NEOCON MBA: A Degree for the 21st Century

What is the NEOCON™ MBA? It is a cutting-edge graduate degree that fulfills the needs of the new economic workplace. Business organizations are looking for employees who can juggle a multitude of tasks, come up with innovate solutions, and work as part of a knowledgeable team.

These are just a few of the skills that employees need to perform in today's global marketplace. This new program provides professional education that serves students for a lifetime, transforming them into 'ready-to-go' professionals and lifelong learners in all business disciplines. Through an integrated curriculum and hands-on classroom experience, the NEOCON™ MBA graduate is ready to take their place in any professional team and be productive from day one.

The NEOCOM™ MBA uses a thematic scheme that integrates professional business knowledge, skills, and abilities as a basis for developing students. The thematic categories for all business offerings include:

  • Organizational resource integrations: creating organizational value through the science and art of controllership, treasury, and technology;
  • Using technology, communication, and knowledge management techniques to enhance competitive advantage and create value;
  • Creating learning organizations through innovation, problem solving, benchmarking, and analytical methods;
  • Developing organization structures that enhance market viability and maximize human capital development;
  • Understanding and harnessing global markets to gain competitive productivity and profitability advantage;
  • Leadership: the art of business (includes strategy, planning and business modeling);
  • Professional skills practicum.

Each course is based upon these thematic areas, integrating professional business knowledge into a functional whole. Students work as teams using critical thinking to problem solve; designing organization structures, integrating functional areas into a working organization, and developing competitive strategies and marketing plans; exploring cultural issues related to business; adjusting marketing plans and competitive strategies, managing technology, diversity and global influences; conducting market/business research, financial resource planning and developing a comprehensive business plan; and much more. The new economy revolves around the capacity to innovate, integrate, and perform multi-functional tasks - the NEOCON™ MBA develops the tools that professionals need to succeed.

The thematically oriented NEOCON™ MBA courses consists of 36 semester hours:

Enhancing Organizational Resources. Studies in the art and science of controllership and Treasury (6 semester hours). Emphasizes the techniques of increasing value through resource integration in an organization. Develops a framework for the integration of accounting and financial concepts into successful working and learning organizations.

Global Communication and Knowledge Management in the New Economy (6 semester hours). Concentrates on the development of problem solving, project management, technology integration, and teamwork skills. Participants utilize creative methods to identify products or services as candidates for next generation adoption.

Problem Solving and Innovation (4 semester hours). Stresses methods for innovation and a multi-phased approach to problem solving. Applied analytical methods are used to support innovation and optimization. This course emphasizes a team methodology and product management approach to problem solving.

Organizational Structures: Enhancing Market Viability and Human Capital management (6 semester hours). Stresses production initiation and application of market penetration activities to achieve market viability. Participants are exposed to the development of production-marketing business systems, organizational issues, and human resource planning.

Global Organizations: Marketing, Productivity, and Profitability (4 semester hours).Emphasizes the development of core competencies in globalization, production operations, and management information systems. Participants are introduced to the fundamental tools for making informed business decisions in increasingly mature business organizations.

The Art of Business and Strategy (4 semester hours). Emphasizes the art of developing, running, and growing a business. Most business courses are technical, emphasizing the science of business. The art of business applies a framework to understanding the holistic nature of business. To further the exploration of the essence of business, topics such as strategic planning, awareness of market opportunities, and technological and global developments in the economic environment are covered.

Business Modeling (4 semester hours). Capstone concepts. All disciplines are formally integrated into a business and implementation strategy. Analysis of economic feasibility of product selection, product-service introduction and marketability are key topics.

Professional Skills Practicum (2-5 semester hours). Reinforces the core concepts inherent in the revitalized business curriculum. Professors demonstrate competencies, students work with faculty and other students to formalize competencies, then students demonstrate competencies through experiential projects. Participants apply their knowledge and skills under faculty guidance within an approved framework. Participants are allowed to individualize their culminating experience by developing and researching a global project or developing an entrepreneurial project. All projects/experiences must have an application component.

In addition to the thematic coursework, students have the option of augmenting their studies by taking additional classes in any of the thematic areas, or preparing for professional certifications. For instance, if a student wants certifications in technology such as INet+ or Microsoft, they can take courses that prepare them to take the certification exam. If a student wants more experience in Treasury or Controllership, they can take additional courses that prepare them for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Cash Manager (CCM), or Certified Financial Manager (CFM) examinations. Additionally, further courses are offered in subject areas such as Finance, Quality Management, e-Commerce, and many more, as needs are identified.

On-line classes are offered in both thematic coursework and certification preparation. Since study and assessment is based on real business situations, students can work on projects that fit their current business needs if they apply to the particular course. Instead of traditional testing methods based on simple rote memorization, a unique assessment method is used that emphasizes business realities, requiring the development of hands-on skills used in business. The various projects assigned are evaluated according to a uniform business standard by an academically credentialed business professional.

The NEOCON™ MBA promotes contextual professional skill development, integrating teamwork, productivity, product and market development, technology, new economy issues, globalization, and project management throughout all the coursework. Finally, there is a program that reinforces the 'art' of business, fostering business skill development that is productive from day one. The inherent structure of the NEOCON™ MBA reinforces real-life business practices - students gain experience that is directly transferable to business in the 21st century. The NEOCON™ MBA is the degree for the future business professional.

Author: Dr. Roderic Hewlett, CFM, CCM Associate Professor of Business Director, NEOCON™ MBA Program University of Dubuqu


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