The political, economic and social panorama has always lead to changes throughout history; however, in today’s volatile world, these changes are characterized by their speed and by the global impact they entail, a consequence of a highly interconnected global economy.
Business Schools are not alien to these changes and are also affected by changes in the market. In the previous decade, a clear example of this has been, for example, internationalisation. Together with the internationalisation of the economy, Business Schools have had to take up the challenge of internationalisation from a strategic perspective within their sustainability plans in order to remain competitive. The recruitment of international profiles of staff and academics or the development of business to attract new students beyond borders, have been a consequence of market demands to generate Higher Education Institutions, capable of responding to the evolution and changes of the global economy. It is not surprising that the most prestigious accreditations (such as EFMD-EQUIS) or the most prestigious rankings (such as FT) have an outstanding place for measuring this variable.
If the internationality of Business Schools has been a clear example of a trend in the previous decade, what will be the new trends of the B-Schools market?
1.- Digital Disruption:
We are not yet aware of the tremendous impact that digitalization and technology will have in the field of Business Education. We are not talking about Blended programs (which is already a reality) but about new digital interaction platforms that are going to increase learning without having to be physically present in the classroom. This will not only lead to an exponential change in the interaction of participants, but will also cause changes in the design of programs, marketing and training of professors and professionals to lead the sessions.
2.- Dual-Degrees & International Partnerships:
One of the main trends of internationalization has been the increase of international partnerships to be competitive without assuming high structural costs. In the new market, we are going to observe a great increase of these partnerships, highlighting those related to Dual-Degrees & Joint-Degrees. A clear example will be the Dual Degree MSc in Management & MSc in Big Data and Business Intelligence. This combination will be of real added value not only for the student, who will be able to train in two schools and two countries-, but also for the directionality of the B-Schools, which will be in charge of assuming the formation in which they are specialized. Thus, meaning the downsizing of the training catalogue and the specialization in specific fields.
3.- Real Lifelong Learning:
Both the increase in longevity and the speed of change are going to have an impact on the market due to the need to continuously train executives. Programs in smaller formats and focused on very specific aspects will be recurrent in the new scenario. For example, we are already observing this trend with regards to topics such as cybersecurity or the possibilities of artificial intelligence.
4.- Management Education VS Business Education:
This is the point that will have the greatest impact on formal education curricula. BBA, MSc in Management and MBAs, are going to improve their scheme, changing from a traditional business knowledge approach (finance, marketing, supply chain…) to an innovative perspective based on management knowledge with a basic business core. We will see an increase in contents such as: Leadership, team management, problem solving and result orientation, negotiation, motivational techniques…The development of this subject matter through practical teaching will lay the foundations for changing from Business Education to Managerial Education, turning Business Schools into Schools of Management.
5.- Internal Managerial Movements:
A phenomenon that has already occurred and continues to occur in Business Schools and Higher Educations Institutions is the recruitment of managers for management positions that were traditionally in the hands of academics. The speed of change and its exponential impact will mean that managers in business schools management will be regarded as the key to leading these changes.