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Why Yesterday's Skills Are Not Enough For Business Schools To Survive In Today's Digital Transformation Age As entire processes and workplaces are being transformed with the help of technology, it also warrants an upgrade in the skills required to excel at the job

By Dr. Pratima Sheorey

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Ever since the advent of the Internet, the world has become a smaller, well-connected and an efficient place. The positive impacts of the Internet are many and the future possibilities are endless. Businesses around the world have benefited highly from the Internet and an increase in digital transformation has been observed in recent years.

Over time, businesses around the world have realized the true potential of digitization and are working towards a complete transformation. Furthermore, the positive impact of the Internet has massively helped other sectors too such as education. Business schools all across are now focusing on inculcating social and digital techniques to provide an all-round and holistic education experience to students. Seeing an increase in the use of digital technologies, business schools now place special emphasis on digital literacy.

As entire processes and workplaces are being transformed with the help of technology, it also warrants an upgrade in the skills required to excel at the job. To better prepare their students for the future, business schools have included and begun teaching courses which are relevant and also aid in providing digital skills. Here are some of the skills of the future.

Digital literacy

While it may seem obvious, digital literacy is one of the most critical aspects of successfully digitizing a workplace. Since the digital age is relatively new, many of the current employees in organizations still operate on obsolete or traditional methods which can easily be replaced by quicker and more efficient ones. For companies to transform their processes, special focus needs to be placed on educating the employees and ensuring maximum utilization of the new digital technologies.

Data analysis

With digital transformation comes a lot of data in multiple formats, which can be utilized by organizations to further maximise their output and work towards reaching their goals. The amount of actionable data collected is endless and provides the organization with the opportunity to make changes based on it. However, for a company without a specialized data analytics team, all the data is pointless. It is important for the business to identify and quickly capitalize on the data to ensure maximum returns. To accomplish this, firms all over the world are now looking for specialists in this domain to assist them.

Flexibility and adaptability

If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it is to quickly adapt to the surroundings and make the best of it. While this is more of a soft skill than a technical one, firms now actively look for this trait in employees. Candidates who can easily adapt to challenging situations and easily find a way through are highly appreciated.

Network and information security

As the Internet grows on a daily basis and so does our dependence on it, it is imperative for firms to focus on data and digital security. While it may seem like the most tedious and laborious role, security specialists are in high demand as firms look to ensure complete security and trust with their clients. The role demands high levels of competence with regards to network and information security as well as the ability to anticipate changes and threats to better prepare for them. Irrespective of the type of business, every single organization must be concerned about digital security. Business schools are providing additional courses to their students in order to expand their knowledge and skillsets.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI and ML are terms that have become synonymous with the digital age. In recent years, countless companies have taken to it to provide their customers with the best experience. From e-commerce giants such as Amazon to even the medical sector, almost every firm is looking to master AI and ML. Artificial intelligence has been termed as one of the primary enablers in the digital transformation of workplaces. Furthermore, machine learning provides companies with the ability to analyze mountains of data and quickly formulate patterns in it. Candidates wishing to pursue their MBA can specialize in fields that are related to big data as well as opt for extra courses to learn new skills such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The digital transformation in workplaces is merely a matter of when and not if anymore. Firms all around have started focusing solely on improving their workplaces and optimizing the processes. In order for management students to thrive in this new age, business schools need to constantly change their curriculum to adapt to the latest trends in the market. For students, it has become a must to equip themselves with multiple skills, which makes them easily employable as well as an asset to the company.

Dr. Pratima Sheorey

Director, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD)

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