The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business is adapting to meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce with a refresh of its core MBA curriculum, the school announced this week. Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, students in the full-time program will see three new courses designed to enhance communication skills and provide deeper data knowledge.
These innovative courses address a wide range of workplace challenges—from questioning the ethics of artificial intelligence to recognizing how unconscious bias impacts management decisions.
—Haas Dean Ann Harrison
The three courses added to the core MBA curriculum include:
- Data Analytics will provide more extensive training in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and related approaches to using big data for decision making. The course is a companion to the existing Data and Decisions statistical analysis course.
- Data-Driven Presentations: Making the Business Case will better prepare students to make persuasive arguments using data and advanced data visualization tools. It builds on the knowledge and experience developed in the courses Leading People (mindset) and Leadership Communication (delivery).
- Business Communication in Diverse Work Environments will help students navigate diverse settings more effectively to improve their ability to create, work within, and lead diverse teams and global organizations. It also develops critical thinking on topics such as identity, relationships across differences, bias, and equality of opportunity in organizations.
“It’s very important for any type of program to re-evaluate, reassess, renew, modernize, and make things as relevant and useful for students as possible,” said Professor Ross Levine, who co-chaired the curriculum review task force.
After surveying both recent alumni and corporate recruiters, the task force realized there were two clear areas in the existing curriculum that needed an upgrade: interacting with people and interacting with data.
“Being nimble as a leader and managing people through change are skills that are highly desired,” said Jenn Bridge, senior director of employer engagement and industry readiness at Haas. “The pandemic has accelerated all of this.”
Jay Stowsky, who served as Senior Assistant Dean of Instruction for the past 13 years, added that the curriculum changes will make it easier for faculty “to address, with relevance to each of their courses and academic disciplines, the broader social impacts of business.”
You can learn more about the data-driven process behind these core MBA curriculum updates here.