▲ Professor Jung Kyung Hee. Provided By Jung Kyung Hee
▲ Professor Han Kwansoo. Photographed by Youn Bo Hyun
We are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, in which achieving disciplinary convergence by connecting majors is becoming essential. University, the first gateway to adult society, requires students to take responsibility and prepare for their voyage into the future. Therefore, universities could help students to both pursue their academic efforts and train their ability by offering practical experiences like work-study programs, which allow students to adapt more readily to society. With this in mind, Korea University (KU) has established an integrated major called Technology Entrepreneurship .
It is mandatory for KU students to register for a second major or select an advanced course in their first major. In contrast to their first major which is decided when entering university, the second major can be chosen after sophomore year. There are three types of second major—double majors, interdisciplinary majors, and studentdesigned majors—that KU students can choose. An interdisciplinary major enables KU students to take diverse range of classes from distinct majors regardless of the students’ first major, befitting the current revolution. KU announced that the university intends to strengthen these interdisciplinary courses on August 15, and they are pushing ahead the Technology Entrepreneurship major for this purpose.
Technology Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary major under the College of Engineering. The course mainly consists of two distinct majors— technology and entrepreneurship, from the Computer Science, Technology and the Business Departments, respectively. They are completely different majors, which do not even belong to the same college. However, because the fourth industrial revolution requires students to experience different fields and flexibly use their knowledge, this combination of majors is expected to provide effective opportunities for students to gain a wider perspective that they can use when they work in the future.
Increasing Practical Industrial Experience
The major is run by the KU Crimson Start-up Support Foundation, which embraces the fourth industrial revolution and supports students who are attempting to turn their ideas into reality. After popularized on August, 2017, many programs supported by this institution related to start-ups and entrepreneurship were launched. The institution continuously provides opportunities to KU students to increase their practical ability through start-ups, and one of the foundation’s upcoming challenges is this interdisciplinary course.
Taking part in the interdisciplinary courses helps students to increase their ability to realize their ideas, which could be a useful experience as they use trial and error to succeed. Because they can learn useful lessons to survive in this competitive society, they can reflect on their performance and use their knowledge in the real world. Experiences such as these at university have fewer restrictions than those in real companies. Therefore, the realization of ideas and facing challenges at university are necessary, and the KU Crimson Start-up Support Foundation plans the projects under this theme.
The First to Start This New Challenge
KU students can register for this major starting from the second semester of this year. Four courses will be established in this major, and three professors are in charge of the lectures. The common feature of the courses is that they are limited to a small number of students— about 30. This would be more helpful for students to receive detailed feedback on their ideas from their professor. These classes are mainly centered around group activities but also enable individual learning. The purpose of such type of learning is important for practicing communication skills while sharing their ideas with each other, which is similar to actual work in the real word.
One of the courses is named “Future Trends for Innovative Improvement.” According to the syllabus, students in this course will explore the fourth industrial revolution and prepare for global business by analyzing global mega trends investigating national economies, and predicting future trends. Another course, “Tactics for Technology Entrepreneurship,” teaches the process of becoming an entrepreneur. Students in groups will participate in the study and introduce their industrial ideas. They will then develop a business model and write down an actual plan for their own business. The teams in this course will automatically participate in a contest involving the ideas presented in the class. If a team wins this contest, they may also receive a scholarship from the school.
According to an interview with Jung Kyung Hee (Crimson Startup Support Foundation), there are some benefits available to students who register for the courses in this major because this is the first semester these courses have been offered. If the students participate in courses from KU Entrepreneurship Education, they could gain a certificate from the school stating that they have participated in a class practicing entrepreneurship signed by the President of the KU Start-up Support Foundation. The students can also gain additional points when registering for overseas programs, including internships.
Future Hopes of This Major
In the current rapidly changing society, technologies are becoming increasingly innovative, with new products emerging from different ideas every day. To escape from the original paradigm of working individually and to embrace innovative platforms and technologies, interdisciplinary convergence is needed. In this environment, if people cooperate with others with different interests and from different majors, they will gain diverse knowledge. Professor Han Kwansoo (Office of Research Strategy) said this major will be also helpful for students to realize the importance of business start-ups for two reasons—not only making the society develop but also proving their idea by realizing their businesses.
Students taking part in this course can experience participating in a practical working system while trying many industrial attempts in this course. Furthermore, through team projects, students can study in a cooperative atmosphere that allows teamwork and creativity to improve. Although it is likely to be many hardships, it will be a good chance for students to identify their personal strengths and improve their abilities at university. This major will be a great way to overcome challenges in the two fields of business and technological engineering.