Companies want employees with creative and analytical

Corporate May 23, 2016 01:00

By PICHAYA CHANGSORN
THE NATION

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THE MOST wanted job candidates of the future will be the ones who can bridge the two worlds of creative and analytical thinking, a prominent US academic has said.



Arjang A Assad, dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration, said: “I term it creative analytics. There are usually two groups of students – the ones who are creative and the others who are good with numbers and quantitative skills. Companies such as Google want students who can merge these two skills.”

He said although data scientists received good salaries, their work tended to be quite technical and they often lacked the ability to interpret data to find business opportunities.

Commenting on Harvard Business School’s recent opening of its start-up hub in New York, Assad said universities had tried this approach since several years ago though under different names such as an entrepreneurship hub or incubator.

“There is more emphasis today because people look at start-ups as ones that help creating jobs. Business schools are offering more entrepreneurial courses. Universities’ strategies now move heavily toward innovations and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Assad said since MBA degrees had become standardised with most schools doing small variations of the same thing, one of |business schools’ biggest challenges was finding a value proposition to make themselves distinctive in order to recruit the best students.

He said with the constant changes in businesses, universities could no longer just provide a “set of information” to their students, rather than to give them a “way of thinking” and the ability to deal with “unstructured situations”.

Because of this, experience-based learning had increasingly played role in business schools’ curriculum as well as the so-called executives-in-residence programmes designed to give students maximum exposure to real-world business executives.

John T Delaney, dean of Emeritus and professor of Business Administration at Pitt Business, the University of Pittsburgh, said students did not want a “cook book” since there was no single answer for all situations.

The two US professors spoke to The Nation during a visit to Bangkok to meet Pitt Business alumni. Delaney begins his stint as dean of American University’s Kogod School of Business on July 18.

He said Thailand’s close proximity to large economies including India and the recent opening up of Myanmar, plus the Kingdom’s strong agricultural sector, gave it a good opportunity to grow.