The 10th issue of the report, produced in association with EFMD, found several tech-related subjects, including artificial intelligence (AI), digital marketing, data analytics, and e-commerce, were among the most popular subjects of interest among prospective students.
Based on surveys of 1755 prospective business master’s students from over 26 countries, the report found 35% of students were interested in digital marketing, 34% in AI, 33% in e-commerce, and 31% in data analytics.
“With the growth of AI and digital, it’s no surprise that technology subjects are in demand,” said Andrew Crisp, author of the study.
Despite the dominance of tech-related subjects, the report revealed that business forecasting and modelling and business ethics were the most popular subjects, taking 36% and 35% of students’ votes, respectively.
The report also showed students are increasingly displaying an interest in developing their self-confidence, knowledge of modern issues, and covering content that addresses global challenges while at business school.
In total, 64% of respondents wanted to see a focus on ethical leadership behavior in their degrees. A further 74% wanted to learn about responsible management, while 75% expressed an interest in seeing a focus on diversity and inclusion in their business master’s curriculum.
“It is a reminder of students' desire to develop a strong ethical foundation and understanding for a business landscape that has several grey areas,” said Crisp.
The report acknowledged that studying alone without in-person support due to the pandemic has taken a toll on students and negatively affected their self-confidence.
A total of students 31% agreed that self-confidence was the most important skill to develop during their studies, compared with 25% in last year's report.
More traditional skills such as leadership, communication, and critical thinking followed as the next most important skills students wanted to develop during their master’s degree.
Elsewhere, the report revealed that willingness to develop new skills, improve earning potential, and improve employability remain the top reasons for students pursuing a business master's degree.