Sometime during fall of 2020, deans from two business schools began strategizing their future collaboration.
The deans were from IÉSEG School of Management, a “Grand École” a specialized higher education institute in France, and RUBIKA, a private school specializing in fields of video gaming, animation, and industrial design, with campuses located in France and Canada. School administrators at both schools saw the differences in their expertise as a strength, and they wanted to create something together.
The result: The schools are now partnering to launch a bachelor’s degree that is equal parts tech design and business management.
IÉSEG & RUBIKA COMBINING THEIR CONTENT
Emmanuel Dauphiné, a senior professor of finance at IÉSEG, had a major role in developing the new Bachelor in Management and Tech Design. He says the goal of the three-year post-high school program is to train young professionals to be able to communicate effectively with coders, computer engineers, programmers, or anyone in a pure tech environment. The business education side of the it allows for a kind of “hybrid” professional, someone who can also build knowledge around how to market tech products.
Dauphiné says the degree comes in response to what they’re hearing and seeing from the professionals in the tech industry about a need for a workforce with proficiencies in both areas.
“These two populations don’t really talk so well, a part from maybe if you’re at the level of a very small startup, but we’re talking about companies are slightly bigger than that. They need to talk together. So that’s really the idea,” Dauphiné tells P&Qs in an interview.
The new degree will be taught in English and is designed for both French and international students. Fees of the program have not yet been established but, according to the schools, will likely mirror the cost of IÉSEG’s Grand Ećole Program or its Bachelor in International Business, which for both French and international students falls at around €12,000 per year.
About 7,000 students make up the total of IÉSEG’s population between its two campuses, in the historic city of Lille and in Paris. Its focus at large is business education from bachelor’s to master’s to specialized master’s and executive education. RUBIKA stretches to three campuses: Montreal, Valenciennes in France and Prune, India. The university specializes in product design, animation, video game creation for bachelor’s degrees and higher, as well as offering short programs and preparatory classes for high schoolers. For French students, tuition at RUBIKA costs €8950 per year.
The schools’ Bachelor in Management and Tech Design will launch in September 2024. But it isn’t the first time the gaming school and management school have worked together. Students from each respective school collaborated in 2020 initially to build code and market video games where the most successful class projects were distributed on the online video game platform Steam. The program has been running for three years now. The schools also partnered at the end of last year, allowing graduate students the opportunity to take certain electives from each other’s institutions. Around 20 RUBIKA students this year have taken courses offered by IÉSEG on topical courses like Digital Leadership and Innovation and The Economics of Artificial Intelligence.
MULTIPLE INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES
The new degree will be taught entirely in English and is designed for both French and international students. Fees of the program have not yet been established but, according to the schools, will likely mirror the cost of IÉSEG’s Grand Ećole Program or its Bachelor in International Business, which for both French and international students falls at around €12,000 per year.
Themes of the degree will be, of course, integrating technology with practices of management, but also themes of employability. The programs offers training in core subjects on both sides of the aisle from classes on management, economics, entrepreneurship to programming and design.
Of the six semesters of study, two will take place on RUBIKA’s Canadian and Indian campuses in Montreal and Prune respectively. Eighty percent of the courses will be taught by non-French faculty, and Dauphine says this is because they are truly targeting someone who upon graduation, has the ability to work in teams. The program is aiming to build personal development skills, so graduates understand the cross-cultural issues needed for productive communication.
“We are not going to be able to compete with coding or engineering schools, but we want to train people that are going to be able to talk with these persons and be this kind of hinge or link between the marketing team and the coder,” he says.
A NEW MODEL BY BRAND NAMES
When Dauphiné, a permanent faculty member at IÉSEG that teaches accounting, spoke to his connections in the tech industry, he heard them say oftentimes tech professionals didn’t know a lot about marketing. He says plenty of conversations went like:
“When you talk to them about marketing or considering the customer, oh and don’t talk to them about factual accounting, they will literally leave the room, I’m making a joke here,” he laughs.
But nonetheless, more and more conversation revealed to Dauphiné, whether he talked to personal friends or acquaintances in tech startups, scaleups or larger companies, that something needed to be done to address a specific set of market. Dauphiné brings close to thirty years of experience, mostly as an entrepreneur.
“For me it was extremely exciting to start this model within a well-established system with all the resources you can think of, I couldn’t dream of that when I was alone working. Plus, I have all the backing from my own management, as well as RUBIKA. We are surrounded by extremely skilled professionals,” he says.
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