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Challenges of a dynamic business world

As our globalized world becomes increasingly interconnected, the global rat race has become even more cutthroat with greater competition and demand for innovation in industries everywhere, including in the business sector.

More and more, businesses are finding themselves forced to come to terms with the new normal wrought on by the age of disruption, where online systems must be buttressed by solid cybersecurity strategies; where social media platforms are used as tools to shape public opinion, understand current trends and plan future business moves; and where ambiguity in business decisions can finally be removed, thanks to big data analytics.

“In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, once said in an oft-used soundbite about innovation.

To remain relevant, therefore, forward-leaning organizations that see the value in being proactive are jumping the digital bandwagon and implementing new technologies to both improve and future-proof current business processes.

In fact, any savvy businessman from the likes of Bezos to the small business owner would agree that for the modern business leader to be effective, embracing disruption is a must.

According to KPMG International in its 2017 Global CEO Outlook survey, the movers and shakers of today’s business world even see this as a fact of life, with more than six in 10 CEOs (65 percent) saying they see disruption as an opportunity for their business, not a threat, while three in four (74 percent) say they are aiming to be disruptors themselves.

“… most see disruption as an opportunity to transform their business model, develop new products and services, and reshape their business so it is more successful than ever before. In the face of new challenges and uncertainties, CEOs are feeling the urgency to ‘disrupt and grow’,” notes KPMG global chairman John Veihmeyer.

To these leaders, key to survival is this willingness to adapt and adopt, and the ability to understand that in a dynamic business world, change is the only constant.

And how best to develop this foresight than by pursuing a practically focused business degree in a progressive and world-leading business school?

Here are five universities combining academic rigor with real-world application to shape tomorrow’s business leader

SHELDON B. LUBAR SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MILWAUKEE

As technology continues to develop at rapid speed, using and analysing data becomes increasingly important to businesses.  The Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has unique expertise in the multi-faceted field of information technology management, and offers a highly-regarded Master of Science in IT Management degree that equips students with the knowledge to make effective use of their IT skills in an increasingly technology-focused world. The program also teaches students to become effective team managers, both within their future businesses, and externally with their customers.

Notably, the ITM degree specialises in the key areas of Enterprise Resource Planning utilizing the SAP platform, and Business Analytics, or the ability to analyse data and make tactical decisions.

The Lubar School is AACSB-accredited, and is part of the 26,000 student University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, which is designated among the top 115 research universities in the US.  The Lubar School offers a full array of degree programs, and provides students with exposure to real-world experience through its research and career centers.

JACK H. BROWN COLLEGE – BUSINESS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY – SAN BERNADINO

California State University – San Bernadino is in the top 20 for public universities in the US. Students at the university’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration can choose from two core undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, Administration, which is then specialised from choices across five departments including the Department of Marketing and the Department of Accounting and Finance; and a Bachelor of Science – in Information Systems. The college also offers an MBA program, a Master in Public Administration, and a Master of Science in Accountancy.

The college has six research and outreach centres and institutes covering areas such as the nationally-recognised Cyber Security centre, and the Inland Empire Centre for Entrepreneurship, which allows students to work with local business leaders in their community, and provides services like business counselling for the aspiring or current business owner.

GROSSMAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business is ranked among the top business schools in the US, coming in at 107 of 115 short-listed schools in 2016. This was an especially positive result, considering the school recently overhauled its undergraduate program, which has three interdisciplinary focuses; Sustainable Business, Global Business and Entrepreneurship. Students can also choose from a range of concentrations, including Finance, Marketing and Business Analytics.

Students have access to state-of-the-art technology, including their Bloomberg Lab, which lets them monitor and analyse financial date in real-time. The school also places an emphasis on Experiential Learning, or the more practical areas of their degrees, including networking events, internships and business speaker series’.

The school also offers the Grossman Entrepreneurs Program, which supports students to begin a start-up company while applying the skills and knowledge they have gained throughout their study. Students can have mentors, as well as access to workshops as well as a financial stipend.

JOHN MOLSON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – UNIVERSITY OF CONCORDIA

The John Molson School of Business is one of the largest of its type in Canada, and is ranked in the top 100 in the country. It was founded in 2000 after a donation from entrepreneur John Molson’s family, and has strong resources around sustainable business models and community inclusion.

Undergraduate students at the school can choose from a range of focuses within their Bachelor degrees, with options including Finance, Economics and Supply Chain Operations Management. The school offers Graduate options such as a Master of Business Administration, and research degrees including a Master of Science, which can then be specialised further with business classes.

The school boasts 12 research centres and institutes available for students to either undertake research, or to have further training in a range of areas. These include the Centre for Multidisciplinary Behavioural Business Research, which aims to advance knowledge of behavioural issues in businesses, and the Institute For Community Entrepreneurship and Development, which focuses on further inclusion from the community, such as Aboriginal and immigrant groups.

MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL – TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Mays Business School has a central focus on advancing prosperity around the world, and improving both economic and environmental systems. With a history dating back to 1867, it is ranked 20th in the US for best business schools.

Undergraduate students at Mays can choose from a range of specialisations in their Bachelor Degrees, including Finance and Management. For Postgraduates, programs such as the MBA offer an intensive curriculum alongside experiential learning, and support for career preparedness.

Students at Mays also have access to the school’s six centres, with specialisations including the Centre for International Business Studies, the Centre for Retailing Studies, and the Real Estate Centre. These centres support students in their various specialisations, and expose them to further skill development, and networking opportunities.

Mays Business School aims to guide students on their way to becoming leaders who can make real change, both at home in their communities, as well as internationally.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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