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Business Schools Adapt to Digital World

codingWith all industries now requiring not only finance and corporate strategy skills, but also digital prowess, business schools are adapting their course offerings to help train MBA students in skills like rapid prototyping and data-driven decision making, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

Cornell Tech in New York City has launched an innovative one-year program bringing MBA candidates and computer science grad students together. The school hopes to enroll 2,000 graduate students by 2034, but in this, the inaugural year for the MBA program, 39 business graduate students share a third of their curriculum with 34 graduate students in computer science, according to the Times. They work together on projects, frequently designing and writing software programs for businesses ranging from banks an hedge funds to technology companies and startups.

Business schools elsewhere are responding to the new skills required by today’s workforce in other ways. Of the 150 elective courses offered at Stanford Graduate School of Business, 28 percent are new this year. “We’re responding to the best practices we see in the outside world like A/B testing and working with massive data sets,” Stanford Dean Garth Saloner told the Times. “We’re adapting.”

Many other schools have launched dual-degree programs, with a science or engineering degree added to an MBA.

More students are also coming to business school with computer programming experience, the Times notes. According to Harvard Business School Professor David B. Yoffie, a third or more of the school’s 900 students have experience as programmers and even more have undergraduate degrees in STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering or mathematics. “There’s been an extraordinary change in the talent pool,” Yoffie told the Times.

Read the complete New York Times article, “MBA Programs Start to Follow Silicon Valley into the Data Age.