It has been a rollercoaster ride for both learners and academicians in the business education world. Paradigms continue to shift and curricula are being updated. For students, what are the things they should look for when searching for the best business administration programs?

Moving operations online

This key takeaway during the pandemic is two-fold. One, the method of instruction should be virtual or at least a hybrid of face-to-face classes and virtual conferences. The most obvious reasons are restrictions on mobility related to the health crisis. A professor needs to be tech-savvy nowadays and come up with new methods of teaching that are not only insightful but engaging. 

Second, digital transformation in businesses is now a necessity. To future-proof revenue streams, the program should be able to teach how to move operations, products, and services online. 

In the Philippines, UnionBank launched its banking app because the company foresaw the industry’s digitization. “The whole world is changing. As they say, ‘digitize or perish,’” UnionBank president and chief executive officer Edwin Bautista said.

The challenge in digitization, however, is it keeps evolving. Bautista admitted that the company thought there was a fixed formula in digitization but it was not the case. He shared that the company initially converted the organization into an “agile” one, which in application development terms means adopting the agile methodology in the tech business.

Agile is a process by which a team can manage a project by breaking it up into several stages and involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage. This is why people get new updates of apps every now and then.

Still, Bautista said limitations were found in this process. His company is now moving into DevSecOps, where security testing and fixing security issues stay within the development team.

If one is a learner, he should try to find out if a Business Administration program is updated with these tech development terms as virtually all businesses are now online.

line graph of a software used by business administration officers

Tech-focused business models

Another measure of a great Business Administration program is if it is updated with new and evolving tech-focused business models.

Sunil Gupta, who also co-chairs the executive program on Driving Digital Strategy at Harvard Business School, learned that business competitors are no longer defined by traditional industry boundaries. 

Online streaming company Netflix, for example, generates revenue from subscriptions. It cannot be said that Amazon Prime Video is a direct competitor of Netflix because the latter produces content for the main reason of keeping users on the marketplace platform. The same goes for Apple TV, whose main intention to create shows is to engage users of Apple products.

Leading a cultural transformation

The pandemic has ushered in a new world order. There could be resistance among the workers to upskill and learn new ways of working. The best Business Administration programs are able to provide answers to these new challenges in managing people.

The first way to do this, said Bautista, is to rally everyone to a higher purpose and be open that the organization can learn new technologies. “This is not just an intellectual battle but also a battle for the hearts and minds of the employees,” Bautista advised. “If you can, promise people that no one gets left behind.”

For him, businesses should create trailblazing products that will put the company on the regional and global map. Present a road map to help employees guide them where the company is headed.

Students should look for these qualities in the business school they are aiming for so they would get the best education amid the pandemic.

Taking up a business course is a good choice for students interested in the business industry. To discover more about the best business administration programs, check out our other articles here on MSM Unify.

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