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.

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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