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From vaccine economics to digital transformation: COVID-19 lessons part of B-school curriculum now

Apart from the economics of the pandemic, institutes are also teaching students to leverage technology as learning from COVID-19. Many institutes are overhauling their course delivery modules and going for hybrid mode for a longer period of time.

Written by Shyna Kalra | New Delhi |
November 4, 2020 5:23:07 pm
IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Udaipur, IIM calcutta, IIM Bangalore, IIHRM, COVID courses, best mba courses, cat 2020, best iim, iim admissions, education newsThe curriculum overhaul is ongoing for enrolled students and newer courses are being introduced for working professionals. (Image Courtesy: IIM-Udaipur/Representational)

The lessons and consequences of COVID-19 pandemic have made it to the curriculum of top B-schools in India.

From ‘vaccine economics for COVID- 19’, an online course offered by IIHMR University, to an elective on macroeconomics at IIM-Ahmedabad, besides incorporating discussions on COVID-19, its implications for GDP growth, fiscal policies, and monetary policies, most B-schools are updating their curriculum for the upcoming managers.

At IIM-A, several electives including health-tech products and delivery systems (HPDS) and ‘Hitchhiker’s guide to business and economies across five centuries’ have been updated to include COVID-19 components. Likewise, at IIM-B, several online courses, including healthcare senior leadership programme, data to decisions management, leading innovation in the digital economy among others, have been launched during the pandemic. The institute says these courses will help in better management of digital transformation that has been accelerated due to the pandemic.

IIM-Udaipur is looking for a bigger change in its teaching-learning module. It has introduced 18 online management courses on Coursera during the pandemic and is planning to leverage more from it. Director, IIM-Udaipur, Janat Shah, said the institute will continue to offer “courses online in transformation domain and other cutting edge areas such as blockchain where finding the right faculty can be a challenge”.  The IIM is also considering using online courses “to engage below-average students and provide them with options for personalised learning”.

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The institute already offers one-year full-time MBA in digital enterprise management and is planning to focus more on the digital space as Shah believes, “Digital transformation is one thing which managers in any domain cannot ignore and the pandemic has accelerated the need further”.

The curriculum overhaul is ongoing for enrolled students and newer courses are being introduced for working professionals. Earlier, it was estimated that working professionals might be prudent with their spending and hence a decline in paid executive courses was expected. However, most B-schools claim that their executive courses have seen an uptick as the prolonged pandemic has given rise to “appetite for learning”.

Madan Mohan Raj, chief programme officer, executive education programmes at IIM-Bangalore, said, “There is a greater appetite for knowledge and skills. The executive education market and the courses from IIMB have witnessed an uptick as a result of this greater desire for skilling and knowledge up-gradation.

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Among the top picks for IIM-B learners were courses in digital business models, AI, AI-driven strategy, digital marketing, strategy for the post-COVID world, making sense of the post-COVID world, and how to prepare for it, how to manage virtual teams, innovation.

The institute has launched several new courses offered in executive mode, including a long duration certificate programme in data science. IIM-B will soon launch an asynchronous online programme for first-time managers and those who are on the verge of becoming managers.

IIM-U witnessed more demand for courses on analytics and digital transformation while certain core skills including critical thinking, design thinking, teamwork, and managing geographically-dispersed teams will continue to remain top choices.

Prof Shailesh Gandhi, Dean Programmes, IIM-A said key skills that upcoming managers could learn from the COVID-19 could be “to be adaptable change, adopt solutions that suit your circumstances, and embrace technology.”

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