Business schools in the online world

By chantelharris, 3 September, 2015

An increased number of business courses are now available online. Where learning in this hightly sought after sphere used to only take place in the lecture halls of prestigious universities, this type of learning is happening in bedrooms and lounges across the world


What does this mean for the universities and colleges offering traditional business schools? And what does this mean for the CEOs and those working in HR? How do you know when someone is properly equipped with the skills they need to work for your organisation?


These are some of the questions currently being grappled with by those in this sector. Adam Gordon, writing for Forbes, says: “Executive education is an industry currently facing a whole lot of transition, not just the ‘the usual’ reorientation to emerging markets growth, and also an ongoing ever-closer tango with consulting industry.

“Fundamental industry transformation, or at least wide-eyed over-the-shoulder peering at the oncoming storm, is driven by online technology, particularly by MOOCs (massively open online courses) which are soaking up learners by the hundreds of thousands on a free or freemium basis.”


An increased number of people find themselves needing business education. We change careers, go through shifts in our jobs and need new skills. This leads to the need for improved and refreshed business skills.


Paula Newton writes for Intelligent HQ: “Business education has been changing massively from an academic close environment to an open and now digital and open new ecosystem. As MOOCs and online courses proliferate there are new trends around this fast growing and changing business in a time when all professionals have to endure some kind of executive business education.”


Newton highlights these trends in business education:

Entrepreneurship education should be taught to all students to encourage the amount of small business ownership needed in society.

Collaboration of knowledge and sharing across social media.

Personalised learning which may not provide certification but does provide skills needed for workplace progression.

Mobile learning is now possible meaning education takes place at all times of the day and anywhere the student chooses.

Increased importance of ethics and responsibility by business.

Theory doesn’t mean much when knowledge can’t be applied and used during the course of completing work projects.


Whether you are studying at one of the many business schools in Johannesburg or elsewhere in the world, it is important to know what is taking place within the sector. Business education, and the institutions which teach it, has not caught up with the world. Business is being conducted in extremely different ways to how it once was.


Johan Roos, writing for harvard Business Review, agrees that traditional teachings of business need an update.

“The educational institutions where our future business leaders are being trained must be recalibrated and transformed dramatically. Business education today is anachronistic in both how it is conducted and what its content focuses on.

“Our brick institutions have in no way caught up with what today’s technologies make possible in terms of virtual learning and individualized, customized instruction. More importantly, business education needs to evolve once again, revising its goals to educate leaders of the future who have a new set of skills: sustainable global thinking, entrepreneurial and innovative talents, and decision-making based on practical wisdom.”




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