Preparing Students for the Latest Workplace Technologies

Ellen Glazerman, executive director of the EY Foundation, discusses what is needed to ensure that today's students are ready for tomorrow's technological workplaces.


Tom Robinson: [00:17] Today, it seems like artificial intelligence, big data, fintech, are all the popular things that are happening in business. What do students need to know in order to prepare themselves to work for a firm like EY today?

Ellen Glazerman: [00:26] What we tell students is it's not so much which technologies you know and you own. It's the willingness to go and learn about them, to integrate technology into whatever you're passionate about.

[00:40] If it's finance, accounting, or marketing, understand. Bring an analytic mindset to that. Be curious. Be interested.

[00:50] You can learn about these things in class, you can learn about it on YouTube, but we know the technology is going to change. What we want to see is an interest in really bringing that information into new ways to do business in the future.

Robinson: [01:05] How about faculty? How can faculty school themselves to get up to speed to teach these topics?

Glazerman: [01:13] They can do it a couple of ways. One, I have to point to the AACSB standard, which really talks about working closely and collaboratively with the profession. If you're not doing an emerging technology everyday, you can't be the expert, but you can understand how to approach it.

[01:31] You can bring experts into the classroom, and there are lots of tools available either on corporate websites, on public websites. We talked to a bunch of our clients. They're learning Tableau on YouTube, and they're coming to us to learn other programs.

[01:51] We have an audit analytic tool that we give to faculty, so corporations will help them, the Internet will help them, but embrace and partner with corporate people.

Robinson: [02:01] Do you have thoughts on what's coming down the road? What's the next disruption? What's the next big topic?

Glazerman: [02:08] The challenge is we're educating students for jobs we don't know, using technologies we don't know, to solve problems we don't know. I'm not a futurist, but I think it's all going to change. Given some of the financial concerns about how you get education, those of us in education see it come and go.

[02:27] Sometimes, we like the liberal, foundational learning. Sometimes, we love technical job preparation. We're in a technical space now, but all of those technologies are changing.

[02:39] The ability to grab things that interest you, bring them together, and move forward, is really, I think, the way to go, but students still have to follow their passion. To learn it to get a job will help them today, and they're thinking about a lifetime career.

Filmed September 2017 on site at AACSB's Annual Accreditation Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.