Digital Economy Provides Career Boost to MBAs but Major Skills Shortages Remain


According to a recent article on the b-school network ‘Business Because’ by Seb Murray, Business Schools are reporting growing demand from companies for talent to lead digital growth. The growing demand for digital talent is being reported across a broad range of industries including fashion, banking and finance, healthcare, IT, consultancy, media, marketing, the digital sector itself and many others. Unfortunately, there is also a growing shortage of high quality graduates to lead companies into the digital era.

With digital having emerged as a key driver of growth, the skills shortage has transformed from a nagging worry for CEOs into something more challenging accordign to Jon Andrews, leader of PwC’s global people and organization practice. ‘Despite rising business confidence and ambitious hiring plans, organizations are struggling more than ever to find the right people. Chief executives are more concerned about the impact of a digital skills shortage on their business than at any point in the last six years’

From our perspective, a major reasons for the shortage of Digital Leaders is the failure of most Business Schools to waken up to the opportunities and threats presented by the digital and social media revolutions. With only a few notable exceptions, the Business School curriculum remains stuck in a pre-digital time warp. At best, digital is being offered to a small number of students as a tail-end MBA elective class. This is no longer acceptable. To remain relevant in an era characterised by rapid digital disruption our Business Schools need to ‘adapt or die’, embedding digital at the core of everything they do.

It is no longer acceptable for digital to be seen as a peripheral activity or ‘not relevant to us.’ The main barrier to progress, of course, is that most Business School faculty live in the same pre-digital time warp – see Academics Stuck in an Ivory Tower re-Social Media.

You can read Seb’s full article here.

As usual, all comments and feedback are very welcome.

Is it time for our Business Schools to ‘adapt or die’?

Take care.

Jim H

Dr. Jim Hamill

ps – a second article by the same author discusses some interesting digital developments emerging from innovative Business Schools who ‘get it’. See our previous blog post Business Schools and Digital Leaders.

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