Editor’s Picks: Our Favorite Stories Of 2018

It can be easy to make your way in the digital age by publishing only listicles, rankings, and clickbait headlines. But at Poets&Quants, we have a team of professional journalists who take the business education beat seriously. We work beyond basic stories, digging our teeth into more meaningful and in-depth reporting. And at the end of the year, we like to go back through some of our most in-depth and meaningful articles and repost some of our favorites.

This year those include a deep-dive into how schools are helping students dealing with anxiety and mental health issues, and an exploration of the trend in banking and financial services to recruit top talent earlier and earlier in undergrad.

We explored market trends changing the very nature of business education, including big data and business analytics, artificial intelligence, and financial technology (FinTech). And we looked at how more and more schools are elbowing their way into the Silicon Valley ecosystem, sending students on West Coast treks to visit such companies as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple.

The following ten articles were are favorites of 2018.

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AI Is Coming. What Does That Mean For Business Schools?

This past October, Massachusetts Institute of Technology made headlines around the world by announcing it would invest $1 billion into a new college of computing, which would pave way for a renewed emphasis on the development of artificial intelligence. Obviously, AI has been around for years, but academia and the markets alike are putting significant resources into the development of AI that will alter how work — and management — is conducted. On the heels of MIT’s announcement, we asked some leading business professors about the significance of AI on the future of business education and how it will be approached and taught.

“The message MIT is sending is that AI is here to stay and we’d better adapt ourselves,” Arthur Carvalho, Dinesh & Ila Paliwal Innovation Chair & Assistant Professor in Information Systems & Analytics at the Farmer School of Business at Miami University told us in October. “I believe that other universities will follow very soon, and this initiative by MIT will not be the only one.”

The potential of AI and impact it will have on data and data collection is one piece of why many current and future B-school students are demanding to learn about business analytics and big data decision making. It’s something that can’t be overlooked and many B-schools are responding.

“AI has already transformed business today with machine learning and systems designed to take in data in real time to analysis preferences and tendencies before updating the same systems to optimize their performance,” says Eric Schwartz, assistant professor of marketing at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Change is already here.”

Business Analytics Wave Sweeps Across B-Schools

Still not convinced of the importance of business analytics and its influence on business education? Consider this. In the fall of 2017, the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business launched its first major in about 35 years. Mendoza joined a slew of B-schools already with minors, majors, or concentrations in big data and business analytics.

“It’s not just a buzzword that catches people’s fancy. There is a very strong demand for it,” Raj Singh, associate dean of the undergraduate program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management told us last January. “Look at what companies have done today. Take Amazon, for instance. They’re using data for every decision and every move that the company makes. At some level, business schools are a little bit behind the current. Industry is out there, they’re using it, and they’re looking for skills.”

Expectations of students and employers alike are playing the largest role in pushing schools to develop and innovate curriculum in the space. And big data and analytics continue to become increasingly intertwined in day-to-day management, it will also become increasingly intertwined in business education. It won’t be long before every major B-school has some sort of big data-related curriculum.

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