The business world today looks very different from how it was fifteen to twenty years ago. Globalisation, rapid advancements in technology, and now, a pandemic — their impact on industries worldwide is palpable and in many instances, eviscerating. Businesses are pivoting, coming up with innovative solutions to stay afloat among turbulent times and changing customer dynamics.
Add to this the proliferation of smartphones, the omnipresence of social media, and a growing reliance on big data analytics — and business graduates need to be agile thinkers and incisive decision-makers to incorporate new insights into everyday business practice.
How do you prepare for this changing face of business? Getting an advanced degree that develops one’s soft skills is a good starting point. Communication, critical thinking, and creative problem solving are some of the most in-demand skills the coming digital age will require of workers. Exposure to the evolving workplace helps too — through industry projects and internships, business students can gain the experience and know-how to stay competitive and employable. Here are four business schools that are leading the way in cutting-edge business education that prepares students for the future.
Touro College offers practitioner-oriented education designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s business world. Students can earn either an MBA, a Master of Science, or advanced certificates in Human Resource Management, Healthcare Management and Real Estate Entrepreneurship.
Here, MBA students can specialise in seven areas of business: Entrepreneurship, Forensic Accounting, General Management, Human Resource Management, Healthcare Management, International Business Finance, or Marketing. This provides students the chance to develop tailored skill sets and niche expertise in areas they are passionate in.
The setting for all these? A diverse, welcoming and aspirational one — Touro College business students learn in a modern campus and live in the epicentre of global business, both of which present immense opportunities for any aspiring entrepreneur or C-suite executive. They can learn from experts in initiatives such as the Moonshots Scholar Programme or from seven inspiring leaders — including Beth Goldberg, US Small Business Administration’s Director of the New York District — in the upcoming Women Entrepreneurship Week 2020 webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the business school acted swiftly to ensure minimal disruption. Students could stay engaged through Zoom classes and lecture capture technology. Facilities remained open virtually. “We are a resolute group, and this has not stopped us from not only continuing with our programming, but also expanding our programme offerings to better meet the needs of our students and our community,” says Dean Mary L. Lo Re.
Since its founding in 1898, the Haas School of Business has been building a solid reputation for developing business leaders. It has been a steadfast producer of new ideas and knowledge across all areas of business, embodying their motto of “New Thinking for the New Economy”. Exceptional faculty members — including two Nobel Prize Laureates in Economics — foster an innovative and future-forward educational environment here.
The School also develops and nurtures future business leaders through embracing four defining leadership principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. Programmes here include six degree programmes, executive education, and several certificate and summer programmes. All these position graduates as industry-ready professionals with the expertise to solve complex challenges.
For example, the Global Management Programme offers a blend of rigorous business and general education with broad cultural understanding. This prepares undergraduate students to enter sectors such as financial services, communications, social sector solutions, foreign affairs, and management consulting.
At Rice University in Houston, Texas, the small and selective Jones Graduate School of Business promotes a challenging learning culture that equips students with industry-relevant insights led by expert faculty. The full-time MBA programme offers more than an academic experience with the chance to explore a variety of clubs, extracurricular activities, and networking events, as well as choosing from more than 100 different electives.
Through a number of practical learning opportunities, which include taking part in a Business Plan Competition and the Global Field Experience, business students receive a foundation that sets them on the path to future success.
As Lemboye Ayovaugan, a student in the Profesional MBA programme for the Class of 2020 says, “The power of the Rice Business Career Development Office and alumni network when it comes to recruiting was a good surprise. The calibre of companies that come to Rice Business and the amount of opportunities available have exceeded my expectations.”
At the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, Canada, students are currently engaged in graduate and undergraduate programmes delivered through a blend of remote delivery and in-person elements due to COVID-19 restrictions. Graduate degrees offered include MBA programmes and niche master’s courses, such as the Master of Finance, and Master of Financial Risk Management.
Over the past 15 years, the school has also expanded to include top academics who serve as inspiring faculty, as well as invested in a US$93-million building, housing research and teaching spaces.
With a strategic location in downtown Toronto, Canada’s thriving business hub, Rotman leverages on its deep links with industry. Students are provided with professional development opportunities and resources to strengthen their portfolios and develop new skills, such as the Leadership Development Programmes for Women, Business Edge Digital, Intercultural Skills Lab, and Business Edge Campus.
Graduate students also benefit from impactful research produced by Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR), which conducts academic research in the field of behavioural economics to assist organisations in understanding how people act and designig better products, services, and programmes for them accordingly.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International