Why Should You Choose a Specialization?
Throughout the curriculum in the LSU Flores MBA Program, students develop the technical and soft skills that employers demand in the modern workplace. Students take core courses that cover the functional disciplines of business, including finance, marketing, business law, operations, and strategic management. While students gain practical expertise in the foundational areas of business, they can target their studies in a specific subject area by choosing one of the 11 market-driven specializations offered by the Flores MBA Program, such as emerging technology.
Why should I specialize in Emerging Technology?
In a world driven by constant advancements in digital technologies, modern business must be able to adapt and effectively employ emerging technology in their business models to remain competitive in the market. When businesses leverage advancements in information systems, they create opportunities to mitigate risk and increase efficiencies in operations. As technologies continue to pave the standards for business practices, technical conversations about cyber security and artificial intelligence are no longer reserved for IT professionals.
Last year, Flores MBA Professor Andrew Schwarz spearheaded the creation of an emerging tech specialization within the program, making LSU the first in the state to offer it.
“We started the specialization in emerging technologies because it is clear that every MBA student, regardless of whether they will land in a technology company, needs to understand how information technology has and will continue to impact business. We are at a point where information technology and business are so intertwined that you cannot do business without IT and we believe that the future of business will be shaped by AI and the cloud, with the need to ensure that we are safe and secure,” said Schwarz.
Our emerging tech specialization specifically focuses on AI, the cloud, and cybersecurity, giving students a comprehensive look at the future of IT.
What learning experience can I expect from a specialization in emerging technology?
Within the emerging technology specialization, students gain the necessary skills and knowledge required to drive key business strategies through information technology. The courses focus on cloud computing, cybersecurity, AI strategy, policies, programs, and governance. By taking the specialization classes online alongside the core MBA curriculum in the classroom, our emerging tech students have the unique opportunity to explore the use of emerging technology in applicable business functions.
Emerging Tech Curriculum
BADM 7050 Information Systems: Contemporary topics in information systems; a survey of information system analysis and design; introduction to business data communication, database management systems and knowledge-based systems; enterprise-wide systems and information systems control.
BADM 7401 Cybersecurity: Course topics include managerial aspects of information security and assurance; access control models, information security governance, and information security program assessment and metrics; technical components of information security issues; national and international laws and international standards like the ISO 27000 series.
BADM 7402 Artificial Intelligence for Business: Course topics include managerial aspects of artificial intelligence, leveraging analytics using artificial intelligence, machine learning, recommendation agents, natural language processing; enterprise AI strategy and the future of AI in business and society.’
BADM 7403 Cloud Strategy: Strategy for the digital firm of tomorrow, case studies of cloud implementation.
Upon completion of all four courses, students can receive a graduate certificate in emerging information technologies for business, while only three courses are required to complete the specialization.
How does an MBA with a specialization in emerging technology provide students a competitive edge in the workforce?
“My goal for the specialization is that students will have an understanding of the governance, process, and strategies around these technologies, along with a basic understanding of how they work,” said Dr. Schwarz. Contrary to popular belief, Schwarz says that this specialization is not only for the tech crowd. “I do not expect a student to come in with a high degree of technical knowledge – we will work with them to understand the basics of the technology. It is more about how we can leverage these technologies for the sake of the organization. Thus, it is the business side of the technology and not strictly about the technology side,” explained Schwarz.
Now more than ever, there is a high demand for employees with understanding of the functions of technology in business. As MBAs advance to managerial roles in the workplace, the ability to understand how to maximize current technology trends is becoming necessary to effectively lead in an organization. According to Keystone MBA Studies, “tech-savvy CEOs have an easier time earning the trust of their technical group. You can’t fake speaking the same language.” The authority and respect garnered from an understanding of IT translates to meaningful relationships with co-workers, but more importantly speaks to the transformational leadership qualities needed to keep up with the changing trends in technology.
The LSU Flores MBA Program provides you with a flexible path to advance your career. Our nationally ranked program currently administers a traditional, two-year, full-time program, a one-year, full-time program for business majors, a part-time online (no residency requirement) program, and an Executive MBA Flex. For more information, visit mba.lsu.edu.