Are we future ready?: S Venkata Seshaiah Professor & Director, ICFAI Business School

Rapidly evolving technology is transforming the way that knowledge is imparted and absorbed today. The internet and Big Data now play a crucial role in the digital educational ecosystem. Be it retail, health, travel or education, there is no sphere of our lives that is not touched by the digital revolution happening around us.
Gone are the days when certain courses were available only in a select few institutes and countries or when such programs were designed with rigid one-size-fits-all instructions. According to a report presented at the Global Economic Symposium in 2014, a number of internal and external drivers are triggering this transformation. 
While skyrocketing tuition costs, limited access and growing student diversity are the main internal drivers, the entry of digital natives into the educational system, the growing popularity of social media and Big Data and constant technological progress are what drives transformation externally. These changes are creating a whole new world, driven by machines. 
Digitization and automation are upending core assumptions about jobs and employees. The technology is changing so fast, that it is must for every organization and institution to match the pace. Management is one of the sectors in India, which needs greater emphasis on utilizing its resources properly.  Our budding managers are living in a world, full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Management Institutions are still following the outdated curriculum and technology. So management students as well as the institutions need to think and understand the significance of machine learning as it requires knowledge beyond specific subjects.
As per latest reports by Mckinsey & company, more than 1/3rd of work will be automated and dominated by machines in near future. It shows a demand for managers with skills such as team management, versatility, creativity and time management etc. in order to compete in the global market. B-schools should devise a strategy to train management students as per the latest technological developments. Students should be exposed to real life situations by following the case study format. It will enable them to solve some of the toughest business issues through interactive classroom discussions or individual projects as well as developing their managerial acumen.
B-schools should also promote experiential learning practices such as summer internships and other learning while earning projects. These programs will not only help them to differentiate between the theoretical and practical life, but also helps them to develop their intellectual and emotional skills. These experiences will convert our budding managers into skillful and expert managers of tomorrow.