MS in Engineering Management

Product Management Program

Industry-Aligned Program

MS in Engineering Management

Product Management Program

Industry-Aligned Program

Multi-Faceted Curriculum

Merrimack’s Product Management program addresses areas such as product innovation, design, scheduling, marketing, data science, accounting and engineering management principles, and consists of 33 total credits.  As part of this credit allocation, eight elective credits are part of a track selection of Life Sciences, Technology Products, or Software/Web/Mobile.

The curriculum is designed to help students prepare to become tomorrow’s leaders by building on their existing knowledge, plus a combination of critical skill sets that are important in establishing inter-departmental relationships, driving innovation and building business strategy. Learning expectations include:

  • Developing product specifications for a range of products or a product portfolio
  • Learning about marketing analysis and analytics tools
  • Learning to envision, design, and develop products that address user needs
  • Developing the ability to lead projects and transform strategic and entrepreneurial goals into innovative solutions
  • Demonstrating communication and leadership skills to promote organizational success
  • Emphasizing optimum use of resources to meet business goals

APPLIED LEARNING FOR MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES

Multi-Faceted Curriculum

Merrimack’s Product Management program addresses areas such as product innovation, design, scheduling, marketing, data science, accounting and engineering management principles, and consists of 33 total credits.  As part of this credit allocation, eight elective credits are part of a track selection of Life Sciences, Technology Products, or Software/Web/Mobile.

The curriculum is designed to help students prepare to become tomorrow’s leaders by building on their existing knowledge, plus a combination of critical skill sets that are important in establishing inter-departmental relationships, driving innovation and building business strategy. Learning expectations include:

  • Developing product specifications for a range of products or a product portfolio
  • Learning about marketing analysis and analytics tools
  • Learning to envision, design, and develop products that address user needs
  • Developing the ability to lead projects and transform strategic and entrepreneurial goals into innovative solutions
  • Demonstrating communication and leadership skills to promote organizational success
  • Emphasizing optimum use of resources to meet business goals

APPLIED LEARNING FOR MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES

Program Curriculum

Business Core (Select 8 Credits)

Today’s organization makes it imperative that all functional areas of business have a basic understanding of the concepts and the foundations of marketing. Marketing is the business function that deals with the needs and wants of customers. The main objective in Concepts of Marketing is to acquire a clear understanding of the marketing function and the constant need to address changes in the business environment. Marketing is challenging, dynamic and creative and continues to play a key role in a firm’s strategy and direction making it important to decision-based management. (2 credits)

Effective writing and speaking skills are necessary for a career in management. This course is designed to help students develop a process for thinking and writing strategically. Students will learn how to analyze message, purpose, and audience; develop strategies for structure and style; construct persuasive arguments; and review for tone, organizational flow, and quality of evidence. This course will enable students to develop and demonstrate their ability to deliver formal and informal presentations and written reports in the context of addressing business challenges. Students will also learn communication strategies, principles, and methods as well as interpersonal skills that are essential for success in business. Students will have the opportunity to receive instructor and peer feedback. (2 credits)

Marketing is continually evolving. This course represents the leading edge of marketing by covering the most innovative and modern marketing practices. Topics included in this iteration of the course are: branding, experiential marketing, interactive marketing and holistic marketing. This course not only covers contemporary marketing practices but reveals the psychological mechanisms that drive their success- each week the students will learn a new psychological tool. Students first create a brand for any type of product/service/person they want. Then throughout the course they will develop that brand through weekly assignments and synchronous sessions related to modern marketing practices. Students will use a mix of theory and brainstorming within synchronous sessions to develop an optimal brand strategy. By the course conclusion, students will have a rich understanding of the most innovative marketing practices and how to leverage them through the creation and development of a brand. (2 credits)

Digital Marketing Implementation & Optimization (DMIO) is the heart of marketing and communication between companies and consumers in the new digital era. With the prevalence of online marketing and various media promotion strategies such as email marketing, E-commerce sites, social media marketing and podcast and live streaming, the hands-on practice of DMIO has become necessary and urgent for current marketing and business students to learn and practice before joining the professional world. Specifically, students will gain exposure to concepts and practices of digital content creation, digital & social media marketing, inbound & outbound marketing, CRMs and marketing terms. Students will learn how to measure SEO, KPIs & ROI, affiliate & sponsored marketing, E-commerce via website & APPs, and digital privacy. These DMIO concepts and skills are helpful for students: (1) who plan to pursue a marketing and communication-related career (2) who want to create content and conduct digital marketing for their own startups (3) who have the desire to enjoy the process of developing marketing content and thinking creatively. (2 credits)

This course provides coverage of negotiation and conflict-resolution in organizational settings. Students will study the theory and research on effective negotiating strategies to build their understanding of, and skills for, managing differences and negotiation situations. The course considers, among other topics, the issues of negotiating across functions, between levels, across national and cultural differences, over race and gender differences, and between organizations. Students will also master conflict-handling styles and response alternatives along with various modes of resolution including alternative dispute resolution, third-party intervention, mediation, and arbitration. (2 credits)

This course explores a variety of topics relevant to diversity in organizations; students will learn cultural and psychological processes that influence the manner in which people deal with one another. Students will apply them to discussions of specific dimensions of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and physical and mental ability. Students will also learn ways in which organizations can and do manage diversity toward the development of inclusive workplaces. (2 credits)

Designing, building, and sustaining high performing teams is essential to the success of an organization. Based on micro and macro management theories and concepts, students gain advanced insight and develop skills to design effective work teams and both motivate and facilitate teams to achieve high performance. Topics that will be covered include: team composition, diversity management, task design, team development, team competence, team leadership, and inter-team relationship. (2 credits)

Leaders must address continuing challenges of change and organizational adaptation. This course provides students with practical skills and tools for planning, managing, evaluating, and surviving large-scale organizational change with applications to emerging business issues, including knowledge management, “learning organizations,” and network management. (2 credits)

This course focuses on how to generate novel and useful ideas and how to implement them, as well as how leaders facilitate these processes. Based on both psychological and sociological perspectives on management, the course will explore the determinants of creativity and innovation at the individual, group, organizational, and inter-organizational levels of analysis. Students will become familiar with current thinking in the field, and apply their knowledge and understanding to practical business situations and case studies. (2 credits)

The objective of this course is to provide a strong foundation in the principles of both financial and managerial accounting and their impact on business decisions of managers and other users of financial information. The first portion of the course focuses on financial accounting concepts, the accounting cycle, and the preparation, analysis, and interpretation of the primary financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows). The second portion of the course will focus on fundamental managerial accounting concepts, including: cost allocation, cost-volume-profit analysis, operational budgeting, and financial planning. (4 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce the fundamental techniques in the context of financial analysis. The course will build on foundational knowledge of financial statement analysis to provide practical tools to support financial decisions. A managerial view of financial statements encompasses understanding how they show the economic consequences of doing business, facilitate the identification of future financing needs, and provide a structured approach to measuring the impact and sustainability of growth. The main topics covered include the time value of money and the net present value (NPV) rule, valuation of bonds and stocks, capital budgeting decisions, uncertainty and the trade-off between risk and return. The concepts developed in this course set the foundation that can be applied to Corporate Finance and Valuation and Quant and Factor Investing among other finance courses. (2 credits)

Data Science and Analytics Core (Select 8 Credits)

Foundations of Data Management provides students exposure to fundamental data management skills used in modern information systems that support various operational and functional areas within a business organization. Topics covered in the course emphasize how data are identified, organized, processed and managed, in a manner warranting being considered one of the most valuable organizational assets. The course emphasizes a combination of theoretical ‘why’ and experiential ‘how’ within the confines of relational data modeling and querying. It is intended to help students develop fundamental data management skills that are essential to succeeding in subsequent courses. (4 credits)

This course provides students with foundational knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics. The scope of this course is limited to univariate and bivariate statistics that are commonly used to conduct basic analyses of data, including reading-in data, reviewing individual variables and their properties, conducting any requisite data corrections and enhancements, developing an overall descriptive baseline, and taking initial steps of discovering and testing possible relationships. Also included in the course scope is an introductory overview of the basics of probability and sampling theories. Topic-wise, students will develop an understanding of numerous core statistical notions, including variable types and the underlying measurement scales, variable distributions, sampling distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, Bayes Theorem, measures of central tendency and variance, statistical significance, hypothesis testing, tests of difference, as well as correlation and cross-tabulation. (4 credits)

This course equips students with foundational concepts and techniques required for telling compelling stories with large complex data sets, using static and interactive graphics to depict outcomes, networks, time and maps. The importance of visualizing information for many analysts is often overlooked or downgraded, but if the visualization is ineffective, the decision-making processes and knowledge discovery will be compromised. This is a project-based course that begins with reviewing concepts of human perception and cognition and perceptual accuracy and preferences, followed by exploration of the basics of graphic design and making a “good” graph. Students explore why some data visualizations present information effectively and others do not, all while learning to appreciate visualization as a key component of Data Scientists’ and Business Analysts’ skill set. (4 credits)

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts surrounding legal rights and responsibilities associated with data capture, storage and leveraging data for decision-making. Given the very diverse mix of topics falling under this broad umbrella, the aim of the course is to provide a general overview of the applicable aspects of the US regulatory and legislative framework, and then to offer more topically-focused overview of the key notions falling within the domains of data-capture related rights and responsibilities, data governance design and management, data security and privacy, information quality, and the ethical aspects of data access, usage, and sharing. (4 credits)

Engineering Management Core (9 Credits)

New product development is a continuum of activities starting with the initial conceptualization of a new product through to successful product launch. This course introduces students to the range of activities along the new product development pathway, including ideation and concept development, concept refinement, detailed product design and engineering, design for manufacturability, design for usability, prototyping, scale-up and launch. It introduces multiple tools (used in different industries) to manage product development activities, including phase gate systems, agile development for software, lean development for products, etc. It also introduces scheduling, budgeting and monitoring tools to project and measure new product programs. (4 credits)

A product manager sits at the center of a complex web of interconnections and relationships that define successful products. This course introduces students to the various skills a product manager must deploy for product success including product definition, positioning, pricing, placement and promotion. It also introduces the relationship skills needed to manage cross-functional interactions and indirect and virtual teams. The course also includes an overview of the financial tools used to guide product realization and financial metrics used to measure product success. (4 credits)

This course involves participation in weekly seminars presented by faculty, invited guests, and graduate students in sciences and engineering and supporting disciplines. Topics will focus on profession integrity. Students are required to review the writing and presentations of other graduate students and offer presentations of their own. (1 credits)

Electives (Choose One Track) (8 Credits)

Life Sciences Concentration
3 Courses Required

Covers products and services that are directly regulated life sciences products such as pharmaceuticals, biotech, and medical devices, as well as products and services sold to these heavily regulated industries for R&D, QA, and manufacturing.

Innovation is at the very core of life sciences, which are based heavily on cutting edge science and technology. At the same time innovation is very challenging in life sciences settings, due to the heavily regulated environment. This course introduces students to the tools and techniques used in life sciences setting to allow for innovation to flourish while maintaining the tight controls necessary in a critical to life industry. Topics include general innovation tools like ideation and design thinking as well more specific tools such as open innovation and design contests. Additional topics include product lifecycle management and regulated product utilization management.

Life Sciences are a heavily regulated industry. Virtually every aspect of product management in the life sciences involves interacting with regulated activities. This course will introduce students to the regulatory aspects of product development in life sciences, such as Quality System Regulation 21CFR Part 820 and Design Controls. It also introduces the premarket approval process with FDA including 510K, PMA, etc. Also addressed are the regulatory aspects of marketing claims, including evidence-based claims, approved indications and off-label usage. The arcane process of reimbursement (getting paid) for life sciences products is also introduced. Also covered are the unique aspects of intellectual property (IP) in life sciences.

This course is the culmination of students’ learning – its intent is to offer students opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired in the program, in a directed, team-based setting. As such, the course is a practicum built around solving applied life sciences industry product realization problems, using available resources. While substantial product management guidance is offered throughout the course, the course does not encompass formal lectures, pre-determined assignments or examinations; instead, student’s performance in the Capstone course is based solely on successful completion of an assigned, student-specific project.

Software, Web, Mobile Concentration
3 Courses Required

Covers products and services that are primarily based on software. These include packaged software, software as a service (SAAS), web-based applications, publishing, services and eCommerce, and mobile apps.

Innovation is the lifeblood of software, web and mobile applications. These industries evolve at an unparalleled pace. This course introduces students to the tools and techniques that allow firms to innovate successfully in this fast paced environment. There is a special focus on software and online specific development methods like Agile Software Development and hackathons, as well as user driven innovation and design. Additional topics include available online business models, product lifecycle management, and privacy and data security implications.

This course will focus on the principles, tools, and techniques of digital marketing, the foundational areas that every product manager needs to be aware of and know how to apply to their business. It explores topics including segmentation and user journeys, search engine marketing, the effectiveness of online advertising, and how to use viral marketing, email marketing, social, mobile, and consumer-generated content. Content development strategies will be examined, including the different types of content that organizations need. Students will examine case studies of some of the best strategies and campaigns that bring together the interrelationships of the various digital marketing disciplines.

This course is the culmination of students’ learning – its intent is to offer students opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired in the program, in a directed, team-based setting. As such, the course is a practicum built around solving applied software, web and mobile industry product realization problems, using available resources. While substantial product management guidance is offered throughout the course, the course does not encompass formal lectures, pre-determined assignments or examinations; instead, student’s performance in the Capstone course is based solely on successful completion of an assigned, student-specific project.

Complex Technological Products Concentration
3 Courses Required

Covers products and services that are composed of or rely on multiple different critical technologies, such as robotics, instrumentation, transportation systems, and energy systems.

Innovation is a central focus of technology product managers. New technology is at the core of these industries. This course introduces students to the tools and techniques that allow firms to innovate successfully in this ever changing technology environment. There is a special focus on product specific development methods like Lean Product Development, virtual design and rapid prototyping, as well as open innovation and ideation. Additional topics include product lifecycle management.

Design Thinking is a systematic approach to innovation and creative problem-solving that can be used in many disciplines. This course will introduce the tools and methods that underpin Design Thinking, providing students ‘…the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context’ [David Kelley, founder IDEO]. Included are techniques to understand users’ motivations and to gather deep insights, as well as ways to learn from failure: innovation entails taking risks and trying new things. Also included are introductions to communication methods central to innovation including visual storytelling and video prototyping.

This course is the culmination of students’ learning – its intent is to offer students opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired in the program, in a directed, team-based setting. As such, the course is a practicum built around solving applied technological product realization problems, using available resources. While substantial product management guidance is offered throughout the course, the course does not encompass formal lectures, pre-determined assignments or examinations; instead, student’s performance in the Capstone course is based solely on successful completion of an assigned, student-specific project.

Today’s Product-Driven Industries

In developing this Product Management program and curriculum, Merrimack College worked to identify skill gaps that professionals were encountering in product management careers. Having a detailed understanding of the common technology, software systems, and product life cycles is critical to empowering product managers to perform efficiently within their roles.

Program faculty understand the importance of how business analytics drives organizational decisions and strategy, and they also see how the interaction and motivation of cross-functional teams are vitally important to success.  The Product Management program focuses on these key skillsets to better prepare students to advance within or enter a product management role immediately.

Merrimack faculty are industry experts within today’s business environment, so in addition to teaching the concepts in the classroom, they share best-practices and challenges from experience in product management fields.  In addition to being invested in seeing students succeed, our faculty work to ensure students are prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow by understanding the demands in the market today.

Core Competencies

  1. Conceptualize, plan, manage, execute, and launch new products to meet market and business needs.
  2. Utilize product definition, positioning strategy, pricing strategy, placement strategy and promotion strategy to meet market and financial objectives for a business.
  3. Refine presentation and communication skills for effective product management.
  4. Develop foundational data science and analytics skills to support effective product management decision making including: data visualization, data governance, database management, and statistical analysis.
  5. Hone general management skills to support interactions with the extended product team.
  1. Plan, develop, and execute innovation activities in a heavily-regulated environment such as pharmaceuticals, biotech, and medical devices, as well as products and services sold to these industries for R&D, QA, and manufacturing.
  2. Navigate regulatory, reimbursement, and IP requirements and constraints throughout a product’s lifecycle in a life sciences environment.
  1. Plan, develop, and execute innovation activities in a fast-paced environment such as packaged software, software as a service (SAAS), web-based applications, publishing, services and eCommerce, and mobile apps.
  2. Plan, develop, and execute marketing activities for digital products and businesses.
  1. Plan, develop, and execute innovation activities in a complex, multi-disciplinary environment such as robotics, instrumentation, transportation systems, and energy systems.
  2. Understand users, develop deep empathy, discover context, and fit solutions to maximize the value created for the customer.

MERRIMACK COLLEGE ACCOLADES

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

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APPLIED LEARNING FOR MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES