Yesterday, GBSN hosted a webinar, See the Future: Looking at the Next 10 Years of Business Education,
featuring Andrew Crisp, Co-Founder of CarringtonCrisp. Highlighting findings
from their recent survey, See the Future, Andrew Crisp looks at the
future look of business education. Andrew Crisp talked about interesting changes and trends in business and business education. I've highlighted a couple.
The survey data was collected in May of this year, with
about 5 ½ thousand online respondents from current students, prospective
students, alumni and employers across 137 different countries around the world.
CarringtonCrisp identified 5 key issues that they believe
are in many business schools minds:
- Role of business in society
- Value of business education
- Sustainability corporate social responsibility and ethics
Change in business is taking place. To begin the discussion
on change, Andrew issued a poll for webinar participants, asking if they have
introduced degree programs in the last three years that reflect new approaches
to business. 67% of participants answered yes.
Looking at some of the changes that survey respondents were
interested in – 87% believe that business needs to be more than just about maximizing
shareholder value. 87% of managers/directors agree that business models need to
change to better engage society.
How do people perceive business? 45% of undergraduates agree that business is portrayed poorly in
the media. The perception of business has been damaged by how the media reports
on it. This fact is important when looking at what degrees today's youth may choose to undertake. 1 in 5 and 1
in 3 prospective and current students believe a business education is less valued
than other degrees.
Business schools need to be aware when this is no longer the
case. People believe a business degree is not as highly valued outside
the university or business school. This change is important, both in terms of
funding and in terms of numbers.
The study looked at the
specific role of business schools from an alumni and employer view. Not
surprisingly, there were high numbers in the importance of developing business
leaders with strong ethical behaviors, high numbers in focusing on delivering
high quality teaching and high numbers in learning and developing graduates that are ready
for the world of work.
That being said, interestingly there were high numbers agreeing to the value of developing graduates that are able to think creatively. This is
a change seen over the last 2-3 years. Creativity, innovation and change have
come to the forefront. The study revealed a high response to the idea of offering programs
that go beyond just business. This will help students see a bigger picture. In our
last webinar, Creating Jobs: Education's Role in Reducing Unemployment, we talked about the skills
gap between employer expectations and what skills students are taught in school. This is because students are often not taught the soft skills and communication skills needed in a
To give an example of the concept of offering programs that go beyond business, Andrew told a story about working with a business school in
Canada. This school requires their students, who are pursuing a business
degree, to also study something other than business, like politics, history,
economics, etc. "If you want to understand business you have to look beyond
business,” explained Andrew. Big universities that are able to offer this cross
disciplinary type program are in high demand for students and employers. This is a very
important trend looking into the future of business education.
When looking at what students value in business education, the
study reveals a change in focus. 64% of current and prospective students
believe that business education will get them a more fulfilling job. Over the
last 2-3 years the importance of getting a high paid job has changed to simply getting a job that is fulfilling. Job enjoyment is now a factor for graduates when entering the workforce. Looking at the value of
business education from a corporate perspective, there many responded that there is high value in business education delivering innovation in
The second part of the survey looks at sustainability,
corporate social responsibility and ethics, which are now mainstreamed for
students and employers. These subjects have always been part of the discussions, but now they have risen in terms of importance and priority.
40% of all
audiences agree that there are not enough opportunities to learn about these
subjects in business schools. Additionally, 64% of all audiences believe that
understanding these issues are key to success in business, meaning that
students feel like they are graduating without a skill they believe is needed
to be successful in a business career. Consequently, the study reports that
just under 50% of all audiences believe that business schools who don’t teach
about corporate social responsibility and ethics should be ranked lower than
universities that do.
Moving on, Andrew talked about the concept of
internationalism and how it needs to be more than just a label. It needs to
deliver practical benefits to students. Today, we see every school says they
are "international, global, etc.” This term is no longer a differentiating
factor for schools, like it used to be.
Andrew issued another poll, asking webinar participants
which of the following opportunities does their business school undertake?
- Mixing international and domestic students in
project groups - 77%
- Include case studies from companies in emerging
markets – 80%
- Offer language tuition as a part of your
business degree – 20%
- Provide opportunities for international student
placement/ internships – 63%
- Help students with international career services
Looking at where people want to study, the first choice is
USA, which is not surprising. It has been the most popular for years. Other popular countries were the UK, Australia,
Singapore, Japan, Germany, Canada and China. It’s interesting to see Singapore
and China. Those two countries are typically 4th and 6th.
They are the up and coming countries in terms of having opportunity to study
internationally. Looking at why people choose those countries to study in,
surprisingly the study revealed that many said they were attracted to the
sporting and cultural profile of the country.
More than 40% of postgraduate students want to learn about
different approaches to business in different cultures’ and expect to see
international case studies as part of their learning. Many students complain
that a lot of the case studies that they are provided are ones about the big
multinationals in western economies. They’re not getting stories about the
large growing companies in emerging economies, nor the case studies of social
enterprises, NGOs who are working in many countries around the world. More
variety and up to date case studies are going to become very important for
business schools going forward.
The final portion of the study was on technology. The
subject of MOOCs is a very important topic of discussion. Starting with a poll
from webinar participants, Andrew asks, What role do you expect MOOCs to play
in business education in the future?
- MOOCs will make very little difference to
current models of business education – 3%
- MOOCs will be just one model of online education
- MOOCs will be integral to most business degrees
Andrew quotes Cheryl Sandburg, COO of Facebook, "If you want
to know what people like us will do tomorrow, you look at what teenagers are
Technology is not different to young people. It has always
been there, it is the way to do things. For the older generation, technology is
a change; it wasn’t there in their youth. To not incorporate technology in
education would not make sense. There is a change in the way people learn.
The study reports 80% of managers and directors agree that
they expect their organization to use technology to deliver more workplace
learning in the future. 37% of undergraduates and prospective postgraduates
would consider studying for some of a business degree online. 26% said they
would study online rather than on campus if it were cheaper to do so. The issue
of finance is also important. However, from an employers perspective, online
education is not valued.
The study revealed 44% and 53% of managers/directors
reported that they would not recruit a graduate who earned an online degree. Over
30% of managers/directors in private and public sectors agree that they would
not recruit a graduate who has included a business program from a MOOC as part
of their degree. 50% agreed that they are uncertain of what a MOOC offers and
how its part of a business degree. On top of selling online education to
perspective students, MOOCs need to sell this concept to employers too. MOOCs
won’t become successful until employers buy into this concept and begin
recruiting graduates who have studied MOOCs.
Looking back at everything discussed during the webinar,
Andrew talked about many important changes and trends that have emerged in
business education and in the work field of business, all important for business schools to consider and take note of now and in the future.
Click here to download the power point presentation
Click here to learn more about CarringtonCrisp
Thank you to Andrew and CarringtonCrisp for delivering an
informative and interesting webinar.
Nicole Zefran is the Network Assistant at the Global Business School Network.