Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Marrying Business Schools and Industry for Relevant Curriculum

Business schools prepare students for business-that is what they are known for! They move through the basic business principles, theories, and skill sets needed to succeed in a highly complex world of international commerce. The curriculum is based in the needs of the business community and the general needs of society. The closer the curriculum is tied to actual business requirements, the higher the relevance of the school.

It should be noted that there is a difference between the brand of a school and the quality of its education. In many cases, brands do recognize quality but are not exactly the same thing. The best schools continue to look at, connect with, and research industry needs to develop appropriate skill sets.

Sometimes this knowledge comes through  looking at larger industry reports, reviewing previous studies, and other impartial public information. The other option is to conduct surveys and research that asks industry leaders what they are looking for. Let the market lead the school!

I am advocate of generating research by connecting with industry. It does two important things. First it turns a university from a knowledge user to a knowledge generator, and secondly it advertises the university to potential employers. No harm in offering stronger collaboration when the free results are sent and published.

The more business schools can connect with industry needs the better they can prepare students to take leading jobs. The education offered by the school becomes relevant and continuously updates each time a program and/or course goes through a developmental cycle. Universities that are focused on their end users will find themselves as praised gatekeepers to higher knowledge and higher paying jobs.

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