User experience (UX) design is a big factor in the digitalmarketing world and it is time for business schools to embrace its principles.On websites, user experience is a key element in the sales process and can makea big difference to the bottom line. Understanding how people think and whatthey want to achieve, is key to getting good leads and making sales. In theworld of MBA, the standard practice was one of providing a course and expectingstudents to adapt their lives and goals to the content. Now, as competitionbecomes greater and the idea of a typical MBA student evolves, savvy institutionsshould take a closer look at what students want and who they are, then balanceit with what they need, to provide a course that delivers results.
Once, a MBA was considered the domain of a CEO or someone inupper management. Someone who had 10 or 20 years’ experience in their industry.However, as the jobs market becomes more and more competitive and the requiredqualifications in certain industries escalates, the number of less experiencedpeople embarking on MBAs is increasing. An undergraduate going straight into aMBA program is no longer considered an anomaly and more people under 25 andwith no industry experience, are choosing to get a postgraduate qualificationimmediately after their bachelors.
This influx of students fresh out of the undergrad worldmeans that business schools will need to adapt their courses to suit a youngermindset and provide them the soft skills to effectively communicate their ideasand knowledge. Without the practical understanding of how companies andbusinesses work at the coal face, it is important for a MBA course to offer ataste of what they can expect when they enter the working world.
A user-centric MBA would still include all the businessfundamentals expected but give these lessons more real-life context and strike thebalance between theoretical concepts and how to put them into action. Thesereal-life situations are also important for teaching the soft skills requiredto effectively put theory into practice. Understanding information at a textbook level and in the sterile vacuum of a tertiary institution is irrelevantwithout the people skills and conceptual understanding to use it effectively. While it is impossible to fully replicate theebbs and flows of the business world, a user-centric MBA would place the studentat the centre of the experience to help provide the context of a human beinginteracting in a fast and often messy real world.