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Time out from the lab for training

For electrical engineer Dennis Couture, shifting into a marketing job meant grinding a few gears.

''I found myself kind of lost in a couple of areas because of a lack of training in general business principles,'' says Mr. Couture, now the manager of business development at the Northeast Electronics Division of Northern Telecom Inc. in Concord, N.H.

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So now, every Friday, Couture cracks the books with about 20 other high-tech professionals at Northeastern University's Management Workshop/High Tech.

Workshop students tackle topics from managerial accounting to strategic planning on 12 consecutive Fridays. Course work, including case studies, is tilted toward high-tech situations.

This short, highly concentrated format is a main selling point to Couture, who says it's ''long and meaty enough to learn something, but you don't have to become a Benedictine monk to do it.''

At least three other schools now offer high-tech management training programs of varying lengths. The University of Santa Clara, for instance, has a middle-management development program for high-technology companies that lasts a week, while Stanford University's Executive Institute offers a two-week course for top-level high-tech management.

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