Tuck Pilots Tech Accelerator @ Dartmouth

Tuck School of Business

March 31, 2017

By Kirk Kardashian

A unique collaboration between Tuck, Computer Science, and Thayer School helps bridge the gap between liberal arts students and high tech careers.

The twenty-year-old Business Bridge program has proven a successful formula for career advancement.

Put bright, motivated liberal arts undergraduates through four weeks of intense, MBA-style business courses, and they will be ready to embark on a fulfilling job at a great company.

The thing is, traditional firms in, say, finance, consumer products, and manufacturing aren’t the only ones looking for liberal arts majors. The companies of Silicon Valley are too. As David Kalt, the founder of Reverb.com, wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2016, “If more tech hires held a philosophy or English degree with some programming on the side, we might in the end create better leaders in technology and life.”

In August, Tuck is heeding Kalt’s call by running a pilot of the Tech Accelerator @ Dartmouth program, a unique collaboration with Dartmouth College and Thayer School of Engineering. For this first version of the program, a group of twenty to twenty-five Bridge alumni will attend two weeks of classes on engineering and design thinking taught by Thayer faculty, and computer science and coding taught by faculty from Dartmouth’s Department of Computer Science.

Students will have lessons on topics such as human-centered design methodologies, engineering problem-solving methods, and computational thinking in science, engineering, and technology. Overall, the program will not only endow students with business and technology skills, but teach them scientific literacy, how to think critically and creatively, and to be at ease working in teams.

The demand for liberal arts graduates at technology firms is proof that the humanities and social sciences aren’t so different from the hard sciences. “The liberal arts teach us to question, explore broadly, and ask, ‘Why?’” says Joseph Helble, dean of Thayer. “Engineering complements that well by teaching us to ask, ‘Why not?’”

The Tech Accelerator @ Dartmouth program takes place August 11 – 21, in Hanover, NH. Apply online.

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