From disruptive AI to the internet of things, technology trends will continue to shape the way we live and work in 2020.
Last year saw breakthroughs from lab-grown meat to the development of smartwatches that help detect heart attacks, and the pace of development shows no sign of slowing.
These changes are great news for MBA grads. According to a survey of corporate recruiters by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the tech industry was one of the strongest sectors for MBA hiring demand last year—at CUHK Business School, for instance, 11% of MBAs were hired by tech companies after graduating.
But what does 2020 have in store for the tech industry?
Here are the five technology trends you should be on the watch for this year.
1. Big data meets automated machine learning
It’s been said that data is the new oil—but unlike oil, we’re in no short supply.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, more and more organizations are coupling big data with automated machine learning (ML) to tackle the huge amounts of data they have at their disposal.
By using this ‘AutoML’ technology to apply complex analytics to real-world problems, companies are able to bypass the need for highly-skilled data scientists in the short term, and start applying these crucial technologies straightaway.
For CUHK MBAs, this looks like a golden opportunity. The AI and Machine Learning elective on the CUHK MBA teaches students how to apply technologies like AI, ML, and Deep Learning to business projects in the financial services industry.
This knowledge of how to employ complex technology to achieve concrete business objectives will prove very desirable as more companies take up AutoML processes, both inside the financial services industry and out.
2. Edge computing will transform the Internet of Things
Edge computing is a new tech phenomenon that aims to bring the computational power of AI to smaller IoT networks.
It came to the forefront of tech news late last year, when Amazon Web Services announced that they were partnering with Verizon to create 5G cloud computing software based on the technology.
As more companies worldwide follow Amazon and Verizon’s lead, market researcher Forrester predicts that investment in edge computing will skyrocket—and that means tech-savvy MBAs need to pay attention.
For CUHK students at least, this should be easy, as the MBA electives on offer give students plentiful opportunities to learn about disruptive technologies—for instance in the Tech Disruptions and Innovative Business Models module.
3. Integration over automation
This uptick in AI and IoT technology won’t just affect consumers and information processing; it’s also set to have huge ramifications for robotics.
IDC predicts that by 2022, the global robotics market will have reached $210 billion, with half of investment coming from manufacturing as AI and IoT technologies make robots more sophisticated.
However, this doesn’t necessarily spell mass automation. Many outlets are predicting that human-worker combinations, or ‘cobots’, will be a huge trend in 2020.
These robots will be tasked with enhancing the capabilities of human workers to increase efficiency—for instance, by taking over repetitive actions that frequently cause injury, or microscopic actions that require minute precision.
This digital transformation will require managers who know how to handle innovation and manage change—both skills that CUHK students learn in the Digital Transformation and Innovation elective on the MBA program.
4. 3D printing will enable more companies to shift to circular manufacturing
Another big trend in manufacturing is a shift towards sustainable production.
3D-printed biodegradable polymers are reportedly opening doors to circular manufacturing processes, as they can be reused over and over before being disposed of with minimal damage to the environment.
As consumers become more concerned about the products and services they use and their impact on the planet, this kind of thinking is likely to become more and more important for MBAs to learn into 2020 and beyond.
5. Augmented and virtual reality will reach new heights
Finally, augmented and virtual reality technologies are set to play a big role in tech in 2020, after a booming 2019 in which a reported 42.9 million people in the US alone used a VR product.
Unsurprisingly, one of the key areas in which this will come into play is gaming. With China being the world’s largest video games market, CUHK Business School is a prime location for MBAs who are interested in developments in this area—and in fact, it might even put them ahead of the curve.
CUHK MBA grad Howard Tian set up his own VR startup, Go Immersive, in 2017, and it is still thriving three years later.
As AR and VR hot up in 2020, we may see more CUHK alums following suit.
One of a kind
I studied Bioinformatics at CUHK last year. It was the only Master's degree in Hong Kong in this field. This program developed my analytical skills and equipped me to be a Bioinformatician in a very practical way. I enjoyed my year here and met classmates from different parts of the world. If you are thinking to enhance your profile, this degree program would be a good option.
general education courses, unique college system, large campus
The university facilitates multi-dimension and interdisciplinary learning. In social science faculty, we need to choose courses as our faculty package from other departments (architecture, psychology, sociology, etc.) to learn more than our major required courses. We are also required to finish general education courses, which aid our critical thinking and humanistic sensibilities. I do recommend the social science broad-based program, and the professors I met so far are all responsible and erudite.
The faculty of law is relatively new. You do not need to have a LLB to pursue a LLM, which is special. The taught programme is great for mature students who want to obtain legal knowledge. CUHK has good teaching staff too.
Amazing Campus and Great Educational Environment
Not only is CUHK's main campus breathtaking, it provides for a good educational environment for students. The university is well-equipped with modern and up-to-date facilities to help students with their study. We have 8 libraries in total around the campus; one for media, one for architectural studies, the medical library and the law library. The Professors are always helpful and are happy to talk to students when needed. Moreover, the college system within the university brings forth the uniqueness of CUHK. Each student belongs to a different college, and in that students are able to meet different peoples from different countries and students from different faculties. I think CUHK provides for a well-rounded university life for all students.
One of the most down to earth places in HK. A great opportunity to learn and embody the local culture. Also had one the most beautiful campus in Hong Kong up on the hillside. Glad to have graduated here.
Innovative and Supportive
My university provided me with all the support I needed, and encouraged me to be up to date with all the new developments in the world. They also provided me with the incentive to excel at what I do, and they take much pride in my achievements. I have had a very rewarding university experience.
Small, New But Friendly Law School
To being with, I think the campus of CUHK is the best and the biggest in Hong Kong, with fresh air and trees everywhere. I am an undergraduate Law student at CUHK and I think the teaching here is great, with very friendly and nice professors and the new Lee Shau Kee Building. In terms of the courses offered by CUHK, as one of the largest universities in Hong Kong, CUHK is an all-rounded university, offering a wide range of courses to students. Students may take the introductory courses of discipline other than their own major, or even declare a minor. For law electives, due to the small amount of intake, the variety of law electives are not that huge. However, the Faculty is offering some international programmes, which can be treated as law electives, but at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to travel and know more about the legal system of another country. The career support from the Faculty of Law is also amazing. The Faculty will organise CV Sessions and talks on how to get an internship from law firms or mini-pupillage from barrister's chambers. Each student will also have a Distinguished Professional Mentor, which is a current legal profession, providing us with practical advices and updates of the legal field. Finally, from my personal experience, I think the students in CUHK are friendly and genuine. As Law students, competition is inevitable for grades, GPAs, vacation schemes and training contract. However, I think the competition in CUHK Law School is a positive one, in a sense that help us grow together, instead of fighting with each other no matter what. That is the biggest reason why I am having a very good time here in CUHK Law School.
A place to explore your interests
As a law graduate from CUHK (both undergrad and post-grad), I realise that I had many opportunities to explore my areas of interests (legal and non-legal both). The faculty/university requires us to take a certain number of non-law electives, and offers a plethora of courses to choose from. Personally, I took 3 modules in Korean --I can't say it's made me highly proficient, but it's definitely given me a good foundation (I can walk into a Korean restaurant and confidently order food, at the very least). The fact that language courses are offered also provides students who are more financially constrained an opportunity to learn a language without having to shell out a premium for a decent language course. On top of that, we have a range of law electives as well. I know of classmates who have developed lasting interest in different areas of law because of the electives they took in school. The two electives that I would say have changed me is (i) mooting and (ii) family law. I think my experience in an international commercial arbitration moot competition has helped tremendously in formulating legal arguments and legal writing. On the other hand, taking a family law elective has made me very interested in the family law practice, especially in terms of child rights. For these experiences which I have gained, I'm grateful for the opportunities provided by the school. One main issue most students I know have is with the way our GPA is calculated and the lack of transparency in terms of how the honours system works. As our GPA is marked on a curve. it's highly unrepresentative of what we have achieved as individuals. Given that our GPA is the only criteria that is looked at when we apply for the compulsory post-graduate law course (mandatory should we want to practise law and/or be trainees in Hong Kong), it will put our own students at a distinct disadvantage when we compete for limited spaces with students from schools where GPA is not on a bell curve.