HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (June 9, 2014) – Since joining The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in 2002, Dr. Jatinder (Jeet) Gupta, Eminent Scholar in Management of Technology, has been the driving force in bringing world-leading SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to the university's business majors and ensuring that the College of Business Administration's curriculum stays current with the industry.
"We are providing students with a skill that is going to be more and more in-demand in the future and that will give them a competitive edge in finding their first job," says Dr. Gupta, who serves as the Associate Dean of Graduate & Sponsored Programs for the College. Many of these students, after all, go on to work for companies that have long relied on SAP ERP, including SAIC, NASA, the Army, Huntsville Utilities, Northrop Grumman, and the Boeing Company.
To that end, SAP ERP has already been integrated into the functional area courses being offered by the College. "Most, if not all, of the College's students are gaining exposure to the software through hands-on elements incorporated into the courses in their programs of study," says Dr. Gupta.
Furthermore, those at the graduate level have the option of taking an SAP ERP dedicated course or pursuing a graduate certificate program in SAP ERP consisting of six graduate courses with significant SAP content. Those at the undergraduate level, meanwhile, will be able to take an SAP ERP dedicated course beginning in the fall of 2015, in addition to gaining invaluable experience through internships and co-ops with companies that use SAP ERP. The College also plans to enhance its offering of SAP-related courses to enable students to be certified by SAP as Business Associates.
To offset the cost of the SAP ERP program, Dr. Gupta applied for and received a grant from SAP University Alliances that allows access to the $3 million software in return for a nominal yearly licensing fee. Since 2006, he's also partnered with SAIC to ensure that the College's professors are prepared to teach SAP ERP in their courses. "They have helped us a great deal with yearly grants and gifts to train the faculty," he says.
And SAIC, in turn, "is very pleased to partner with NASA and UAH to sponsor the SAP curriculum," says Edward C. Faulkner, SAIC Vice President. "We view this partnership and this program as a significant win as it continues to provide a pool of highly trained SAP professionals to support both the NASA and Army missions at Redstone Arsenal."
But as integral as the SAP ERP software already is to the college's curriculum, the goal "is not to make people specialists in SAP ERP," says Dr. Gupta. Instead, it is to enable the College's students to "gain experience in using systems like SAP ERP to assist businesses in their efforts to increase productivity."