University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
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Technical Systems Management

The Technical Systems Management (TSM) program is a 4-year undergraduate degree program administered by the College of ACES resulting in a bachelor of science degree. You will study technology systems, business and economics (including organization, operations, management, marketing, and sales), and oral and written communications.

Specializations include:

  • construction management;
  • mechanization, marketing and technology management systems;
  • environmental systems; and
  • production systems.

This major prepares students as problem solvers for systems involving the application, management, and/or marketing of agricultural engineering technologies.

  • Technical Systems Management students focus on the application of engineering principles, the study of technology used in agriculture, and the integration of business management concepts in the food and agricultural industries.
  • Students planning to work in agricultural production or to serve as a manager for production systems select electives that are geared toward crop sciences, animal production, farm management, commodities marketing, and other production-based classes.
  • Students interested in environmental protection study soil, air, and water quality; irrigation and drainage; erosion control; and the effective utilization of natural resources.
  • Career opportunities are vast and varied. TSM graduates can work for major equipment companies, manage a golf course, evaluate new products for a chemical company, or build and race monster trucks.

See current requirements

Learn more about Technical Systems Management!

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Career Opportunity Spotlight

Product Support Representative, John Deere

Levi Allen 

General Job Description: Levi currently works in product support for the Planting and Air Seeding product lines, supporting new product programs to meet the needs of customers across the world. Throughout the year a lot of his time is dedicated to working with engineering to review the latest design revision of a component or system, interacting with program management, performing serviceability reviews and training development, and being the voice for the customer and John Deere dealers during critical program decisions. During the busy season (spring), a lot of the team’s focus is on supporting dealers with customer machine issues and driving design changes for future machines.

Levi Allen, a product support representative for John Deere, enjoys working with farmers from around the world to resolve their issues. It was his involvement in various clubs and organizations in the College of ACES that helped stimulate this passion.

”During college I was involved in the Illini Pullers and Field and Furrow,” Levi says “Many of the activities and hands-on experience that the Illini Pullers offered have been very applicable to my career at John Deere, and Field and Furrow helped develop an appetite for agronomy that continues today, both at work and on the family farm.”

Levi says courses offered by the College of ACES are likewise applicable to the everyday skills he must use, and looking back he wishes he had had the opportunity to take more.

“I would suggest taking more courses that deal with Machine Control and Automation as well as Ag Business/Finance. Machine control is a reality in the agriculture equipment industry and will only become a bigger part,” he says. “On the ag business side, I am much more involved in discussions on the financials of a program that I ever thought I would be, and those skills are useful in any part of life.”

Levi says what sets U of I apart is connections with all of the familiar faces in the agriculture industry. 

“Whether I am at a local farm auction, reading an article in a well-known ag magazine, or at a national farm show, I am hard-pressed to go very long without seeing a familiar alum’s name or face,” he says. “The opportunities ACES alums have are never-ending. That can be credited to the faculty, facilities, and education that allows graduates to work throughout the ag industry.”