As the demands of the global economy shift towards technology-driven innovation and data-driven decision-making, the intersection of business and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields has never been more crucial.
In response to this paradigm shift, Master in Management (MiM) programs are undergoing a transformation of their own. They are not just adapting to incorporate STEM principles; they are actively embracing them to produce a new breed of business leaders equipped with a holistic skill set.
MiM programs are evolving to bridge the gap between business and STEM, creating a synergy that promises to shape the future of management education and redefine the capabilities of tomorrow’s business leaders. Earlier this year, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business launched a new Master of Science in Management (MSM) program, for recent university graduates with a bachelor’s degree in any field.
“The Tepper School wants to provide the best education to students at different stages in their career,” says Willem-Jan van Hoeve, the school’s senior associate dean of education. “Our MSM program focuses on students with little or no work experience and gives them a competitive edge in the job market. It also primes them for an MBA program if they choose to pursue one in the future.”
A notable feature of the 10-month program is its STEM designation, which means it focuses heavily on quantitative and analytical skills, scientific principles and technological applications.
In addition, international students pursuing degrees in STEM fields may be eligible for extended work permits after graduation. Students graduating from STEM programs may apply for a 24-month extension to their Optional Practical Training (OPT), providing up to 36 months of temporary employment in the U.S
The rise of STEM in management education is not simply a response to a fleeting trend. It is a strategic move to empower graduates with the analytical prowess, technical acumen and problem-solving skills required to excel in today’s STEM-driven economy. Many business schools run programs in related fields like business analytics.
NYU Stern launched its Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) Program 10 years ago, the first of its kind at a top business school. The curriculum is focused on causal inference – why did this happen and how will it impact the future – and homes in on three core areas: data engineering, data analytics and data interpretation.
The syllabus is being refreshed to ensure students have the most up-to-date skills needed to succeed in this field, which is expanding faster than ever before.
“In the decade since launch, we’ve constantly updated our curriculum to ensure the most current topics are covered, so students can meet today’s rapidly evolving needs,” says Anindya Ghose, academic director of NYU Stern’s MSBA Program. “Our curriculum now covers topics like artificial intelligence, generative AI systems, deep learning, Web 3.0 and more. Students learn how to leverage these emerging technologies to drive data-driven business decisions.”
Students see the value in these types of programs. In London, Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) runs a Business Analytics MSc. “We have an increased demand since 2017 when we started. As we speak, it is one of the most popular educational product that we have,” says Vali Asimit, Professor in Actuarial Analytics at Bayes.
He says there are several key learning outcomes for the increasing number of students who enrol in the program. “First, they learn how to explain complex analytics outputs to a non-specialised audience. Second, how to provide actionable insights tailored to the end-user needs. And third, how to generate parsimonious analytics solutions to the available data,” Asimit explains.
Other courses focus on digital transformation and AI. Professor Frederic Bossard is the scientific director of the MSc in Digital Business And Artificial Intelligence at SKEMA Business School in France. He says that without any doubt, digital transformation has become more of a strategic imperative during the pandemic, elevating the demand for the degree program.
“COVID-19 forced societal changes around the globe. Even prior to the pandemic, technology had become an increasingly important part of the workforce. Businesses were looking at technology as a helpful means of engaging with customers, allowing some workplace flexibility, and for a way to introduce automation and faster processes,” Bossard says.
As brands have begun to embrace the capabilities offered by technology, they have also begun to understand and adopt this mentality, increasing the career opportunities for graduates in the STEM fields. “The need for specialists in digital transformation will keep on increasing as businesses look to find new ways to keep on innovating,” adds Bossard.
“As businesses begin to better understand the capabilities of these types of modern technology, they will also begin to understand the opportunities that lie before them.”