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As conducting business has evolved from the local to national and now international level, even small businesses need to think globally. This shift in the way that business is conducted is also making it increasingly difficult for any one company to have a competitive edge. While it has always been true that innovation has pushed organizations and industries forward, innovation will likely have more impact and be more important in the 21st century than ever before. For this reason, businesses need to know how to both create and manage innovative products in order to secure and expand their market share.

It also means that having a level of technical acumen can be as critical as business know-how. The ability to evaluate the potential of a product on all levels, from technical specifications to selling the product in the marketplace, can make the difference between success and failure. In addition, protecting the intellectual property of an organization can help keep competitors at bay and ensure that the company has the opportunity to maximize profits before the market is overrun with imitators. Therefore, when looking at graduate business programs, you might want to choose one that offers a concentration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Though not stand-alone master’s programs, Stanford and Brown offer certificate programs in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Another option is to join a Master of Science program that is specifically focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. These are usually housed within the university’s school of business, so you can have the best of both worlds in your graduate education. Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) has a master’s degree program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Their triple focus on creative thinking, problem solving, and leadership makes it unique. The program takes students through the complete cycle, from designing and creating a new product to managing the lifecycle of the product and protecting intellectual property.

If you need a graduate business program that places equal emphasis on technology and management skills, then a traditional MBA program might not completely meet your needs. Before jumping into a program, take the time to get to know the curriculum, the instructors, and other features of the program such as internships and the opportunity to pitch your ideas to real industry leaders. Whether you choose an MBA program with a concentration, a ‘5th year masters’ certificate program or a master’s program specifically designed for innovation and entrepreneurship, there is a program that can provide you with the knowledge and experience that you need to become an innovative leader in our globalized business world.