The Need For Customizable Executive Education

Executive education is typically offered by business schools around the world, to cater to professional skill development and advancement needed for roles such as executives, business leaders, and functional managers.

Today’s business landscape is complex, sophisticated and ridden with untapped possibilities and unexplored terrains. Though business has never been a thoroughly certain and predictable venture, the digitalization boom has revolutionized operations across departments, restructured data management, and flow, and has affected the way people work and interact both within and across organizations. As a result, today’s tech-driven business world demands professionals who can come up with quick solutions to complex business problems, and have an understanding of the current market, trends, and operations. This also means that the learning of today’s employees is becoming redundant at twice the pace of change, which has necessitated the need for business schools to customize their executive education offerings to reduce skill gaps.

Executive education is typically offered by business schools around the world, to cater to professional skill development and advancement needed for roles such as executives, business leaders, and functional managers. However, as different companies have varying cultural and commercial needs, top business schools in India have increased the provision of customizable options tailored for specified interests. 

The need for customizable executive education 

As modern-day learners are more evolved and equipped, they are ready to take risks and seek rapid career advancement while challenging the successful operational models of yesteryears. Additionally, the millennial workforce no longer views work as a means of merely generating remuneration but as a means of expressing their creativity, forming meaningful relationships, and creating a real-time impact. Employees are thus quick to switch organizations and their life cycle is getting shorter within any one organization. These rapid shifts in employee orientation have made it hard for organizations to stay profitable and relevant, due to the difficulties in balancing the needs and expectations of both employees and customers in an ever-evolving world of uncertainties. 

Programs/ training for accelerating professional preparedness 

The huge opportunities in today’s business world are coupled with a host of challenges that need to be addressed. Executive education, is, therefore, no longer a choice but a necessity for professional preparedness. As a result, in addition to the tenure, price, and strength of curriculum, aspirants need to consider additional factors. They need to consider the extent to which their training can be applied to and tailored for suiting the requirements of organizations within their field of expertise. 

Top-level business schools around the world are thus designing curriculum packages that are highly targeted at specific modifications for company-specific requirements. They are offering short-term, full-time and certificate courses to fit the need of one and all. They are also offering their training through online classrooms so that students and employees (managers/executives/senior-level professionals) can avail these training from anywhere even when they are on the job, thus alleviating the hassles of traveling to classes. The popularity of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has also consolidated the facilitation of personal development through free web-based learning programs.

However, there is still a high demand for face-to-face interaction and leadership training, which has led business schools around the world to revise their curriculum periodically in response to shifts in the business landscape. University-based executive education providers are increasingly tailoring their course-content to equip people to learn about different business strategies, deal with diverse people, and solve business-related problems. Interactions with competent peers, networking with the best minds in the business, and training sessions/conferences with applicable industry insights; are all necessary facets of today’s contemporary executive education. Moreover, through a network of branch campuses and satellite locations, these executive programs are offered in locations around the world and are modified to suit local client needs.

The road ahead for business acceleration

Business schools around the world are initiating international collaborations for facilitating career preparedness for a globalized business economy. This helps to connect learners with a globally representative set of peers and trainers for the exchange of ideas and knowledge. 230 institutions representing 50 different countries emerged as ‘partners’ in collaborative agreements, as per a global collaboration survey conducted by AACSB. With the escalation of commitment to qualitative executive education, learners can benefit from the right program with an increasing level of customization, a suitable mode of delivery and the rise of international business perspective. 

Additionally, to stay on the path of continuous learning and acceleration, business schools are collaborating with corporates for designing innovative contemporary courses which are aligned with future technologies such as Business Analytics, Design Thinking, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) etc. The alignment with futuristic trends and technologies equips one with the skills, practices, strategies, and creativity for the resolution of increasingly complex and sophisticated business-related problems.

Therefore, the growth curve for executive education is infused with boundless potential as business schools are tailoring all aspects of their executive education offerings to suit one and all. Business schools are offering a wide variety of options both in terms of courses and modes of learning, but it ultimately depends on the learner to benefit from these customizable offerings. Learners must ensure that they make use of the skills acquired during training to leverage the potential of emerging technologies, identify the specific challenges of their field, and orient themselves for achieving desired results. 

This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'Nov. 20, 2018' with cover story titled 'BW Education Issue Nov-Dec 2018'

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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