“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” – Larry Ellison, Founder of Oracle
What does it mean to truly be innovative?
Often perceived as a contemporary ‘buzzword’, its meaning is frequently weakened by the connotations attached to senseless marketing jargon. A simple google search of the word ‘innovation’ brings about 575,000,000 results, showing that, though it fares well in terms of engagement, the concept has been thrown around so much that it’s definition now seems empty and somewhat ambiguous.
“Consider the recent proliferation of modifiers,” says John Kao of The Atlantic. “We now have “reverse innovation,” that examines the flows of developing to developed societies. There’s “indigenous innovation,” which is the Chinese approach to building domestic intellectual assets. Of course we cannot overlook “design innovation,”…And then there’s “social innovation,”…and of course…“large-scale innovation,”” he adds.
“…Given this complexity, it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of confusion, even at the most basic level.”
According to a report from the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress, ‘innovation’ has become synonymous with ‘invention’, though invention is merely a cog in the engine of the creative process. More often than not, global governments place heavy weight on invention, when it is in fact the practice of innovation that drives development and economic prosperity.
A High Fliers report on The Graduate Market in 2016 showed that in the UK alone, a total of 18,818 graduates actually started work with organisations featured in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Despite representing an increase on figures from the previous year, the annual rise of just 3.3 percent was significantly smaller than previously anticipated. This is a trend that resonates through the global business sphere. In a hyperconnected and competitive world, ideas enriched with the fruits of innovation help set us apart from the crowd. With this in mind, the best way to ensure meaningful work as a light at the end of the graduate tunnel is to pursue a degree from a world-class university, where courses are fed to the roots with innovation, and classes fall in line with a unique entrepreneurial vision.
“In order to create an outstanding product, strong brand, and to build your customer network, you need to innovate,” Silvia Pavlova writes for The Startupist.
“Innovation and creativity walk hand in hand when we talk about entrepreneurship,” she adds. “…Being innovative doesn’t happen overnight: it requires time and effort to create something truly innovative that will make a difference.”
Think you’ve got what it takes? If the answer is ‘yes’, here are 5 innovative business schools that give graduates an entrepreneurial edge…
Founded at the University of Calgary in 1967, the Haskayne School of Business is integral to the shaping of future business leaders in Canada’s most enterprising city. With more than 3,600 full- and part-time students enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs, plus more than 1,300 executive education participants, the School is globally-recognized as a centre of excellence in entrepreneurial and business education.
From the Bachelor of Commerce, to the Master of Business Administration (MBA), to the Executive MBA, the Global Energy Executive MBA, the MSc in Sustainable Energy Development, and beyond; all business-focused courses at the Haskayne School of Business are built on the foundation of innovation. In fact, the School’s Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is entirely dedicated to the shaping of powerful entrepreneurs. Striving to teach students to recognize special opportunities, embrace new challenges and build upon Calgary’s positive, ‘can-do’ spirit, the Centre instils critical expertise for when it comes to starting a business or thinking like an entrepreneur. This, paired with a wide range of concentrations, allows students to specialize towards the demands of their career, while opportunities to study abroad, maximize leadership development, and gain critical work experience long before they graduate ensures Haskayne business graduates are work-ready and sought-after on a global scale.
Accredited by the AACSB since 1960, the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Los Angeles consistently develops individuals who thrive in the ever-changing business world. The College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosts events and workshops for students and partners with incubators supporting student entrepreneurship. Located in the hub of a major international city, it attracts students and faculty from around the globe.
The College offers a range of graduate business programs that include MBA (with options in various fields of business), MS Accountancy, MA Economics, MS Healthcare Management, MS Business (Finance, Marketing, Management, Data Analytics and other fields), and MS Information Systems. New students can expect to obtain their degrees within 18 months. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, students gain the type of knowledge that will not only prepare them for their future careers, but also serve as the catalyst for innovative thinking. As Southern California is on track for rapid economic growth, the job market is strong for both domestic and international students with graduate degrees.
Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business has built upon the outstanding reputation of Temple University. With almost 100 years’ experience under its belt, the Fox School of Business boasts a distinguished tradition for preparing leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs for thriving careers in global business.
Accredited by the AACSB international, the Fox School provides outstanding BBA, MBA, Executive MBA, MS, and PhD programs that are informed by real-world industry players. As the largest and most comprehensive business-centered institution in greater Philadelphia, the Fox School is dedicated to the integration of technology in all teaching, along with the encouragement of entrepreneurship and innovation among all business graduates. Strategic networks with the regional and international business communities gives Fox School students unparalleled access to cutting-edge companies, allowing them to gain invaluable industry insights long before they graduate.
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (UNC) knows what it means to be a business success, putting this understanding into practice in every aspect of its teaching. Built upon academic rigor, real-world learning experiences, integrity, community and leadership, the School helps shape exceptional leaders who make positive change for the companies and communities they serve.
Through a world-leading Undergraduate, Master of Accounting, Executive Development, MBA, and Executive Development portfolio, Kenan-Flagler graduates leave fully-prepared to excel in the application of knowledge and the pursuit of good results, as well as the ability to lead, collaborate, and perhaps most importantly – inspire. As a School that whole-heartedly believes the most elite business education includes knowledge gained from practical, action-based learning experiences with real consequences, the School seeks to provide valuable opportunities for students to learn-by-doing, giving them a competitive advantage in the fast-paced business world.
Known as the largest undergraduate Jesuit business school in the nation, with 3,400 students, 75 full-time faculty, and more than 22,000 alumni, the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) serves as a launch pad for budding entrepreneurs looking to kick-start their careers. Through business and accounting programs at the Bachelor’s, M, and an Executive Master’s levels, the School offers breadth and depth of study in every facet of the professional business sphere.
Experiential learning contributes to the dynamics of the Haub School experience, with University-sponsored experiential learning opportunities – including service learning, study tours, and the chance to study abroad – instilling graduates with the expertise that are in-demand by global business leaders. On top of this, leading companies, both national and international, across a diverse range of industries create and deliver professional development programs designed to fulfil company needs, giving students the chance to become top of their game, no matter their chosen profession.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International