Patrick, Venkat, could you please tell us what is happening in business now and how companies and specialists respond to new challenges?
Patrick: Business is the science of managing very complex and dynamic processes under uncertainty. At times when companies are facing more complexity (technology, trade wars, pandemics, globalization vulnerabilities), there is an increasing demand for professionals who know how to keep a steady hand in this volatile environment.
We may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, but companies have been made painfully aware of the vulnerability of our global business ecosystem.
Just like demand for “earthquake insurance” goes up after an earthquake, demand for professionals who can help companies protect themselves from shocks in the system will be in high demand.
Venkat: Managing and succeeding in these complex and challenging environments needs systemic thinking and new skills sets. Business Masters programs tend to address these challenges, based on cutting edge research, and insights from practice.
What can students expect from business programs in 2023?
Patrick: Certainly, businesses adapt and so do academic institutions. While many business schools have professed the value of technology and digitalization, few have actually practiced it.
On course delivery, more business programs will introduce hybrid teaching models (basics online, deep-dive discussions in the classroom), rich course add-ons (knowledge modules) and the use of technology to allow students to experiment with concepts (simulations, virtual and augmented reality).
On course content, we’ll see a faster rate of adoption of topics that would have helped companies to weather the most painful challenges faced during the pandemic: risk management, global supply chain optimization, managing remote work, and digitalization.
Venkat:Topics like risk management, digital business would tend to feature more prominently in the Business Masters Programs in the next few years. Also, hybrid teaching models will be more in use, rather than just in person or just online. Also, student involvement and experience would change with these new ways of delivering programs.
What key skills will your students be able to learn and develop as part of a graduate business program?
Venkat: During the styding process students take variety of classess that help them develop diverse range of skills: Understanding and managing risk, Teamwork, Ability to adapt to rapidly changing environments, Savvy with digital business, Analytical and critical thinking,
Presentation and report writting skills, An understanding of how organizations operate,
Networking, Problem solving, Work/life balance.
Patrick: Particular skills that business professionals should acquire are: Data Analysis (including Big Data, AI, ML), Digital Marketing and Strategy (we’ve all relied on this quite a bit during the pandemic), Business Development, Digital Transformation, Project Management, HR and Organizational Development Strategy, and of course Risk Management.
What does the job market look like for the alumni?
Patrick: In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data shows that business and financial jobs will grow faster than average compared to other occupations between 2020-2030 (9% for business versus an average of 7.2% over 10 years).
In Kazakhstan jobs are very solid in the Oil & Gas industry and Consalting and that’s expected to continue through 2023 as the country keeps growing its economy and is working toward its goal of joining the top-30 economies in the world by 2050. The expansion requires business professionals to guide companies through the process.
This means that the overall job market outlook for business graduates is looking very promising.
Venkat: Globally, and also in KZ, there is a boom in jobs in online marketplaces and fintechs. We expect such developments to continue. In most markets, as countries come out of the pandemic, economic growth is coming back, and it should help for graduating students in the next few years.
NUGSB is a business research school. What advantages does this give to students and why is it important?
Patrick:Fifty years ago, perhaps a standard approach to solving a specific business problem was enough, since the world was quite stable. But today we live in an unstable environment. Our professors not only teach the current state of the science, but through their research they know how business will operate when the underlying conditions change significantly. And as we've mentioned before, having professors who are actively engaged in scholarly activities is essential to providing knowledge that will serve alumni throughout their careers.
Undoubtedly. One of the advantages of your programs is an international residency for students, can you tell us the details?
Please tell us about the international residence for students
Patrick: During the international internship, our students of the Executive MBA and Full Time MBA programs take full-fledged courses with attendance of classes and exams. Still more importantly, they are immersed in and interacting with an international business environment that is different from ours. During their residency at Duke University, they network with local entrepreneurs and have access to the famous "research triangle" in North Carolina.
We also include international residencies in other programs. For example, the Master of Science in Finance program allows for international internships in Europe, with courses in investment and commercial banking.
This year you are starting a new Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM) program, tell us about it, please.
Venkat: We have developed this program within the framework of Erasmus+ based on the experience of our partners in Central Asia, America and Europe. We have studied different programs and developed one that is suitable and needed in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. It has no analogues in Kazakhstan.
The program is designed for mid- to upper-level human resources professionals and people interested in pursuing a career in human resources. We have created a program that combines industry relevance with a scientific approach to help professionals gain a deeper understanding of current issues in human resource management. We expect MHRM alumni to apply their knowledge and skills throughout their careers, to improve the effectiveness of their organization, and to contribute to the economic development of the country.
Thank you for the conversation!
Thus, it becomes clear that there is currently an active demand from business for employees with competencies that meet modern standards and realities. You need to make a contribution to your education to develop your current career. The best investments are still investments in yourself. Fortunately, the range of NU GSB graduate programs is quite extensive, and everyone can find their own.