Careers & Student Outcomes

Stevens Leads Global Initiative to Reboot Business Education for a Digital Environment

In era of artificial intelligence, blockchain and augmented reality, Stevens will lead a consortium of universities worldwide to equip business graduates to harness the power of digital disruption

A business student at the Hanlon Lab giving a presentation, using Bloomberg data and Oblong technologies in the state-of-the-art space

(Hoboken, N.J. – Oct. 7, 2019) – The School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology is leading an initiative with global business education network and association AACSB International to develop a new management curriculum focused on preparing students to work in digital environments. The global initiative, Management Curriculum for the Digital Era (MaCuDE), is funded by PwC.

Artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics, blockchain and augmented reality are all skills that used to primarily be associated with computer science or engineering, but as technology continues to rapidly transform companies, those entering business are increasingly being expected to encompass these skills, which are not currently taught in most MBA curriculums. This initiative will change that, while changing how students learn and think about technology.

“The future belongs to MBAs who code,” said Gregory Prastacos, dean of the School of Business at Stevens who will serve as the principal investigator of the consortium. “When virtually every business is online and operating in a world of big data, MBAs need to be comfortable working alongside machines and constantly adapting and understanding new technologies to quickly seize opportunities in the marketplace.”

MaCuDE, which has attracted interest from more than 80 universities worldwide — including University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Villanova University, University of California–Berkley and University of Kent — will examine 10 business disciplines with an eye to the new topics, technologies and mindsetsthat need to be integrated into existing business school curricula. 

The 10 disciplines include accounting, finance/quantitative finance, management/human resource management and organizational behavior, marketing, information systems, analytics strategy, innovation/entrepreneurship, ethics and business law, and future of work. Each of these disciplines will be assigned to a task force assigned to a group of schools that will determine in the next two years the necessary changes for business education and provide a roadmap and make recommendations that will help other business schools adapt to the new digital era.

“Literally everything we do — tax, audit, consulting — is affected by IT, data and transaction processing,” said A. Michael Smith, a partner at PwC. “When it comes to new employees, the biggest change in the last five years is an expectation of higher-than-standard IT IQ — specifically in analytics — and a general awareness of the prevalence and importance of data.”

On their own, technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things and blockchain are disruptive for any company. But the point at which they converge will magnify their effect, explained Prastacos, who leads a number of Stevens advisory boards filled with leaders from companies such as American Express, Facebook, Pfizer, UBS and Google. Eventually, these technologies will become integrated into everyday business transactions and everyday life.

“Our emphasis at Stevens has long been blending business and technology to ensure leaders are prepared for an ever-changing digital environment,” said Prastacos. "I'm excited to share what we've learned with some of the world's great universities and in turn, to benefit from their expertise as we collaborate to reinvent business education.

                                                                                       – Stevens –

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, New Jersey overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Since our founding in 1870, technological innovation has always been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research. Within the university’s three schools and one college, 6,900 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate closely with faculty in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment. Academic and research programs spanning business, computing, engineering, the arts and other fields actively advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront our most pressing global challenges. The university is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on tuition investment, career services and the mid-career salaries of alumni.

About AACSB International

AACSB International is the largest business education network connecting students, educators, and businesses worldwide, and the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools. AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to more than 1,700-member organizations and more than 850 accredited business schools worldwide. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education.

Stevens media contact: Katie Koch, [email protected], 201-216-5139