As a Senior Manufacturing Engineering Major, I definitely agree with what the article is saying. I have hardly, if ever, seen any sort reach out from the Business programs to try and recruit us to help them. This fact is really unfortunate because if you want to make any sort of physical product, we are your go to people.
Most of our classes teach us how to make things in both a prototype phase and in mass production. If you want to know how to make something as fast and as cheaply as humanly possible, well we know how to do it. We study machining (manual and computer controlled), welding, casting, rapid prototyping, tool design, manufacturing processes associated with different materials, material science, system optimization, automation, product development strategies, and project management.
I know there have been some people’s comments about this article saying that they wish the BYU Business programs taught you about things like design and prototyping so that you could do it yourself. I’m sorry but I’m in my fifth year of school now learning all of this which is most likely longer than your business degree took to earn. So while you may be able to learn the basics, having a technical founding partner who actually knows this stuff much better than you could from taking one class is always going to be the better choice.
While there is a problem with business programs not reaching out to STEM programs at BYU a huge challenge they will have to face should they overcome this one, and that is competition. When I graduate I will be a full fledged manufacturing engineer and immediately considered a professional. As a result any company that hires me will pay on average $50,000 starting salary and provide a benefits package. On the other hand if I instead choose to go the startup route, I loose all of the security that I would have enjoyed at the established company which is a huge turn-off considering I’m married and my wife and I want to start a family when I finish school (just so you know being married is actually quite common among engineering students at BYU. Most of my classmates are also married.)
So BYU business professors and students if you happen to read this, you are really going to have to start think long and hard to come up with a way to make joining a startup worth it if you want STEM students to take part.