Professors around the globe face many challenges in educating future workforce. Recruiters look to employ adaptive individuals for industries dominated by disruption, innovation, and circular thinking.
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, how do professors plan course material that will be future-proof and not become quickly obsolete?
The core foundations of teaching are unlikely to change. They are:
- showing a caring nature
- being a good listener,
- developing self-belief in students,
- sharing knowledge and skills in a consumable way,
- making a positive impact
Ways of applying the above teaching traits have evolved over many generations. Professors must continually concern themselves with how, why, and what they teach, whilst keeping one eye on the future.
How do you teach for the future when you don’t know what it looks like?
Course material can quickly become outdated, just spare a thought for those who took ‘Concorde Studies’ before the aeroplane was retired in 2003.
So, if the content of a course may not be relevant in a few years, it is surely future-proof skills that professors must develop in their students, but what are some of those skills?
- Information Consumption
- Data Pattern Recognition
- Creative, Critical, and Strategic Thinking
How professors go about teaching these five skills is up to them, but through a mixture of experiential learning such as simulation and role play, and encouragement for self-study, professors can get their students to build their own skills in real-world situations.
How do you forecast for future trends and keep on top of technological changes and disruptions?
As a professor, you should be keen to lean on your students and allow them to influence the course content.
Whilst it’s your job to dissect and distribute quality information, it’s probable that your students will be more attuned to what is current.
Open dialogues with them, find out what they think is useful, and develop project-based exercises around topical trends so that they can build on the skills mentioned in this article.
Is testing outdated and should students be better prepared for the jobs market?
Some education professionals believe that testing only serves a very small purpose and is not particularly useful for students who want to apply the acquired knowledge to real-world situations.
Ask yourself, outside of academia, how many pencil and paper tests have you actually faced? Very few, if any, so why is this skill drilled into students time after time?
Of course, it shows how well they comprehend and can discern important information. The truth is though, that most of the tests students face in life are actually moments when they must apply their skills to real-world or business scenarios.
Rather than testing students, we might want to consider creating simulated environments where they can role play scenarios in a safe space, where they can trial and error their ideas, and where they can practice their leadership skills.
Can business educational professors target the skills gap to inspire future course material?
Technology, whilst being a blessing that makes communication, information, and day-to-day life much easier, is also a curse that has damaged some of our most fundamental skills.
Whether you’re willing to accept it or not, we lend some of our thinking power to our devices, letting it do the work for us.
Instead of learning languages, we can instantly translate anything. Instead of going out and having quality conversations, we can tap keys and instantly send multimedia to thousands of contacts. There are numerous examples of letting technology take control of some of our most important skills.
These particular skills are under serious threat from technology and the individualistic nature of device-reliance:
- Analogue skills
- Language skills
- Leadership skills
- Relationship skills
Technology did not intend to damage these skills, but they are under siege nonetheless. This presents a huge opportunity to business education professors who can develop core skills in their students.
Creating powerful future CEOs, Managing Directors, Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders of tomorrow lies in the hands of business education professional of today.
Executives who have vast experience working in teams will settle more effectively into different roles within the business hierarchy and will be more likely to find themselves in leadership roles.
Leaders who can communicate verbally in an effective way will receive more attention and interest.
Analogue skills, or soft skills as some call them, are skills that can be worked on offline and taught by professors. Decision-making, collaboration, customer-centric thinking, managing change, and adaptability are just a few from a list.
The business professional of the future who speaks multiple languages has a huge advantage in the global marketplace, and those who develop confident face-to-face relationships will be seen as more genuine and trustworthy.
Final thoughts on the matter…
In a competitive marketplace where digital skills are very highly valued, employers will transition into a more holistic approach.
Professors should be looking less at teaching how to use programmes, and instead, look at a human potential and his or hers experientially-developed skills.
There are more opportunities than ever before for the business professionals of tomorrow. Remaining relevant in a world of constant disruption is going to be the major challenge.
In this article, we have laid out some key ideas for professors to think about when approaching the best method of teaching business studies.
If you think we’ve missed something, you’re keen to continue the dialogue, or you’re curious about the simulated business environments that we develop, explore some of our engaging business simulation for classrooms here or get in touch directly via our online contact form: