New master’s degree in digital transformation

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Digital transformation is sweeping the business world. Companies need experts who can make it work. That’s why Smith just launched the Master of Digital Product Management (MDPM).

The 12-month program is delivered virtually and it trains managers to lead digital product management and to make tech investments live up to their potential. The first class starts in September.

Kathryn Brohman, associate professor and Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Digital Technology, is the program’s director. “Every business today is a digital business . . . effective digital product management is no longer an asset. It’s a competitive imperative,” she says. Organizations spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on digital measures, but a recent survey of global business executives found that a whopping 78 per cent of those investments do not achieve the expected results.

Smith has partnered with Queen’s University’s School of Computing on the MDPM. Nicholas Graham, a professor from the computing school, is the program’s academic director. The curriculum includes learning in digital strategy and innovation, gamification and usability, cybersecurity, product analytics, systems architecture and user experience.

Jessica Creces chairs the MDPM’s advisory board. The senior executive at Cineplex Digital Media says it’s unusual for people to inherently have the capabilities to lead digital product management. So it’s important to build those skills. “The best product managers are able to think strategically about business and market direction while holding technical credibility on details with engineering and development teams,” she says.

The MDPM is the latest Smith graduate program that addresses business’ high-tech, big-data needs. The Master of Management Analytics (MMA) program was created in 2013, followed by the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI) in 2018 and the Master of Financial Innovation & Technology (MFIT) in 2020.