Business Education Report 2023 – The 6 tech classes you might be missing

Business Technology – Vital in your portfolio

You got your business degree great! Did you learn the right stuff to get hired? Maybe not. Every discipline, including business, is experiencing the ‘Skills Gap’. What you learned in college is failing to teach you hireable skills. The typical student picks from a matrix of classes that eventually give them enough units to get a degree. But this report gives you a heads up that your course catalog may be missing the most important skills. Whether you get hired in a tech business, the way you analyzing market and attracting customers is reliant on tech. According to the forecast of digital marketing in 2022, digital marketing, SEO techniques, and Ecommerce workflows are key business drivers. It’s essential for business students and professionals to get skills in these areas fast. We surveyed top 60 business education programs to uncover the fact that tech-related courses are missing in most of them. So the question you should ask yourself, ‘Where am I going to pick up these skills?’ 

Agile management courses

The commonality of high tech business is the use of Agile management to produce products efficiently with maximum accountability of its staff.  It enables people to work as a team with regular communications on who is doing what and by when. Based on our investigation, all these MBA Programs provide one or more courses in Agile. However, about 90% of the Business Certification Programs we researched didn’t have a project management course. Agile Management go hand in hand which enables you to have something to display this in your resume and interviews. For those who may not have the chance to learn these courses, seek out Coursera or select universities agile management certification programs

Learn SEO for wide marketability

As a business professional, it’s within your power to say to a company ‘I know how to help you to get more views, likes, and purchases’. Take a couple classes in SEO and you may wind up with more job skills than 2 years in college. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), has become a fundamental skill for people who work in marketing. It enables people to improve both quantity and quality of people who are finding your product in web searches. The importance of SEO is also because it enables businesses to understand their customer’s behaviors and needs. Data shows that in 2020, over 30% of companies use SEO in their marketing strategies. While, this number increased to 45% in the following year. Search algorithms and marketing channels are always changing, so people who learn SEO today can be smarter than those who learned it last year.

We found that all MBA programs require students to take SEO courses. However, there are about 70% of the Business Certification Programs not providing SEO training.  For the programs that offered SEO courses, these were listed as electives leaving many graduates without this skill. If you are trying to catch up, then you should dive into any of the SEO tools that make data driven decisions for you such as Ubersuggest, Moz, and Semrush.  We like these tools because of their excellent training and articles that give you an easy self-learning path.

Data mining for business

There is data everywhere and successful businesses use it to their advantage. There are 10 data mining skills which provide credible customer information to reduce their risks in future business development. If you have your eye on tech, you should be showing up to job interviews with an understanding of how to get useful information through data mining.  According to our research on MBA programs, about 60% of these programs still do not include data mining courses as required courses. Whereas, Business Certification Programs pay a lot more attention on teaching data mining skills.  For those MBA students who do not master data mining skills, here are some universities providing professional data mining bootcamps so you can immediately impress a high tech company.

Data analytics courses

Data analytics is the new normal in any commercial industry, Its widely used in the marketing and sales departments within these companies. Having data but not knowing how to analyze it leaves you flat footed with no way to react. Thus, data analytics enables you to make data driven decisions. Based on our research, both Business Certification Programs and MBA Programs emphasize the learning in data analytics in their core courses. This was the topic best covered in college programs and might even lead into Masters in Data Science programs.  For those students in programs without data analytics courses, you can try to upskill your knowledge through an online certification program like the Google Data Analytics Certificate to stay competitive. 

Courses in GIS to map your customers

Maps have become second nature to us for directions and a sublisting for any business we are searching for.  For business decisions in markets, future customers, and supply chain, a Geographic Information System (GIS) is the tech used to quickly visualize the business landscape. A GIS enables you to locate your future customers. However, only 1 out of 60 business programs offer this powerful skill to their students, which is the BA program in Mercyhurst University. Business students should think about using maps to present simple business user cases to decision makers. Should we buy this real estate or that real estate?  Should the next store be here or there? You can gain this skill through a few online platforms or even better you can perform a variety of industry projects at Bootcamp GIS. If you want a true portfolio differentiator, get a GIS certificate which few of your fellow business analysts will have.

MIS for business

Some of you might be interested in managing the IT part of a tech business. MIS refers to Management of Information Systems which is a set of systems for managers to make decisions based on reliable data. With knowledge of MIS, you can master the knowledge of the architecture, tools, workflows, and maintenance of business system technology. Thus, the person that knows how to lead a team to integrate the accounting system with the customer database is vital to the organization. This is an area of rapid upward mobility. Thus, you could be the younger talent that has better skills than an aging manager that hasn’t kept up with these skills.  We found that Business Certification Programs pay more attention to training students in MIS. While, over 70% of MBA programs do not offer MIS related courses. You can find online courses in MIS on Coursera which would be a good strategy if you want to jump on the management track.

Costs for Business Programs

One of the most important factors in choosing the right program is the cost. Based on our investigation on the 67 schools that have a business education certificate, the cost varies from $2k to $20k. Among these programs, 72% of them cost more than $10K. Moreover, most of the programs last more than a year. If you evaluate the tools being used in business, you’ll see  some key missing topics in these programs.  This will then beg the question: Is the program worth spending over $10k if I’m not getting pertinent technical skills used to run many businesses? Alternatively, students can find industry driven certificates that may provide a better ROI for less money and less time.

Jobs with a business degree

Business degrees can be a dime a dozen. Since it’s a popular major, you should be very strategic in your classes and the skills you come away with. As this article suggests, you will likely need to complement your degree with learning from a non-college entity. The simple test is for you to search for a job you’d like on Indeed and survey the required skills.  You’ll be able to identify where you have skill deficiencies. Then learn some stuff!  Fortunately, there are many commercial sector curriculum providers who address the ‘Skills Gap’ with practical content. A digital certificate in any of the above technologies will look great on your LinkedIn profile.  

Great places to learn quickly:

Bootcamp GIS


General Assembly

Linkedin Learning


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