Technology, which has already devastated factory jobs, is beginning to affect middle- and upper-middle-class jobs. A majority of the jobs today’s elementary school students will be working at do not even exist today. Are today’s business curricula preparing students with the required skills?
Business programs were designed to serve the needs of large corporations. Today, many schools are abandoning the MBA program. The market is signaling that these programs are past their prime.
The fastest-growing business segment of the future is the business of one. We should all be preparing for a “1099 economy.” Educational institutions should broaden the narrative to prepare people with entrepreneurial essentials, even if they may not see themselves as unicorn-builders.
The next-generation problem-solving ecosystem will coalesce around a university. More and more universities have caught the entrepreneurial bug. While their leadership emphasizes the value of entrepreneurship, their pedagogical approach and organizational infrastructure are inconsistent with the entrepreneurial process. Traditional curricular and co-curricular activities don’t fit. A significant opportunity exists to train creative and talented people who can function in the emerging environment.
A panel of entrepreneurial educators in the Twin Cities recently discussed the opportunity of mass education of skills for the emerging economy. Some key observations:
•Critical thinking and problem-solving
•Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
•Agility and adaptability n Initiative and entrepreneurship
•Effective oral and written communication
•Assessing and analyzing information
•Curiosity and imagination
The academic program design itself should have some key features:
•Business plan competitions
•Links with mentors
•Internships with community entrepreneurs
•Peer-to-peer learning activities
•Opportunities for global awareness through international projects
This is the panel’s wish list. To achieve even a fraction of this, many obstacles will need to be removed. They are:
Chances are a majority of your students are not going to start a venture. The criteria for success should be measured by performance in the marketplace—whether starting a business, finding a job or doing well.
Rajiv Tandon is executive director of the Institute for Innovators and Entrepreneurs and an advocate for the future of entrepreneurship in Minnesota. He facilitates peer groups of Minnesota CEOs. He can be reached at email@example.com.