As state leaders across the country wonder how to improve their economies by creating and filling more high-income, desirable jobs, Arizona State University is introducing a special degree program aimed at attracting and keeping some of the region’s best-and-brightest future job candidates. The new program allows top students to get two degrees — one from the W. P. Carey School of Business and one from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering — at the same time.

“The Business and Engineering Scholars Program, which just started this fall, utilizes two of the highest-ranked schools at ASU to produce extremely qualified graduates in both business and engineering in just four years,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Robert Mittelstaedt. “This is the dream program for many honors students, who want to be prepared for a high-impact career.”

“Students want to make a difference; they want to create and bring their ideas to the marketplace,” says Paul Johnson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “This innovative program gives outstanding students the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds.”

The concurrent-degree program features the opportunity to earn dual degrees in areas like economics, industrial engineering, engineering management and even supply chain management, a field in which the W. P. Carey School consistently ranks Top 10 in the nation. The program is offered at ASU’s Tempe campus and is one of four new undergraduate offerings from the W. P. Carey School this fall.

The other three new options are part of the W. P. Carey School’s popular Bachelor of Arts in Business program that combines traditional, high-caliber business degrees with concentrations from other ASU schools. The new concentrations are in technology, statistics and global leadership.

“For example, the business-and-technology degree can please both parents who want their kids to get a high-quality business degree and students who want to develop video games or be involved in digital media or social entrepreneurship,” says Tim Desch, assistant dean for undergraduate admissions at the W. P. Carey School.

The technology concentration is offered at ASU’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa, in conjunction with the College of Technology and Innovation. The other two new concentrations are being offered at ASU’s West campus in northwest Phoenix, in coordination with the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

“The field of statistics offers relatively high salaries and a growing number of jobs right now,” says Kay Faris, associate dean of undergraduate programs for the W. P. Carey School of Business. “If you want to be a financial analyst, an actuary or a market researcher, among other occupations, this degree should really help. Those who take the global leadership concentration will get a great background in international politics and cultures, including a Spanish course specifically for business use.”

The four new degree programs bring the total number of undergraduate offerings from the W. P. Carey School of Business to a staggering 21 choices. Students can focus on everything from traditional areas like marketing, finance or management, to combination business degrees with concentrations in areas like sustainability or legal studies. The idea is to give students variety and a broad set of skills, just like they will find and need in the real business world.

Also, the school will soon begin taking applications for fall 2013, when two more innovative offerings will be introduced, pending university approval. They will be business bachelor’s degrees with concentrations in either human resources or sports & media studies. The latter degree will be offered in conjunction with ASU’s prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.