When the University of Illinois at Chicago's E-Business E-Commerce Certificate Program was announced last year, the goal was to cover the entire breadth of topics related to e-business for an audience with wide differences in experience and objectives.
"Originally, we thought our students would be mostly entrepreneurs," said Joel Warady, lecturer and president and CEO of OralCare.com, a Chicago-based Internet start-up. "What we've actually found is that 70 percent of our students were in a corporate environment and 30 percent were looking to start an Internet business. So, the course material needed to be refocused to adapt to those students most likely to attend."
Now, with several program sessions completed over the past 12 months, UIC's e-business curriculum is being redesigned to better train those students who come from a corporate environment and need to know how to integrate e-business within their corporate structure.
"A year ago, people looked at the Internet as a business," Warady said. "Now, what we're emphasizing is that the Internet itself is not necessarily a business, but that businesses today have to integrate the Internet into their functions to continue to operate. What we're trying to do in our new program modules is to show corporations as well as entrepreneurs how to integrate the Internet into their businesses to be efficient and certainly more competitive."
"The new program still emphasizes entrepreneurship, but it's also for companies who want to put their existing business on the Internet," added Tom Lumpkin, UIC assistant professor of managerial studies and e-business lecturer. "We phased out areas that were less useful and added segments that capture the most important issues of the day. That way, we're keeping our program fresh and cutting-edge."
New areas added to the updated curriculum for fall 2000 include: business intelligence, customer relationship management, strategic relationships, and intrapreneurship. These are added to the existing areas of Internet overview, financing issues, entrepreneurship, marketing, and privacy, security and legal issues.
UIC also redesigned the technical portion of its program. There is now more emphasis on the technical infrastructure and how everything must fit together and be managed in a strategic way. The front-end technical portion of the course, according to Lumpkin, is now more focused on the big picture, rather than "writing HTML code and designing a Web site."
Offered over five weekends beginning Sept. 15, UIC's E-Business E-Commerce Certificate Program consists of lectures, panel discussions and hands-on technical sessions. Also new this fall are comprehensive two-day courses in areas such as project management, business intelligence, customer relationship management, internet marketing, and strategic relationships.
The courses are taught by UIC professors, guest entrepreneurs involved in Internet start-ups, and local founders of national companies who have practical experience in leading successful businesses in numerous industries.
"We begin the course by describing the Internet and its background, and include everything involved technically with setting up a Web site," Warady explained. "The course also features discussions on how to work with venture-capital firms, how to manage your project, how to market it, and then, how to actually launch the site. While our first design did that very well, the redesigned curriculum will allow participants to return to their companies with added knowledge."
Down the road, Warady added that UIC is looking to redesign its course every six months to keep pace with the rapid changes in e-business. For more information, visit www.uic.edu/cba/pdp or contact Cindy Atchley, director of professional development programs, at (312) 413-2404.
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the entire metropolitan region.
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