In 2016, the World Economic Forum included ‘ICT literacy’ in their list of foundational literacies all students should have in the 21st century. Add to this the fact that 85% of companies are likely to have adopted big data analytics by 2022, and you’ll find that, in 2021, it’s more important than ever for business students to have technology skills.
“Technologies are embedded in all aspects of professional and managerial activities and will change, in the short future, the structure of organizations” Christian Moinard and Eric Maton point out. They are the academic directors of the MSc in Data Management for Finance at Audencia Business School and are actively embedding technology skills into their programme.
“Due to their huge power of change, understanding information technologies is a crucial issue for today’s students” they add.
Why Should you Learn About Technology?
On the MSc Data Management for Finance, students are introduced not only to finance but also to specific technologies like artificial intelligence, data management, and statistics. “Our program develops strategic and managerial competencies and not only technics” Christian and Eric explain. “The purpose of our program is not to create specialists, but to train students to be able to understand the different implication of the implementation of new information technologies.”
For Cyrine Ben-Hafaïedh, technology is important for business students because business is all about innovation. “Today’s business students are more and more concerned with being changemakers” she notes, “and this requires innovation.”
Cyrine is an associate professor at IÉSEG School of Management, where a new MSc in International Business and Technology (MIB Tech) is merging the worlds of business and technology.
“Technology enables us to multiply the impact of innovations” she says. “Business students need to know about all the latest technologies and how they work in order to be able to leverage them efficiently in the solutions they design and deploy.”
Thomas Zorbach, a lecturer at Karlshochschule International University, agrees. “Climate change, migration, polarisation – the world we live in needs young people who can rise to the challenges of our time. This requires not only courage and the will to make a difference, but also certain skills and knowledge, especially around the profound changes brought about by the digital transformation.”
Which Technology You Should Know About
The Financial Times cite virtual reality, augmented intelligence, and artificial intelligence as three technologies that you’ll have to know about to succeed in the next decade.
Rodrigo Kong, a tutor at ENEB Business School, would add Big Data to that list. “It is a fact that Big Data has already become an imperative work tool for companies that manage large volumes of information about their clients,” he asserts.
On the Master in Big Data and Business Intelligence at ENEB, students gain a “globalised perspective of Big Data technologies and their utility” Rodrigo says. The programme gives insight into Big Data Marketing, Business Analytics, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, arming students with the latest technology skills to tackle business problems in the future.
However, there’s more to technology than popular buzzwords—“everything changes so fast” Cyrine explains. “I don’t believe any of the trendy tech topics will be most important for the business leaders of the future.”
On the MIB Tech programme, students follow a course on emerging technologies, which is adapted each year depending on the ever-changing technology environment. Alongside the technical learning, the programme also highlights “underlying elements about innovation and technology that are more stable” says Cyrine.
How Learning about Technology will Boost your Career
There are plenty of ways a specialist business degree like a Business Masters could propel your career forward, but learning about technology will be the easiest way to be competitive in the job market.
Last year, almost 70% of recruiters who responded to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Corporate Recruiters Survey said that the ability to navigate the challenges of technological disruption had become more important due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, exploring new technologies and the challenges of digital transformation is a great way to develop soft skills like innovation, strategic thinking, and communication—all skills that recruiters said in GMAC’s survey were becoming more relevant for future business graduates.
“The ability to view the great challenges of our time from different perspectives and to develop responsible solutions is undoubtedly one of the key competencies of our time” says Thomas.
Celinne De Paula is a student in the International Business programme at Karlshochschule International University. She is confident that her degree, and the skills she’s gained at Karlshochschule, but says that there’s more to learn about technology than practical skills.
“In my experience, a big factor that contributes to your success and ability to cope with hard times is not only how much you know, but also simply the kind of mindset you have” she asserts.
To conclude, learning about technology is an important skill for any business student to have—and not just if you’re planning on getting a job at a startup. Wherever you are in your career, technology is bound to affect the businesses you work for, and knowing everything you can about it will leave you better able to tackle the challenges that arise with new technologies.