Why Today’s MBA Graduates Need to Learn About Both Business and Technology

Why Today’s MBA Graduates Need to Learn About Both Business and Technology main image

Sponsored by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

From the basics of the worldwide web, to the complexities of artificial intelligence (AI), the impact technology has on everyday life and society is huge. Rapid advancements within technology mean there’s a challenge for recruiters to find young graduate talent who have the expertise and skillset to straddle the worlds of both business and technology.

Business schools are therefore having to move just as fast as the rapid development of today’s technological advances in order to accommodate the changing traditional business landscape.

We spoke to HKUST to find out about their new business technology and analytics track, and what this means for aspiring MBA students.

Traditional MBA programs are failing to keep up with technological disruptions in business

Historically, MBA programs have held an automatic sense of respect and prestige. Traditional MBA programs teach students the fundamental basics of business, including leadership, management and soft skills, such as the ability to work in a team and being able to solve complex problems.

However, thanks to the digitalization of the business landscape, this is no longer enough. Traditional MBA programs are beginning to tire and face criticism for failing to keep up-to-date in a modern world, as it’s becoming almost counter-intuitive for MBA graduates to have a well-developed expertise of business, without also having the knowledge of how to apply technology to business and work with technical teams.

Technology has tremendous intangible benefits within the world of business, so the need for MBA programs to equip their students with a better knowledge and understanding of technology is critical. It also means students will be much better prepared for the demand by future recruiters and employers.

An MBA at HKUST offers a new Business Technology and Analytics track

HKUST students

Image: In addition to the new business technology and analytics track, the MBA program also offers specializations in finance, consulting, marketing, management and entrepreneurship

More and more business schools are adapting their curriculum electives and assignments to capitalize on the advancements of technology in the business world, and address digital competencies which businesses across different industries now regard so highly. One institution that’s leading the way is HKUST.

HKUST offers a new business technology and analytics track as part of its MBA program, highlighting the demand for talent in this area of expertise, and making it an ideal starting point for aspiring MBA students with one eye on the future.

Focusing specifically on the applications of technology in business, the MBA program at HKUST provides students with an in-depth understanding and expertise of both business and technology, which means they’re able to both manage technical teams and lead the digital transformations within their companies, businesses and organizations.

Students on the program gain the ability to understand, analyze and research business implications surrounding technological innovations and implications – something which recruiters desperately seek.

“Tech permeates through much of the learning environment, so it is quite an exciting place to be,” says US student, Phillip Bonarigo, a full-time MBA candidate at HKUST Business School and co-founder of HKUST FinTech Club. “The two disciplines are converging, and that is where the most exciting opportunities are. To me, it became clear that understanding technology trends is no longer optional, but rather compulsory.”

HKUST’s MBA graduates will hugely benefit from the up-to-date course track which incorporates modern advances in communications and information technology, including FinTech, blockchain and AI. Students will therefore gain an advanced technology skill set, something which is just as important as traditional business skill sets.

The impact on future career prospects

HKUST FinTech Club

Image: Phillip Bonarigo (far right) with members from the HKUST MBA FinTech Club

Being able to showcase an in-depth know-how for business technology can have a tremendous impact on future careers for MBA graduates.

MBA graduates are beginning to play a pivotal role in the tech industry, as HKUST’s latest graduate employment figures illustrate that 17 percent of its MBA graduates found employment in the IT and technology industry. A further 15 percent have gone on to work in other financial services, 12 percent went in to consulting, and 11 percent in to investment banking.

“Learning the latest technology trends helps to make the best decisions for what that ideal future might look like,” says Phillip.

HKUST’s MBA students are aware of the advancements in technology and how it can affect not just their learning experience, but also their futures.

HKUST places a strong emphasis on providing students with real hands-on experience and learning opportunities. The HKUST MBA FinTech Club was launched as an initiative driver to encourage and strengthen students’ knowledge and expertise of FinTech.

In August 2018, HKUST Business School also organized an MBA FinTech Alumni Panel. Several MBA alumni were invited to discuss their various ideas about FinTech, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, and to share their insights into the opportunities and challenges that MBAs in the FinTech ecosystem will face.

“For me, the FinTech alumni panel really stood out and provided a few great connections early on in my program,” says Phillip.

Study at HKUST

Ranked seventh in the QS Global MBA Rankings: Asia 2019, HKUST offers a full-time personalized MBA in the heart of Hong Kong – one of the world’s top global financial centers.

Emphasizing the development of a business technology mindset and leadership skills, the MBA program at HKUST allows students to explore avenues of learning where they can apply theory to real-life business case studies set in Asia, and other global business contexts.

Students can choose from over 70 electives taught by top business and engineer professors, as well as take part in interactive sessions with fellow course colleagues, faculty members and external guest speakers. Students also have the opportunity to undertake internships and take part in overseas exchange.

Written by Stephanie Lukins

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