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DeGroote Launches EMBA In Digital Transformation As Firms Seek Tech Talent

Dire shortage of executives to handle digital delivery

Thu Nov 26 2015

Canada’s DeGroote School of Business has joined the bevy of universities offering executives a helping hand in managing their digital innovation.

DeGroote launched its new Executive MBA in Digital Transformation that has been developed with big business — the 13-month course was honed by IBM and SAS, the business analytics leader, among others.

The program aims to provide core MBA training but with a focus on new strategic approaches, organizational structures and sources of value creation offered by digital innovations.

Program co-director Michael Hartmann said executives will need to understand how the cloud, social media, big data analytics and mobility “fundamentally alter the traditional way of doing business”: “We don’t want to see innovative business cases just divert into another conversation about risk,” he said.

The launch comes hot on the heels of a slew of training programs for executives to manage digital transformations — the vast majority of which fail, according to the consultancy McKinsey & Company.

Harvard Business School this month hosted the Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise program, designed to help executives adapt their business models in the face of new competitive technologies. It follows similar announcements by ESSEC, Mannheim, and Salford business schools this year.

There is a dire shortage of talent to handle digital delivery and business schools are beginning to help fill the void.

Radhika Chadwick, a partner at EY who leads digital and strategy services, told BusinessBecause on Wednesday that such programs need to be launched at a “higher speed” if the talent gap is to be closed.

“The market will gobble anyone up anyone with a combination of digital delivery experience but who are also digitally-savvy more generally,” she said.

She added that while universities have a part to play, there is “huge demand” to retrain and re-engage people outside of degree programs with digital strategy.

Most companies recognize the need for senior level digital leaders. But few can find the required chiefs. “There is a major shortage of digital leaders —someone who has a very strong grasp of business and strategy, and who also understands digital and what digital can do for a business,” said Jim Hamill, director of digital leadership at Strathclyde Business School.

He said that key areas for executives to assess are data analytics and the Internet of things (IoT). But there is also need for general digital managers — “those who have a good grasp of the right range of technologies” and who can take a holistic view of the business.

Jaideep Prabhu, professor at Cambridge Judge Business School, said: “Leadership is crucial to all transformation efforts. Digital is no exception.”

Companies are under pressure from tech-savvy rivals like Uber or Airbnb who threaten to rival their established business models.

“Executives need to be able to identify threats and opportunities sooner, deal with them faster, and make strategic decisions that disrupt the market and drive growth,” said Derek van Bever, senior lecturer of business administration at Harvard Business School.

Mike Wade, director of the Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation at Swiss business school IMD, said that managers are also under pressure from their boards and consumers to hone their digital transformations.

Start-ups are more nimble and therefore considered better able to leverage technological change. They are also acquiring “big company capabilities” such as access to capital and well-established relationships. “Uber, WhatsApp, and Snapchat had no problems accessing capital, building brands, and attracting customers,” Mike said.

Student Reviews

ESSEC Business School




On Campus

The best intercultural university

There are more than 50 nationality in the grade, so there are opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In terms of academics, the BBA course offers diverse courses for the 1st




On Campus

Creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship

The Master in Management program at the ESSEC Business School allows the students to choose their courses accordingly to their preferences and their professional targets. We can also go through international exchange and take part in internships with companies that are also partners with the school. The school is also next to the city of Paris.




On Campus

Top business school in France

Doing PhD in essec took some time, to be precise about five years. But the experience was very good and cost effective too. There are opportunities for the student for teaching assistantship and that helps both financially and in career. In the final year I could manage to teach marketing to M1 students and this helped shape my career




On Campus

Great college

The program is well suited for early professionals with an engineering degree preferably or a degree in economics. I would suggest taking the ceasure irrespective of the experience level as it helps you take your time to adjust to the job market.





Good school in France

I am currently enrolled in M2 in Essec business school. I am specialising in marketing management. The Grande Ecole programme is valued in France and my school ranks very high up. There are a lot of opportunities for internships and CDD.




The program curriculum

BBA program. The program is really practical and useful, provide us many international opportunities. Like internship and humanitarian experience, and the flexibility is also really cool, we can choose different campus and tracks as we want.




International Course

This school is very international and business oriented. Highly recognized by the companies The campus has been renovated and is very functional and modern from now on. Excellent atmosphere. Reputation of essec is a plus




Friends, Career opportunities.

The program I did gave me the opportunity to start in Singapore. I got the chance to know all the students that started there and we bonded and made some friends for life. The career opportunities that ESSEC also gave me were unbelievable.




Practical and useful

I think the best thing about Essec is that it's not focusing on academics rather it emphasizes on future job mindset and professional experiences.. The classes are interesting and we have plenty of workshops attributing to different sectors.. The campus is very nice with a good cafe and wonderful library. The only problem is the location of the campus. It's quite far from Paris.




On Campus

Amazing experience! Must try

I think its a very amazing school with great and experienced faculty. Also the alumni network is very solid and useful. The school has a great balance of studies and work experience which is really essential for a student.




On Campus

GBBA: Diverse, Enriching, and Career-Boosting

My experience at ESSEC Business School has been outstanding. The Global BBA program offers a rich academic curriculum and diverse learning opportunities. I appreciated the chance to study on different campuses, including an international exchange, which broadened my perspective. The social environment is culturally diverse and vibrant, enhancing both my personal and professional growth. The administration is attentive, constantly offering new academic and student life opportunities. The campus facilities and classrooms are excellent. I highly recommend ESSEC for its excellence, global exposure, and career opportunities.




On Campus


The English track BBA program at ESSEC is simply exceptional. Courses are taught by internationally renowned professors who are experts in their field. The subjects taught cover a wide range of disciplines from marketing to finance, strategy and entrepreneurship. The English track is a major asset because it allows you to develop perfect mastery of professional English, essential in today's globalized business world. Some students love student life at Essec, which is one of the best in France, but it all depends on taste.




On Campus

Great program, incredible school

I love almost everything about this school, from the student life to the academic program and the opportunities it provides. I'm currently at the Paris campus, in Cergy, and I'm really enjoying it. The BBA program is very rich and diversified, you can start with geopolitics and then finance, what I mean is that there's a great balance between the subjects in this program. I was also lucky enough to spend a semester at the Singapore campus, and I loved that experience on the other side of the world. ESSEC is also known for its dynamic and rich student life, with access to several parties a week and the various associations within the school. If I could recommend just one school, it would be this one - I'm 100% satisfied.