28 nov. 2022

3 predictions for the future of business education

FORMACIÓN 5 minutos leídos

Business education is no longer business as usual. Strong external forces are impacting business education and its champions (business schools and their leaders) must be ready to enact radical change in their institutions.

So what is next for business education? We have outlined three key predictions, based on new and relevant research, insights from education experts, our reputed business school customers and almost nine decades of experience in technology. 

1. Business education will become more anchored in societal demands

With a climate crisis looming on the horizon and an increased awareness of global inequality and exclusion, society has renewed expectations from businesses and institutions. They should become part of the solution to the world’s most pressing problems.  
The need to tackle these challenges will question the very purpose of business education. The paradigm underpinning how businesses should operate will focus not only on profit but also on people and planet to the same extent.  
Education championed by business schools will have to become more attuned to these shifts and drive supporting initiatives.  

What should change?

Business schools should become more environmentally friendly by optimizing operations and adapting programs to educate talents that lead green, equitable, and inclusive organizations. 

Adding flexible, online, or hybrid programs can support business schools in driving sustainable and inclusive actions. These options would reduce traveling needs, classroom space and utilities, and paper usage.  

In turn, not only will the carbon footprint decrease but so will costs, allowing for lower tuition fees and more scholarships, which will enable students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds to enroll. Online or hybrid programs will also give access to learners from all over the world and with various abilities. 

2. Business education will become more accessible, flexible and diversified

71% of employees agree that lifelong learning needs to be delivered flexibly if they are to engage in it

Carrington Crisp, 2021

Business education will extend its reach and scope. Lifelong learning will become mandatory in a fast-paced era where the shelf life of skills is diminishing.  

Business schools must devise flexible, shorter, and focused non-degree programs for learners who juggle multiple responsibilities alongside learning. Already, 71 percent of employees agree that lifelong learning needs to be delivered flexibly if they are to engage in it.1  

Flexible learning will not only be for adult learners. Students’ demands changed during the pandemic when they discovered that learning also can be delivered effectively outside the standard classroom. 
These shifts have been noticed already. More than 60 percent of business school leaders have stated that they will keep aspects of faculty teaching online and students learning remotely.2

The competitive landscape of business education will keep transforming. Digitalization has led to the diversification and democratization of education. It´s now more global, accessible, and affordable than ever. The options are numerous and just one click away: from skill-focused platforms to MOOCs, online certifications, or degrees.  

What should change?

Business schools will have to keep the momentum and diversify their offerings: face-to-face, fully online, or hybrid classes; synchronous or asynchronous programs; short courses or certifications. 

Curricula will have to change to add new and relevant content for a digital, ever-changing, socially-conscious era. That can include soft skills, which are increasingly more relevant in the age of technologically-enhanced decision making and its intersections with ethics, sustainability and inclusion. 

Business schools must be ready to adapt and transform, diversify and upgrade their programs and even partner with other institutions, businesses, and platforms to keep up and thrive. 

3. Technology and digitalization will unleash the potential of business education

Technology and digitalization will make all the previous endeavors possible. It will allow business education to become more open, accessible, and flexible; enable new formats and content; and facilitate optimized and personalized learning. The power of technology will drive collaboration, support successful learning outcomes, and bring like-minded people closer together.  

Technology solutions like virtual and hybrid classrooms will become common. A 2021 report revealed an increase of 24 percent in virtual classroom usage, compared to 2020.2 These are purpose-built technology solutions for teaching.  

Virtual classrooms allow for fully remote, interactive, and collaborative live sessions, with students able to join from anywhere in the world. Hybrid classrooms, on the other hand, enable learning with students connecting at the same time either virtually or in a physical classroom.  

Other technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, will make an impact. The market for AI in education will reach 25.7 billion USD in 20303 and it´s no surprise considering its benefits. AI can ensure stellar customer service via chatbots, provide insights on audience engagement, personalize learning paths and more. 

Augmented and virtual reality, as well as gamification, will become more prevalent. These will successfully supplement and diversify standard pedagogical practices. They aid experiential learning, entertain and motivate learners, and keep them engaged for longer periods. They will be particularly attractive to digital natives that will attend business schools in the coming years.

What should change?

Digital transformation is an imperative that should by now be well underway.

Depending on an institution’s budget, objectives, and degree of change desired, digital transformation can involve a number of steps: transforming customer and employee experience, internal culture, or operations; embracing new business models; upgrading digital platforms; or adopting new technology solutions.