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ESADE Business School Is Teaching MBAs To Code — Here’s Why

Learning programming languages like Python and Ruby can make students more employable

Wed May 10 2017

Software engineers have become the most prized asset in Silicon Valley and beyond. 

The ability to code with programming languages such as Python and Ruby is an essential tool in any developer’s arsenal. 

Now MBAs are getting in on the action. 

Students at Spain’s ESADE Business School are being trained to code by Ironhack, which provides bootcamps for web developers. 

The thinking is that MBA students will be better prepared to build the digital products which are so valuable to businesses today. 

“Over the last few years, more and more managers and product directors have ended up leading digital projects or tech companies. This can create a lot of tension in the company when these executives don’t ‘speak the same language’ as the teams they lead,” said Olaya García-Lancha, director of MSc programs at ESADE. 

“Through this agreement, we want to train a new generation of entrepreneurs and leaders in the digital industry so that they not only better understand their product and business, but also connect more directly and sincerely with their employees and customers,” she said. 

Students enrolled on MSc programs as well as MBA and BBA students beginning in the next academic year will be able to take the coding classes. They will be able to choose from: a Web Development Bootcamp, in which students learn to code and build a digital product; and the UX/UI Design Bootcamp, focused on design thinking and user-centred design. 

Students will learn to “manage the latest digital trends shaping new technologies, understand the entire value creation process in the new digital environment, and successfully lead a company or organisation committed to digital transformation”, said Josep Franch, dean of ESADE Business School. 

“These courses will equip students with the tools they need to build digital products, start businesses, and successfully compete for jobs at tech companies,” Ironhack founder Gonzalo Manrique said. 

ESADE is not the first business school to offer coding classes to its students. Harvard Business School previously announced that it would offer a business-focused version of its popular beginners’ class in computer science. NYU Stern School of Business said it planned to start a course that will teach students how to visualize data and use the programming language Python. Hacking for Hustlers, an intensive one-day coding workshop for business school students, has run classes at Wharton School. 

The coding courses highlight the explosion in digital technologies at business schools, which are rolling out content on everything from big data to artificial intelligence.