Evolving Expectations of Management Education

Student-to-Consumer Revolution


A “student-to-consumer revolution” is forcing improvements in convenience and service orientation, and introducing new intermediaries to the business education ecosystem.

Experts are foreseeing a major shift in healthcare; the “patient to consumer revolution” is putting people in charge of their own health, providing them with access to information, tools, and providers in order to invest in good health as well as to address problems when they occur. Similar changes in higher education are putting more choices, and the information to make those choices, in front of students. Call it the student-to-consumer revolution.

Students have already become more proactive consumers, focusing as much on convenience and service quality as on curricula and faculty when selecting programs. Now, new educational technology companies, such as Degreed.com, are enabling consumers to manage their own business education agenda by providing online tools to organize, track, share, and validate what they learn. 

The “student-to-consumer revolution” is increasing expectations for management education to be more personalized, cost-effective, modular, and accessible on demand. In general, students will consume education from more providers, and there will be increased expectations for lifelong learning and for the competencies gained to result in digitally verifiable credentials in an evolving career management ecosystem. And just as we believe that a large portion of healthcare expenditures can be avoided through changes in individual behaviors, stronger consumerism in higher education is expected to have a major impact on the growth of management education costs.

Related Resources

Reimagining Business Education: A World of Ideas, Business Education Jam
Spearheaded by scholars, executives, researchers, and participants around the world, the Business Education Jam harnessed the brainpower of a global audience to envision an innovative future for business education.

Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States, Babson Survey Research Group
Using survey responses from more than 2,800 colleges and universities, this study is aimed at answering fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education.

Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Examines the costs, benefits, and economic return of a college education. By analyzing more than four decades of data, the authors attempt to put the recent experience of college graduates into historical perspective.

Lost, Dysfunctional, or Evolving? A View of Business Schools from Silicon Valley, Singh et al.
“Business schools are perceived as providing students with strong functional tool-sets . . . however, these skills are often disconnected from the shifting business environment, with graduates having weaknesses in interpersonal skills, real-time decision-making, recognition of contexts, and integration across functional areas."

Reimagining Higher Education: How Colleges, Universities, Businesses, and Governments can Prepare for a New Age of Lifelong Learning, Deloitte University Press
This report explores the emerging landscape of higher education, and how an educational experience may look different in the future in regard to pedagogy, recruitment, admissions, learning trajectory, employment expectations, and other factors.

Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That are Seen as Official, New York Times
Kevin Carey, author of book, The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere, writes about the true disruptor of higher education being digital credentialing that is recognized by employers and society, as well as some of the opportunities presented by digital credentialing such as archiving of information.

Dean's Corner: Leading a Business School vs. Leading in the Business World: Are They Similar?, eNEWSLINE
"In the business world, customers are those business entities or people who pay you. Our students and/or their families pay for the services that we provide. At the same time, employers are also our customers, and our graduates are important products feeding their workforce needs." - Dean Reginald Gilyard, Argyros School of Business and Economics

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