“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” – Steve Jobs, a tech-entrepreneurial pioneer.
One of the greatest scientist and Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. It is imagination that leads to innovation. Though imagination plays a critical role, knowledge is definitely not the secondary factor for innovation; rather, it’s a primary component behind any great invention. The pioneering figures of the innovative science world didn’t have fancy degrees but they had more knowledge than many of today’s professors. Today, the world offers more than just engineering or science degrees. Educational institutions are now working to ignite the minds of creative and innovative students. Seeing the need and urgency for new innovation, educators are now offering extraordinary courses that lead to innovation and they are as follows:
- Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Design
The University of Delaware, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics offers 11-month Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Design (ENTD) program.This course focuses on entrepreneurship, creativity, design, prototyping and new product development. The first two months are spent completing online coursework. The remaining nine months are spent on campus to take full advantage of the university’s physical resources. A student who has undergraduate degree in either business, engineering, art or any other discipline can opt for this course.
- Certificate in Innovation & Product Development
The University of California, Irvine – Division of Continuing Education offers a certificate course in innovation and product development. It is a part-time course with a duration of 6 – 12 months. Through this course, students will learn to design new or updated products, services or processes, the logistics of implementing those ideas, examination of the scope of demands of innovation and product development, whether a tangible object, system or service. Software manager, product development managers, engineers, marketing managers, entrepreneurs, project managers, R&D personnel, and International audiences concerned with US design thinking should/might consider attending this course.
- Design Thinking for Innovation
The University of Virginia, Darden Executive Education’s course offers an overview of design thinking and different tools which helps to understand design thinking as a problem-solving approach. This program helps to become a creative catalyst with a systemic approach to innovation in the workplace. It is a part-time course with duration of five weeks, the study of 1-2 hours/week. Those who are in the field of business, healthcare, education, or working in a nonprofit organization, this practical training in the core principles of design thinking and leadership will help to solve real-life business challenges.
- Innovating Through Value Chains
The Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program, offers a course of Innovation through value chains. After completion of this course, students will/can learn how value chains directly affect innovations in products and services, and create a competitive advantage for an organization. It’s an online course with 60 days access time. To complete this course, students must watch all course videos; complete all the exercises and complete a final exam at the end of each course, a score of 86% or more is required to pass this course.
- Social Innovation & Sustainability
The Goddard Graduate Institute offers this course for students who pursue low-residency, self-designed graduate studies, and focusing on social innovation and sustainability at the community level, as well as those looking to transform non-profit, for-profit and public sector organizations, enterprises, and processes. Through this program, the student will gain the theoretical foundation and skills to generate innovative and sustainable methods of solving difficult social, environmental and economic challenges.
- Leading in the Digital Age
The Boston University’s this part-time online course focuses on digital trends. The duration of this course is six weeks. Through this course, the student will learn to work within the digital age, help to develop unique skills to execute, build trust, lead virtual teams, collaborate, negotiate and managing conflict, adapt and learn from experience, and drive continuous change. There is no any academic requirements as such to enroll in this course; a student from any discipline can opt for this course.
- Financing Innovation: Valuing Projects and Firms
The Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program offers this course, through which student can learn the tools of financial valuation, cash flow, net-working capital, cost of capital, valuation of the firm, valuation of venture capital. It’s an online course with 60 days access time. A student needs to complete all the exercises and complete a final exam at the end of each course; and must secure a score of 86% or more to pass this course.
- Sustainable Innovation for Subsistence Marketplaces
This course is a part of the iMBA offered by the University of Illinois. Through this course, students will be able to understand and design business solutions for subsistence marketplaces and will come to know how to apply the bottom-up approach for subsistence marketplaces. It’s a part-time course with a duration of one month. A student from any discipline, be it arts, science, music, engineering, finance, accounting, marketing, medicine, military, can opt for this course. This unique course focuses on how to create knowledge about product development, marketing, management, and engineering practices for subsistence marketplaces.
- Creating and Leading a Culture of Innovation
The Northwestern University, The Kellogg School of Management offers the short-term course for executives, senior executives, vice presidents, directors and for those who are ready to challenge traditional approach to innovation and who lead innovative strategies in the organization. Through this program, participants will learn to create an innovative culture within the organization and to sustain it.
- Professional Certificate Program in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professional education offers this certificate course where students will learn the latest improvements and technical approaches in artificial intelligence and technologies like deep learning, language processing, and algorithmic methods. This course is designed for Professionals with at least three-years of professional experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in any technical area consisting of computer science, statistics, physics, or electrical engineering. After successful completion of short courses on machine learning foundation, offered by MIT, one can apply for this course.
Life is like a flowing river, it takes turns, goes up and down. It flows on the path time offers it to. Similarly, we, humans, must be in the flow to strive a situation in life. Innovation takes place and an inventor is born when someone goes ahead of the pre-defined curve and creates a new. The above-said courses are the gateway to the world of imagination and innovation. It is a quite known fact that change leads to innovation and innovation leads to progress. Though failure can come into the way of building something new, but that is a part of progress.
“The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.”- Ginni Rometty, CEO at IBM, the first woman to head the company.