Today’s business world can be summed up by the acronym VUCA—Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous.
Technological innovation, political shifts, and developing economies are all impacting how and where business is done. In this environment, business schools need to adapt to stay relevant.
BusinessBecause caught up with Luc Craen, managing director of EU Business School—where students can choose from 11 different MBA specializations and study at campuses in Barcelona, Munich, Geneva, and Montreux—for his thoughts on the future of the MBA.
Here are five ways the MBA will change in 2018, and beyond:
1. There’ll be more of a focus on soft skills
Automation and innovation are changing the workforce. New jobs are emerging all the time.
“Reshaping and rethinking business education is extremely important”, says Luc. “We need to prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet. At EU Business School, this is achieved through an experienced faculty and experts from different industries, who give an insight into current trends and the future of business.”
For Luc, the best way to prepare students for an unknown tomorrow is by focusing on soft skills.
“The people skills will never be replaced. Robots will be robots. Emotional decisions are still important, otherwise every company will end up being the same.”
2. Online MBAs will become more and more popular
“People were apprehensive to study online programs, but now online education is becoming increasingly popular,” Luc explains. “Interactivity with online courses is higher than with classroom-based programs because you always have someone able to give feedback. There is no constraint of time zones—the world is your classroom.”
GMAC figures show how the popularity of online MBA programs has increased in recent years. EU Business School’s Online MBA is ranked #1 in CEO Magazine's online global rankings and is just one of a growing number of highly-respected online MBAs.
3. Technology will change the classroom environment
Technology has disrupted the business world, and is disrupting world of business education too. Automating the time faculty spend correcting and giving feedback on students’ work will enable a closer interaction with students.
“Techniques from online courses will be brought into the classroom,” says Luc. “‘Flip the classroom’ is one. This uses tech to give students the theory before class. Students then come in to be coached and mentored, and engage in class discussions.”
“Technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality can be a great tool”, he continues. “Students are so busy that their phones won’t stop receiving messages, so you need to engage them and make sure they don’t lose attention. Technology has a lot to offer.”
4. Specialization trend to continue
In recent years, specialized MBA degrees have grown in number and diversity. From entrepreneurship to sports management, EU Business School is leading the way.
“The needs and requirements of companies are changing. Some now prefer to train employees in a certain way and model them to the company culture. People need to be more specialized in certain aspects,” Luc explains.
The demand for specialization comes from all sides. Students want greater choice and some employers want candidates with specific skillsets.
5. Business schools will work more closely together
Different business schools offer different things—geography, specialization, alumni networks. For Luc, the future involves a greater degree of collaboration between business schools.
“Through partnerships, people will be able to take courses at a variety of institutions and that will lead to one degree,” he says.