Ever since the MBA programs were introduced over a century ago, the course has received a lot of respectability in both the business world as well as academia. However, businesses have undergone tremendous change over the past couple of decades and have evolved considerably in scale and complexity. Today, the corporate world requires MBA graduates who are not just well-educated, but are creative leaders, skilled, ethical and have a global outlook.
If we go by the business school predictions of the last couple of years, a lot has already been written about the growing importance being given to emerging technologies like virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) in the modern-day classrooms. All such technologies are expected to disrupt the education industry even more, in a bigger way, and there will be a renewed focus on making MBA more relevant to the society and more aligned with the present-day industry practices.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution is already underway (popularly referred to as Industry 4.0), the trends related to it are transforming all business functions including human resources (HR), manufacturing, sales and marketing, services, operations, finance and more. Resultantly, we will soon see the emergence of MBA 4.0, which will be perfectly in sync with the industries’ needs.
A joint study carried out by National HRD Network (NHRDN) and AACSB accredited IFIM Business School, Bangalore studied 300 business executives and created a blueprint for MBA 4.0, in line with Industry 4.0. This report was titled, ‘Curricula 4.0 – Creating Future Managers,’ and was released on January 8, 2019 in Bengaluru.
The IFIM-NHRD study revealed the below listed 10 broad areas that Industry 4.0 will require and possibly receive from the MBA 4.0 graduates:
- People and team orientation
- Self-management involving self-development and self-awareness
- An analytical mindset and learning orientation
- Creativity and innovation
- Business and entrepreneurial orientation
- Cross-cultural orientation and social sensitivity
- Dealing with uncertainty and change
- Integration of technology, communication and data
- Team and people orientation
New disciplines will take centre stage
Design thinking, analytics and entrepreneurship are three areas that are going to see a significant jump in demand in the current year. Luxury management and digital media are couple of other emerging areas where the industry will require some sort of specialization from the MBA programs, so that the passing out students are able to contribute to their development.
MBA 4.0 will be more responsive to the needs of society
The constant social upheavals have been questioning the relevance of established educational institutions to the social realities. As business leaders are also an integral part of the society, the next-gen MBA programs will need to create more responsible and more responsive leaders who are well-aligned with the societal needs like corporate social responsibility, environmental regulation and others.
MBA 4.0 will train and prepare professionals who will be able to take leadership roles in various industries ranging from fashion to FMCG to pharmaceuticals and more, leading as well as proving their contribution to the society.
Talking in terms of average salaries, as per a prominent job portal in India, a business analyst commands a salary ranging from around ₹ 5 lakh to ₹ 9.5 lakh per annum, a quality control manager ₹ 5.5 lakh to ₹ 8.5 lakh per annum and a Pharma product manager earning anywhere from ₹ 4.5 lakh to ₹ 10.5 lakh per annum today. These figures will also obviously increase with the growing capabilities of the MBA passouts.
Embedded tech is already a part of MBA
MBA classrooms everywhere are being supplemented by AI-enhanced assessments, digital notes, digital lectures etc. which personalise the learning process depending upon the comprehension abilities of individual students. MBA 4.0 students will actively make use of VR powered simulations, enabling them to see the impact of their decisions firsthand. Skills like block chain, robotization and automation are indispensable in Industry 4.0 and the same will be the case with MBA 4.0.
To conclude, MBA degrees no matter how overused they have become, have not lost and will not lose their relevance in the world of business. MBA 4.0 will further improve the capabilities and skills of MBA graduates, aligning them perfectly with the needs of businesses and society. As a result, the future managers will have a greater impact on all the spheres of society and business world.
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