April 10, 2024

Business Schools Embrace AI

In the evolving landscape of business education, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into MBA programs has become a crucial response to the growing demand from the job market for AI proficiency among graduates.


According to a recent article in AACSB Insights, this shift is largely driven by employers’ expectations and the recognition of AI’s potential to influence company growth and shareholder value. As AI continues to redefine the corporate world, business schools worldwide are rapidly adapting their curricula to incorporate AI-related subjects, aiming to equip their students with the necessary skills to navigate this new terrain.


The urgency to incorporate AI into business education was catalyzed by the advent of technologies like ChatGPT, which highlighted the transformative potential of AI. This led to a significant shift in MBA programs, with 74% of business schools now teaching generative AI as part of their courses. Schools are not only integrating AI into their curricula but also into admission processes and multidisciplinary projects, reflecting a comprehensive approach to AI education. For instance, the POLIMI Graduate School of Management in Italy now requires MBA candidates to use generative AI software during their admission test, emphasizing the importance of critical thinking in conjunction with AI technologies.


The demand for AI skills is underscored by findings from the 2023 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, which showed that 74% of employers consider AI and machine learning as crucial competencies for business school graduates, a trend expected to rise. This shift in educational focus reflects broader market dynamics, where AI’s role in driving business innovation and shareholder value has been increasingly recognized. The surge in AI interest has led to notable market performances, with significant impacts on share prices and corporate growth strategies.


Despite the rapid integration of AI into business education, the emphasis for MBA students is on understanding and managing AI rather than achieving technical mastery. The objective is to foster a conceptual grasp of AI that complements a broader business acumen, enabling graduates to effectively integrate AI into strategic decision-making and growth initiatives. Professors and academic directors highlight the importance of developing a foundational understanding of AI’s mechanics and potential applications, stressing that while technical skills may evolve, the conceptual insights into how AI can enhance business functions and human potential remain invaluable.


As business schools continue to evolve with the burgeoning field of AI, MBA graduates are expected to emerge with a nuanced understanding of AI’s strategic implications, poised to leverage this knowledge in driving forward the next wave of business innovation and growth. This balanced approach to AI education, focusing on both conceptual understanding and practical application, positions MBA graduates favorably in a job market increasingly oriented towards AI-driven competencies.


To read the AACSB article, click here. If you’re interested in applying to business school, contact us now and we’ll help you get started on your applications!