Young professionals desire new ways of learning
Today’s up-and-coming digital generation still sees the value of a degree-based management education, but a growing number prefer self-directed learning and just-in-time courses instead of established MBA programs, according to a new study.
The collaborative study, Understanding the Implications of the Digital Generation on Business Education, was commissioned by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC), and the International Consortium for Executive Education (UNICON), to examine the expectations and experiences of the next generations of professionals spanning Generation Z and Millennials.
The study found young professionals are driven to pursue learning opportunities based more on their own perceived needs and motivations. In the U.S., those factors include to improve their standard of living, increase career stability and job security, and enhance leadership skills or make it easier to start a business.
They also want creative delivery models, flexible opportunities such as credit for work/ life experience, and nondegree alternatives such as certificates or digital badges. Employees want more say in professional development planning, ranging from self-directed study to a mix of live and pre-recorded delivery for online courses, with some input from their employer.
For the most part, these findings align with what area universities know: Most students seeking an advanced business or management degree are busy working professionals who desire flexibility, convenience and real-world relevance.