The landscape of business and industry is continuously evolving. Organisations, right from their design, to their supply chains, are facing innovation disruptions from technology every day. The current pandemic has only pushed this into force with remote working and excessive dependence on data analytics. Therefore, it becomes essential for business leadership and management to inculcate a basic understanding of technical tools.
It is only apropos if we equip our future leaders and managers with these technical skills right at the initiation. MBA curriculums should focus on imparting technical literacy to students coming from all domains of education. Similarly, the onus of learning lies in the MBA students too.
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Every MBA student must hone their skills and shape their career trajectory with some basic, but extremely relevant tech skills. Some of them are:
Tech Skills MBA Students Need
1. Data Analysis
The mantra ruling the business world currently is “Data is the new oil.” Certain industries are booming, and data is the reason behind their exponential growth. One of the top tech skills for management students is to command proficiency in analytical tools like R, SPSS, Tableau, etc.
Today, companies require managers to work on large datasets for various functions like forecasting sales, understanding market patterns, predicting consumer demand, future trends, and stock ordering, etc. Therefore, MBA students should learn some of these tools beforehand, differentiate themselves from the crowd, and add value to their core competency.
The most basic and commonly used tool in organizations for data handling in MS Excel. Due to its widespread popularity, knowing Excel is a must these days in tech skills for MBA students. Excel isn’t just very easy to use, but it is also logical to implement. You don’t need to memorize the formulas; just build logic on the data you are conducting. Having a good command over excel can make you the star performer of your team!
2. Programming Languages
While this is not a must-have for MBA candidates in company JDs, still this is an added advantage. As a manager, you will work on various projects where your deliverable will be a software interface or an app. Or you might be deployed in a cross-functional team.
While you will be having a team of engineers for the coding part, but as a manager, you cannot understand and review your deliverable unless you know the basics of what problem you are solving or the requirement your product is fulfilling.
Therefore, having a basic idea of languages like Python, SQL, PHP, etc. and knowledge of Relational databases are highly beneficial tech skills for MBA students.
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4. Presentation and Design
Good working knowledge of presentation tools is one of the most important tech skills for management students. Presentations are critical in the corporate setup as they are an official form of communication between a client and a business.
Companies require managers to make presentations to their clients that put out their business objectives, offerings, and solution to the client’s problem statement, alongside the methodology in a concise, neat, and aesthetic, yet informative manner. Similarly, companies also need an aesthetic design for their website, or social media handles to connect with their consumers. For this, the managers must have some basic knowledge of design tools to effectively communicate with the website developers and implement the company’s idea of a website look and feel.
MBA students get a good deal of exposure on presentations right from their class assignments to business case study competitions. They must utilise this exposure by learning more about the art of ppt making and sharpen their skills on various tools like PowerPoint, Canva, Prezi, Haiku Deck, etc.
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5. Technical Writing
Managers are tasked with the responsibility of setting goals and objectives on a project. They are required to facilitate cross-functional or cross-divisional team cooperation in a project and communicate the expectations, deliverables, limitations, etc. of one team with the other. They also communicate the technical, budgetary, and other requirements of teams to the supervisors. Therefore, they must know each domain’s technical specifications, such as marketing, accounts, IT, etc. to draft proper communication documents for each of them.
Since all businesses have gone digital in today’s world, Managers must also be equipped with the knowledge of content creation, content marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to reach their target audience. All this demands professional writing with technical understanding.
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Thus, technical writing ability is a must-have for a manager, as it is a standing stone of effective communication within an organisation. This is why it features in the list of top tech skills for MBA students.
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6. Project Management
Managers communicate the information received from top management to the employees. They also create Minutes of the Meeting with the top management, create training and staffing material, make reports on product specifications and terms of service, etc. Managers also create reports on the internal and external process, stakeholder management, competitor analysis, and project documentation.
Although Project management is a specific branch of management wherein the managers are specifically trained for statistical analysis tools, scrum methodology tools, quality control techniques and methodology, risk analysis report generation and communication, and scheduling software, etc. Yet, it is extremely relevant for all managers to grab know-how of all these aspects, and is one of the top tech skills for MBA students to learn.
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While these are the top five tech skills for management students to know to stand out in the rat race in the corporate world, there are other tech skills too, that MBA students can pursue learning. E.g., Working and delegating work on Cloud-based applications, remote working tools, acquaintance with virtual meeting platforms like Cisco WebEx, social media netiquettes, etc.
We live in competitive times, and every day brings in a new challenge. Today’s most important thing is to constantly update and upgrade yourself with the times to stay relevant and stand out from the crowd.
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What are the benefits of having technical skills?
Since almost every profession relies on diverse tools, programs, and procedures, technical skills are essential. You will be a more suitable candidate if you have sought-after technical knowledge and abilities that are widespread in your sector. They can assist you in working more efficiently, boosting your confidence and making you a more desirable candidate for companies. Employees with technical competence are frequently better at multitasking in a demanding and complex position. You can avoid technical issues, improve customer happiness, and eliminate technical issues before technical expertise occurs. The technical abilities you'll need to know or gain will vary depending on the job you're applying for.
Why do MBA professionals need technical skills?
Technical skills allow people to work more effectively, increase their self-esteem, and increase their value to companies. Because most MBA professionals work with people, particularly clients, they require additional skills to assist them in their work. Clear communication is one of the essential reasons for MBA professionals to devote time to the development of technical abilities. Another factor for the need for technical abilities is efficiency. Programming languages and technologies used nowadays are a major part of technical skills. It's nearly hard to find ways to improve efficiency without a basic understanding of how different technologies or processes work. Technical affluence is becoming a requirement for an individual's professional advancement. It also aids in advancement, self-improvement, and promotion.
Why should I opt for an MBA?
Individuals who pursue an MBA are equipped with the abilities needed to launch a new company endeavor or become an entrepreneur. It sharpens your skills in a certain field, such as management, human resources, finance, accounting, and so on. It also allows you to thoroughly research the industry and offers you a variety of overseas work prospects with excellent benefits and pay. MBA ensures a successful career and raises the value of your brand. You may still pursue an MBA after graduation if you come from a scientific or arts background. Within the MBA program, there are several disciplines to select from, like finance, marketing, operations, and so on. It increases the value of your brand and makes you stand out in the hiring manager's eyes.