Business Acumen for Engineers
Business acumen, the ability to understand how companies work, make money, and execute on strategy, is a core competency that many engineering professionals lack. Developing this skill or competency can help engineers understand how the decisions they make in organizations impact an organization’s financial, operational, and sales results.
The course provides an overview of some key aspects of business acumen, its importance in managing a business, and how developing this skill can help you become a leader in your organization. Learning will be advanced through understanding and applying information in the course content and from the various activities within the course modules.
This course is administered entirely online via the Canvas course management system. It will run for a 6-week period but will be open for 8 weeks from the designated start date.
The course consists of three main modules of content with a series of lecture video topics and related activities in each. Students should plan on completing the module content in the sequence presented. A schedule is provided for guidance on the course completion. Lecture videos will be accessible online for an unlimited number of times, within the prescribed course period. The slides used in the video lectures and the course content materials (except for the course text) will be available and are downloadable.
Students may watch lecture videos and complete individual activities within the modules generally at their own pace. However, many of the module activities should be completed within the timing prescribed by the schedule.
Successful course completion will involve achieving a score of 70% or better on a brief quiz (multiple choice style questions) covering the Module 1-3 content and completion of the submittals outlined in the module activities.
Course Video Lectures
Module 1 – Business Acumen Fundamentals
1. Business Terms and Usage
2. Basic Company Financials
3. Financials as a Tool for Assessing Business Health
Module 2 – Basic Business Strategy
1. Basic Business Strategy
2. Business Model Basics
3. Value Proposition and Customer Discovery
4. Market Research and Marketing
Module 3 - Opportunity Assessment, Intellectual Property, and Risk Management
1. Opportunity Assessment
2. Intellectual Property Basics
3. Managing Risk
Lawrence Tinker, PhD
Assistant Director and Professor
Engineering Innovation Institute
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
University of Florida
Telephone: 352-294-7908 (work); 770-598-2740 (cell)