Given their crucial role in fostering the next generation of industry leaders in a digitally powered economy, it’s perhaps unsurprising that business schools are reporting an increasing demand for technology-enabled program delivery.
This idea has been highlighted in The Future of Technology in Management Education, a report published by the Association of MBAs and Business Graduates Association (AMBA & BGA) in association with Instructure, which looked into how business schools see their industry evolving over the next five years.
The overwhelming view is that leaders expect fundamental changes in the way MBA courses are delivered. Flexible learning and remote access to course material are among the most important developments on the horizon, with one in three (32%) agreeing that offering these opportunities will be increasingly vital to performance and profitability.
This issue gets to the heart of what most agree will be a significant shift in MBA provision. As we move into a tech-first business landscape, business leaders agree that working with technology must also be an intrinsic part of student life.
However, there is some work to be done here. The findings of the report show that just one in six (16%) of business school leaders believe that their curriculum currently meets the needs of the biggest tech employers, indicating that action needs to be taken to address this situation.
In our experience, ensuring business schools are prepared for the future comes down to two factors; awareness and infrastructure.
On the awareness side it’s primarily a case of understanding exactly how tech can make a difference at a practical level. This is one of the key values of independent research from the likes of The Future of Technology in Management Education report. Also crucial is for technology firms themselves to engage with senior leadership teams at business schools, at the very start of their technology journey. Involving leaders in tech-enabled course design and delivery ensures buy in right from the beginning - and will ultimately fuel better adoption.
The infrastructure issue can be a slightly more complicated ask, however with just a third (30%) of leaders agreeing that their campus’s operations are digitally integrated it’s certainly an important one to grapple with. As students begin to prioritise degree courses that offer flexibility and distance learning, business schools need to upgrade their technology to provide this pedagogical model.
We have seen first hand how technology can boost what business schools offer their students, and this report only goes to show how many more can benefit from it. It’s clear that the MBAs of the future will be substantially different to how we see them today, but this report demonstrates that business school leaders are willing and able to make that change.
To hear more, please join us at our Tech Innovation Webinar, on February 13th at 2pm. Here, together with the Association of MBAs and Business Graduates Association (AMBA & BGA), we’ll take a look at how to harness the power of technology in 2020 and beyond.