B.A.T.-Tech Management Students Find Value in Versatility
Combining the finer points of business, finance, manufacturing and IT, South Texas College’s Bachelor of Applied Technology in Technology Management connects students to versatile careers in leadership.
Can’t decide on a major? Why not choose all of them.
Combining the finer points of business, finance, manufacturing and IT, South Texas College’s Bachelor of Applied Technology in Technology Management connects students to versatile careers in leadership. And while the idea of effectively earning a bachelor’s degree at such an affordable cost at once may seem unbelievable, it’s not far from reality for the “Swiss-Army students” in the Technology Management program.
“They don’t just leave with a piece of paper, they leave with the knowledge, skills and ability that the industry needs right now,” says STC Department Chair Dr. Ruben Flores.
Launched in 2005, the program helped pioneer community college baccalaureate offerings in Texas and has continued to grow in the 16 years since. Now, with demand for managers surging across all industries, the program has taken on a new life in South Texas.
Managers in fields like health care and Information Technology are earning six-figure salaries, while opportunities continue to expand in business, manufacturing, government and beyond. With 15 years of successful grads to show for its efforts, South Texas College has established itself as a linchpin for local leadership.
“The program has evolved to address those needs,” according to Flores, who stresses the importance of industry engagement in keeping the Technology Management bachelor’s degree on the cutting edge. “We’ve transformed into a premier operations management program.”
From the beginning, the department has promoted a philosophy touting “the three As”: affordable, accessible, and accelerated. It starts with a commitment to keeping tuition low, and to serve students more efficiently by providing maximum support to facilitate fast outcomes.
Best of all, says the administrator, the program is available to virtually anyone. Earlier this year, the B.A.T. in Technology Management was named the nation’s #1 “Most Affordable” program by Bachelor’s Degree Center.
“They don’t just leave with a piece of paper, they leave with the knowledge, skills and ability that the industry needs right now.”
“You can really save a lot of money,” says the department chair, who considers accessibility crucial in the constantly evolving world of Technology Management. In addition to its accolade-inviting tuition costs and all-online option, the department is committed to uploading course materials and resources online to save on what Flores says can amount to “100, 200, 300 dollars per textbook.
“It works out well for a lot of our students.”
For prospective managers in high-tech fields, it’s all about learning to practice what they’ll eventually preach. At South Texas College, Technology Management students combine core curriculum with specialized coursework covering broad principles in business and government, and delving into specific aspects of accounting, communications and law. Meanwhile, the program encourages exploration with an elective system designed to let grads customize their careers.
“Obtaining a degree in Technology Management will enable me to look for a position in a large corporation and make a difference,” says Olga Quintero Menchaca, an international student looking to set an example in persistence for her three boys through her success in the program. “I am sure that this program will provide me with the tools and skills required to do it.”
Not only will Menchaca and her classmates hit the ground running in their management careers, they’ll do it at precisely the right time. Salaries are soaring, in South Texas and beyond, as sectors like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing face critical leadership shortages. In fact, demand for virtually all management positions is spiking, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with medical and health services managers leading the way at a staggering 32-percent annual growth.
The dexterous degree opens doors to unique opportunities in a variety of tech-centric disciplines. Finance-focused grads, for example, might find success as Risk Management Specialists ($78,470 annual salary), while more organizational minds might gravitate toward careers as Logistics Managers ($74,110) or Administrative Services Managers ($95,090). That versatility, says Flores, has value.
“A lot of people are starting to re-tool… wanting to go into a job market where they can be successful.”
Compounding the bargain for students is the program’s ultra-affordable tuition rate, now recognized as the nation’s lowest for a comparable degree. South Texas College charges just $850 per term, and with no limit set on the number of competency-based courses completable per semester, even a student with no prior credit could graduate up to year early. For those already boasting associate degrees or prior college credit, a bachelor’s degree could conceivably be earned within a year.
And though STC’s Technology Management degree can be earned at a fraction of the cost, it’s hardly a budget bachelor’s. Thanks to the program’s long-standing and robust partnerships with regional business partners, students are afforded unprecedented opportunities for hands-on engagement in their chosen industries, often leading directly to employment with the same company.
“Through our advisory committees we can bring in people from our communities to work with us and see where we can improve,” says Flores. “It favors those looking for a job.”
The program’s affordability was initially the key selling point for Menchaca, who plans to use her degree to help break new ground for women in organizational leadership. Soon, though, she would realize that accessibility was only part of the equation. Even more influential, she says, was the above-and-beyond guidance and support she received from her faculty and academic coaches at South Texas College.
“STC is an excellent choice because it offers affordable courses and a flexible schedule,” says Menchaca. “Besides, STC has excellent advisors who guide me through my class choices.