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Why Now is a Great Time for MBA Students to Specialize in Tech

Why Now is a Great Time for MBA Students to Specialize in Tech main image

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to change the way people work, demand for IT and tech skills is soaring across the job market.

According to the Financial Times, tech companies are still “hiring feverishly” despite huge lay-offs of staff in other fields and growing concerns over the fragility of global markets.

Data by the business intelligent specialist Vacancysoft revealed that just in the London area – the UK’s biggest employment hub – 35 percent of all vacancies since the start of lockdown were crying out for IT and tech specialists.

This applies to US market hubs too: for example, the state of California alone has currently over 15,000 tech jobs open.

But these figures shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Since countries worldwide have been forced to adopt social distancing measures, employers have turned to remote work and video conferencing software to keep businesses on track. This shift to online has undeniably led to a higher demand for digital skills, but it’s also set to shake-up global economies in the long term.

Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs, said:  “In the coming weeks, we expect to see further diversifying of skills and specialities, from both businesses and the people they employ.

“By ensuring new recruits are properly integrated into ways of working, and arming them with the knowledge, background and training to succeed in the role, businesses can look to overcome long-standing skills shortages after restrictions loosen.”

Wilson raises an important point: if businesses want to keep up with this current of technological advancements, workers must possess the right skillset.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case in recent years. Data shows that, while many industries across the world have experienced a deep digitalization, employers have struggled to keep up and fulfil millions of tech jobs.

David Wilson, CEO at HR technology analyst Fosway, said: “The new normal life after [the coronavirus crisis] won’t be the same as the normal we once knew. I think it’s going to encourage change; […] this will mean becoming more agile, becoming more digital.

“The challenges organizations have around the lack of skills and their inability to hire people are still going to be there like they were before, but they’re likely to have been brought even more to the fore now. Technology will have a role in helping to solve these problems.”

Such predictions show why, now more than ever, a tech specialization could place MBA graduates at the forefront of this industry-wide change.

Thankfully, business schools had already started to implement more tech orientations into their curricula in the months prior to the outbreak.

Aside from popular specializations at tech giants MIT Sloan and Stanford, other tech-oriented MBA offers have emerged in the past year at other business schools such as Wisconsin School of Business, Fuqua School of Business and Haas School of Business.

These STEM-hybrid degrees prepare graduates to tackle business challenges with highly analytical and technological skills such as data mining and programming, allowing them to land highly valuable jobs as programmers, information systems managers, systems analysts and chief technology officers (CTOs).  

Not surprisingly, these are some of the roles that have emerged as essential to the smooth running of businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – a trend that is likely to continue well into the 2020s, allowing MBA tech grads to get and retain jobs.

B-schools could benefit from a tech specialization boom too. In fact, US STEM MBAs have been particularly successful in the past year, with a 43 percent increase in overseas applications compared to 26 percent for all other programs.

While the coronavirus outbreak might slow this growth or push applicants towards online MBAs, MBA applicants shouldn’t underestimate the importance of following market trends. Choosing a tech specialization makes a lot of sense, and now more than ever it is paramount to make smart choices for the future.

Written by Linda Mohamed

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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