Leveraging on Business Knowledge in a Tech World | campus.sg

ESSEC tech business
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Technology is a fast-growing sector, which is implemented in a broad range of industries including financial services, communication, retail, healthcare, and more. While it has been blamed for replacing some jobs in the manufacturing and agriculture sector, technology is also creating a whole host of new positions, such as management and data-centric roles.

This bodes well for graduates with business degrees with an eye on a career in the technology field. Technology and business are two industries that need each other, and plenty of crossover already exists between technology and business careers. Since job growth in the tech sector is thriving, employers are increasingly seeking applicants with business savvy to have a leg up on the competition.

How do business graduates contribute to tech companies?

Making the transition from business to tech doesn’t have to be hard, because it’s the key business skills that can help you make a smooth transition. These skills can be used throughout your career, like:

  • Analytical thinking and complex problem-solving: The skill to analyse situations and think strategically to solve problems is critical to the bottom line of any company
  • Team-building skills: Knowing how to tap into diverse sets of skills to foster collaboration is essential to any team, technical or not
  • Communication skills: The ability to connect with people is necessary, both to convince people of new ideas or to communicate tech solutions to non-tech colleagues or consumers
  • Organisational skills: This crucial skill enables one to manage multiple projects or emergencies at once
  • Creativity: Innovation is an important element of any successful business – just think of how many tech products innovate to become a major part of our lives

If you have some form of technical knowledge – like coding – pairing business expertise with technology can be a powerful combination in this day and age.

Bringing business skills to tech

While business graduates are sought-after in marketing or management departments, there are some tech-specific roles where a business education can be highly beneficial.

For example, a Product Manager is one of the most sought-after roles in tech companies, and they’re called “mini CEOs” for a reason. They need to be multidisciplinary and sit within the centre of all activity, responsible for driving the direction of both the marketing and development team from its ideation stage to releasing it to market and keeping it relevant. This position requires a mix of marketing and strategy which is the basis of a business degree, and for those eyeing roles like this, building a base of technical expertise definitely won’t hurt. 

Another highly sought-after tech role is Data Analyst, whose job is to comb through massive amounts of data to draw meaningful conclusions about how a company can capitalise on the insights. They’re the bridge between the technical and non-technical folks within the company, and it’s a skill that’s invaluable in this age of information overload. Business graduates considering this role may want to learn SQL (structured query language) and Python for data mining, statistical analysis, and basic task automation.

Business students may not have a comprehensive education in tech like a STEM student, but one of the best ways to learn is through immersion. For business school students, that means internships and networking, which is a crucial skill in any industry.

Some business school programmes, like ESSEC’s Global BBA, emphasise learning by doing via 10 -16 months of global internship in their curriculum. If working in a tech company is your ultimate goal, nothing gets you in the door better than an internship, where you can gain real-world experience as well as network with the right people.

The case for a business education

Business programmes give students a unique opportunity to study and understand business principles before entering the professional sector, whether they’re multinationals, nonprofit organisations, or government. This makes business graduates flexible and employable in any industry, including tech.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, increasing usage of data and market research in order to understand customers and product demand, and to evaluate marketing strategies, will lead to a growing demand for market research analysts.”

Another advantage of a business degree is the knowledge to create new businesses, including tech startups. However, there’s still a misconception that you need to be a programmer to build a successful tech business. In a Forbes interview, many investors (VCs) encouraged non-technical founders to start tech businesses, as the lack of technical knowledge shouldn’t hinder a successful startup, especially if it relates to a problem that founders want to solve. In addition, a business-oriented founder has a good understanding of economics and an acumen around mergers and acquisitions – both essential in scaling businesses.

In fact, many of the most successful startups today were created by non-technical founders, like Alibaba (teacher) and Airbnb (industrial designer). Ultimately, what matters most in a successful business isn’t just the best technical solution, but the understanding of the problem and insights about what users want – and that’s what non-technical founders bring to the table.

International exposure is key to employment

With the world getting increasingly global and interconnected, jobs can be local, international, or even digital. This is why exposure to multiple cultures and environments beyond Singapore is key to understanding the global job market. 

ESSEC understands this, and that’s why students in its Global BBA programme get to study at any of its 3 international campuses, with the option of inter-campus mobility between semesters. Located in Singapore, France, and Morocco, these campuses are where you can truly immerse yourself in global culture. 

In addition, ESSEC also has over 170 prestigious partner institutions around the world – like Tsinghua University (China), Keio University (Japan), King’s College (UK), University of Michigan (USA), and more – where you can further hone your skills. Part of being a global citizen is the ability to communicate in local languages, which is why the Global BBA also mandates that all students be proficient in at least three languages upon graduation. 

A study conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE) found a correlation between the amount of time that students spend learning overseas and an increased number of job offers once they return home. 

Image by Buffik from Pixabay

The UK-based Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) report titled “Global Skills Gap: preparing young people for the global economy” reveals that a growing number of employers value job candidates with awareness of international issues, and approximately 75% of UK enterprise leaders believe that young learners without international awareness will get left behind in the future multicultural job market.

So you want to know more about a business education

Thanks to Moore’s Law which brought about remarkable advances in computing power, the 21st century has seen the creation of new tech giants, entirely new industries, and a whole new era that changed the way we live, learn, and work. Those with business savvy are in demand now more than ever to guide, manage, and lead teams in tech companies, because at the end of the day, it all comes back to business.

If you’re interested in being part of an industry that’s paving the way for the world of tomorrow, learn more about ESSEC’s Global BBA here: (https://www.essec.edu/en/program/global-bba/global-bba-international/program/)