Taking the Lead in the Digital Era: 3 Ways an MBA-focused Work Integrated Learning Program Can Help
By Arijit Banerjee
To win in the digital era, organizations need leaders who understand the types of transformation possible and manage change effectively. Management training courses such as an MBA, however, require intensive time and effort commitment - something most professionals cannot afford.
A Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP), which blends academic learning with experiential learning, offers a viable alternative. With knowledge imparted by leading subject matter experts, WILPs integrate domain knowledge instruction with the need for flexibility in the modern workplace. A WILP is typically designed in collaboration with leading corporates and industry organizations, and is offered in the form of online courses that can be accessed by students anytime and anywhere.
Here are three ways in which an MBA-focused WILP can help your organization reimagine upskilling in the digital age.
Empower employees without disrupting work
Today’s professionals, especially millennials, are aware that academic prowess alone is not enough to excel in a today’s dynamic work environment. 87% of millennials state that professional development and growth are important to them. An MBA-focused WILP helps professionals hone their skills in areas such as people/team management, negotiation, persuasion, and data-driven decision making - without taking a break from work. It also offers employees the opportunity to deepen their industry knowledge by apply their learnings to real world projects. The result: organizations benefit from upskilled resources while employees strengthen their personal brand as experts, thereby carving out a path to growth and leadership.
Create a pool of productive workers
In terms of access to talent, a WILP helps organizations in many distinct ways. One – organizations gain ready access to a platform for career and skill development of their employees. Two – it helps create a relevant talent pool that can drive or even lead initiatives that are a strategic priority for the business. Three – it helps optimize career mobility within the organization, making talent management more effective as hiring leaders can tap into a ready pool of skills for filling key positions.
Take the case of India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the trade body representing the Indian ESDM (Electronic System Design and Manufacturing) industry. IESA signed MoUs with IIT-Kharagpur to build a robust talent pipeline in the ESDM space. Organizations in industries such as banking can set up similar initiatives to access an MBA-focused WILP to create a steady stream of industry relevant professionals who can be quickly deployed on live projects.
Set up or test a new project
According to a survey by global staffing firm Robert Half, 65% of CFOs struggle to identify skilled workers for current job vacancies. An upskilled talent pool that’s armed with relevant domain knowledge and industry awareness can help kick start or explore new business possibilities. Let’s say an FI is considering setting up a data analytics initiative that requires candidates skilled in financial analytics as well as management principles. The FI can ensure a pool of relevant talent by offering its employees access to a WILP-based MBA program, and providing incentives for adoption in the form of perks, pay increases or promotions.
Finding the right talent can be a challenge given the growing demand for MBA candidates – around 90% of companies in the Asia-Pacific planned to hire MBAs in 2018. In such a scenario, a WILP model can help organizations leap into the next phase of growth by empowering their employees with the right skills even while they’re at work.