Digital transformation has become even more of a strategic imperative during the pandemic, which pushed corporations further into the digital realm. This has elevated the relevancy of master’s programs in digital business, which have consequently seen an increase in demand from students looking for specialist training in the discipline.
“Demand for skilled individuals and training in digital business is growing,” says Uzair Shah, program director of the MSc Digital Business, Innovation and Management at Lancaster University Management School.
He points to a greater recognition of the significance of having robust digital infrastructure in place, along with strategies and technologies for creating economic value.
“Knowledge and expertise in the critical relationship of digital technologies, business innovation and managing organizational change is — and will be — increasingly sought after by business owners,” he says, noting this makes his course becomes extremely relevant for businesses as they look to the future.
On Lancaster’s course in the UK, students learn to identify the potential for current and emerging technologies to enable business development and innovation. They develop strategies to enable value creation, touching on internal business processes, organizational culture and behavior.
“Digital technologies, with all their potential and limitations, unlock wide-ranging opportunities for businesses,” says Shah. “They help companies develop new ways of thinking and can be used to gain competitive advantage, to open up new markets, or enhance customer and supplier relationships.”
With companies racing to reap these handsome benefits, the career opportunities for graduates with specialist knowledge of digital technology are especially bight.
But the commonly pursued graduate roles in consulting, IT and project management are fiercely competitive. “There are so many opportunities open to our students but careers in the field of digital business tend to attract many,” adds Shah.
One way to get ahead of the pack is to upgrade credentials with a specialist degree. The high demand from prospective students is a big market opportunity for business schools. Many have become convinced enough to roll out graduate business programs in digital business, including ESCP Business School.
The MSc in Digital Transformation Management and Leadership helps students prepare for key roles in the management of business innovation. Through hands-on learning, participants learn about ground-breaking technologies including artificial intelligence, 3D printing, blockchains and robotics from locations in Paris and London.
The MSc in Digital Business, run by ESADE Business School in Barcelona, is designed to produce next-generation managers who can lead the digital revolution. They learn about systems thinking and design capabilities, as well as how to overcome regulatory compliance, cybersecurity and ethical challenges in order to turn technology into business value.
France’s SKEMA Business School puts on the MSc in Digital Business and Artificial Intelligence, a multidisciplinary course that blends strategy, economics, marketing, information systems and AI.
It provides students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to work in a data-rich digital environment, says Patrice Houdayer, executive vice president at SKEMA Business School. “Obviously, managers will not disappear with the arrival of data scientists, data analysts and data miners,” he says. “However, they must be able to use and analyze data to shed new light on problems and guide decisions in an ever more complex world.”
The program trains students, from both engineering and business backgrounds, to acquire an analytical and scientific approach, multidisciplinary team spirit, interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and solve technical problems.
The skills acquired cover technological aspects (algorithms, automatic learning, cybersecurity, advanced visualisation) and managerial aspects (change management and project management) as well as the legal issues and ethics.
“Using AI creates high expectations within companies, but this is often out of step with what is actually possible from a technological point of view,” says Houdayer. “Our program proposes to reconcile technological and managerial vision to increase the chances of success of AI projects in the context of digital business transformation.”
He says prospective students from across the world now understand the predominant importance that AI will take in the coming years. “If data is the oil of the 21st century, AI is the driving force: these future professionals want to become fully involved in the upcoming transformations.”