The new age pandemic has gotten the world into an unimaginable situation. The worldwide coronavirus cases have reached 25 million, as of 30th of August. The first lockdown was towards the end of March, and now we are going into our 6th month. Did you know? India has set a record for the highest single-day increase in cases, with 78,000 new ones reported. What’s clear is that there is still a long way to go before we reach a new normal, and there will be significant changes in the way the world works. And business schools know this too.
This change means that there will be a demand for a new set of skills in the world and B-schools are wasting no time. They are rushing to modify and adapt their curricula to accommodate these demands. So, the question is, which skills are going to be in high demand in the post-corona world?
A recent survey by mba.com asked corporate recruiters this exact question and here’s what they found out. The top three skills with growing demand in the next five years are managing strategy and innovation, managing tools and technology and interpersonal skills. The first skill is predicted to grow in demand by 67% according to 420 global recruiters. It’s an umbrella for innovation, creativity, strategy and analyzing data. When markets are uncertain, we need an external force to bring stability. Innovative problem solvers are the key.
The second skill is managing tools and technology. Technology is at the core of growth in today’s world. We’ve seen how the shares of Zoom have skyrocketed these past few months. Digitization and the implementation of technology was already an ongoing process, and Covid-19 has just accelerated these existing trends.
Interpersonal skills are all about leadership, human resource and management. It’s a paradox that we need these skills when everybody seems to be working from home, right? However, during a crisis like ours and well after, employers need leaders who can actively listen, coordinate and help teams manage stress. MBA graduates bring a lot of skills to the table, and employers trust business schools to prepare students for the real world. However, there is a significant COVID-19 impact on B-schools and to keep up with the current situation, business schools need to revamp their MBA curriculum. Curious about some of these changes?
Online Courses: There is, and there will continue to be an increase in online learning programs. The courses could become more flexible and segmented so students can choose specific learning paths or electives. Online courses mean lower costs, so this will see an increase in applications as well, at least in the short term. Moreover, these learning paths can be taught by multiple experts together, providing students with a comprehensive education.
STEM MBAs: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. We’ve talked about the predicted increase in demand for technology and innovation experts. There might be more enrollments in technical MBA specializations like Management Science, Business Analytics, Statistics and Product Management. And consequently, more programs to accommodate all the new students.
Revised Course Material: Institutes all over the world are redesigning their course materials to incorporate the effects of the pandemic into their learning systems. For example, IIM Ahmedabad has decided to include the Supreme Court’s cap on COVID testing into its macroeconomics course. Most courses in the fields of economics, finance, marketing and human resource will be updated to answer present-day questions.
History and Geopolitics: B-school curriculums are mostly about the present and the future, with a little bit of history. Adding historical instances into their programs will provide students with a viewpoint on how situations were handled in the past. Talking about the great plague that allegedly killed half the world, or the ever-fluctuating oil prices will be an added advantage.
Stress on Innovation: Innovation and change are what drive the world. The new and improved curriculum will impart innovation and sustainability as core learning objectives around which courses are centered. Did you know, since many restaurants were closed Zomato decided to deliver groceries during the lockdowns? It’s a revolutionary idea that kept Zomato on the top even during a global pandemic. We’re not sure if the founder went to a B-school, but stressing on innovation courses will encourage students to think like problem solvers. Exactly what we need in a post-COVID-19 world.
Digital Marketing: Digital Marketing is the new queen of the business world. With the pandemic around, everybody seems to be online, and what better time to focus on marketing, right? Increased programs on marketing are expected. In this current world if companies don’t have a digital footprint, they are almost invisible. For example, going to your local grocery store vs online grocery delivery! Who are you more likely to buy groceries from when you know that stepping outside might be dangerous?
The world’s requirements are changing, but to be honest, they always were. The coronavirus is just a catalyst that showed up and sped things along. What is certain is that MBA students are in demand, now more than ever. And, B-schools are doing their best to develop a relevant, in-demand and innovative curriculum, so you get the best business education possible.