Our Latest Report | How do you learn the next steps for business education?

30 July 2021

Our co-Founder Andrew Crisp digests findings from our latest report.


Do you know the tango? Talking to a business school Dean recently about the future of business education, he commented that “Corporate needs are evolving very quickly in turbulence, needs are not clear yet, but just like a tango, they are moving forward.”

Business education was already changing ahead of the pandemic, but the disruption has increased uncertainty and change is accelerating. With LinkedIn, CarringtonCrisp has published a new report, ‘The future of lifelong and executive education’, examining new approaches to learning among individuals and employers, and the impact on business schools.

The rapidly growing and evolving marketplace for adult learners offers both opportunities and challenges for business schools and universities. Some of the territory will be familiar, MBAs and Masters will be part of the answer, but also microcredentials, digital badges and stackable solutions, delivered in ways that just a decade ago higher education might never have imagined.

The good news for business schools is that individuals expect to learn more in the coming years and spend on learning and development by organisations is increasing. Two-thirds of employees expect to undertake more learning in the future, meeting the need to reskill and upskill to sustain and advance their careers. Not surprisingly, the last two years have seen spending frozen in a majority of employers with only 28% increasing, but the next two years will see 48% expecting growth.

However, that growth may look very different from previous learning and development inside organisations. Almost eight out of ten employers (79%) anticipate online learning becoming the standard approach to developing people in their organisations. Embracing blended learning will be key if employers are to get the most from their staff – 71% of employees agree that learning needs to be delivered flexibly if they are to engage in lifelong learning.

Of course, almost every company has had to embrace digital transformation in some way to ensure the survival of their business during the pandemic, but even before COVID-19 employers were using online tools and techniques to grow their business. Asked about their focus for learning and development, productivity and efficiency remain to the fore, but also the demands of the new normal, introducing new technology and building a workforce fit for future needs. Specific skills that are in demand, but short in supply are change management, resilience/mindfulness, global mindset, ethics and ethical behaviour and managing across cultures.

For business schools and universities, the challenge is how to continue to deliver traditional degrees for those early in their careers, but at the same time move to a world of multiple qualifications, non-degree studies, delivering at least partly online and with learners aged 18 to 80.

To find out more, you can download a free copy of ‘The future of lifelong and executive education’ report on our website.

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