What Are Digital Skills for MBA Students? Are you interested to know about the most important and in demand skills to acquire as an MBA aspirant or an MBA student? The most important skills for an MBA to learn, in today’s world, are digital skills. Here I’ll be introducing you to the top must have digital skills that every MBA aspirant or student should know about, why you should learn these skills and how you could start acquiring them.

You, as an MBA student, would instantly agree that there’s a critical need for you & your counterparts to constantly acquire skills.

It's important to become a complete professional in the industry in today's day and age where the world is progressing towards digital and how!

I’ve often come across MBA students like you, who worry about what are the skills required for MBA students and which one’s would set you apart from all the other MBA students. And therefore, I’ve put together this video on what digital skills are for MBA students.


Digital Skills for MBA Students

I always talk about and emphasize on the importance of hard skills. But, what exactly are these hard skills for MBA students that you need to acquire? The answer is Digital Skills. 

With the current demand and technological advancements, it’s more important than ever for management students to develop digital skills that will be critical to their professional career. 

Before helping you discover the various important digital skills for MBA students to acquire, I’ll be sharing with you what exactly are digital skills and why you should be investing your time in them?


What Are Digital Skills?

Digital Skills are those skills which help you operate in the online world and help you extract maximum impact, be it for yourself or your organisation. 

I can classify digital skills for MBA students as two types:

  • Basic Digital Skills - Understanding of or ability to understand how to operate digital devices, basic and advance software and being ‘Digitally Literate’

  • Advanced Digital Skills - Understanding of how to use digital technologies in empowering and trans formative ways

Now, as an MBA student, you might already have the basic digital skills, which aren’t that important other than of course, acting as a foundation for the advanced ones. 

In order to stand out & succeed, one needs to walk the extra mile. Hence, it’s important for you to get the understanding of advanced digital skills in order to become recognizable in the vast crowd of MBA students.

Before that, I’ll share with you a four pointer answer to the question that might be there in your mind right now. Why do I really need to acquire these skills as an MBA student? What impact can these skills have on me?

Let’s find out.


Why Should You Learn Digital Skills?

Well, even if you may believe you've chosen a career path that isn't heavily reliant on technology, this is most likely not the case.

Regardless of the role or industry that you choose, technology will continue to evolve and become an increasingly important part of your daily routine more than it already is. 

This is what makes acquiring digital skills more important than ever.

For better understanding, here is a list of reasons why every MBA student, like you, should acquire digital skills.

1. Digital Skills are Essential Skills

With the entire world and industries progressing towards digitalization, digital skills have moved from ‘optional’ to ‘critical’. They are vital at all levels and in almost every business.

As an MBA student, you might know how most of the sought after job roles expect you to have some important hard skills. Digital Skills is one such most important hard skill for MBA students.

For example: When I was an MBA student, one of the most sought after job roles that came to my campus were in the field of ‘Analytics’.

Digital skills are no longer good to have skills, they are the essential skills.

2. Help Develop a ‘Full-Stack Mind’

The idea behind having a ‘full-stack mind’ is becoming a complete professional with all the important skills. And this is what all the organizations are looking for.

Acquiring essential digital skills not only makes you self reliant but also helps you stand out from others.

Therefore, Digital Skills stand as a necessity for professional growth.


3. Professional Growth & Stability

I would like to explain this concept that I learned about from one of the articles by my professor at IIM Udaipur, Prof. Achal Ragwan. I’ll suggest that you go and read this article.

In his article, he explained the concept of ‘Center of Gravity of Leadership’ and this will make you understand why you need to acquire digital skills as an MBA student.

Look at the below figure. Let’s say you are A with a few skills under your hat and working at a given position in a company.

COG Diagram

Well, according to the ‘Center of Gravity’ concept of Physics, your chances of toppling down are quite high. Simply because your center of gravity is way above ground at the point marked in the figure.

While, when you acquire more skills and become more capable while working at the same position (see B), the center of gravity point comes downward reducing your chances of falling down tremendously.

Your career will be more stable and your development & growth in the organization would be a smooth ride.

Therefore, it’s important to acquire a wide range of relevant skills to be stable and climb the professional ladder faster than those around you.

And, I can’t emphasize enough on how relevant these digital skills are!

4. Makes you Independent & Collaborative

Now, you might ask  “Why do I need to be independent if I’m an MBA? Am I not supposed to be working in or leading a team?”

The interesting thing here is, in order to be able to work in a team, you need to be collaborative. And the first step to become collaborative is to become independent in at least a handful of skills!

While everyone in the team would be Digitally Literate, anyone whose domain expertise comes in pair with advanced digital skills would surely be the first pick for any manager.

Digital skills give you both the ability to work independently and in a team! 

Now, you must be wondering which digital skills to target? What are the MBA skills in demand? Let me help you with that.


Which Digital Skills To Learn?

Here I’ll be introducing you to the Top Must-Have Digital Skills for Every MBA student to shape their career path.

I’ll be sharing various MBA skills in demand for you to choose which skills to acquire. Ideally, you should have a fair idea of all these skills. Let’s begin!

What Are Digital Skills_ [for MBA Students]

1. Strategic Thinking

You must be wondering how strategic thinking is a digital skill. 

Here’s the catch.

If you need to create a strategy in today’s day and age, you need to be completely aware of the digital options available at your disposal. 

You must have a complete idea of the things that you can do in the digital world to do any kind of strategic planning.

Even if you are somebody who doesn't want to be hands on with these skills, you still must acquire these skills in order to be a good strategic creator.

2. Digital Marketing

The skill of digital marketing includes having the understanding of Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Advertisements, Email marketing, Social Media Marketing etc.

For example: when I was a first year MBA student at IIM Udaipur, I created my own blog, Super Heuristics and acquired skills of SEO, building ads and email lists and social media marketing. 

3. Analytics & AI

Proficiency in analytical tools is one of the top MBA skills in demand.

I can classify these analytical tools as follows:

  • Basics tools - MS Excel, Tableau, Data Studio
  • Advanced tools - Python, R, SQL

I would suggest you go ahead and find good Job Descriptions (JDs). You’ll notice these skills are always there. 

4. Online Sales

Online sales is one of the top skills required for MBA students.

The skill of Online sales includes learning how to build funnels in the online world,  generate and convert leads and provide a good platform based experience to your audience. 

5. Design Skill

You must have the understanding of UI/UX, brand design, designing collateral (PowerPoint, banners, graphics)

Effective and efficient presentations are critical in the corporate world.

Therefore, it becomes important for MBA students like you to broaden your knowledge in this particular domain in order to effectively communicate with stakeholders via the right digital platforms.

You must also know what goes around to create them. It’s important to have some level of ability to create them all by yourself.

6. Website Development

Web development is another top in demand digital skill for MBA students.

It’s important for you to have basic knowledge on how websites work, how to create them and the various other aspects involved.The good thing is, it is not as complex as it used to be earlier. Beautiful websites can be easily created by platforms like WordPress, Wix etc.

For example: when I was working on my blog, Super Heuristics, I created it all by myself. It has undoubtedly helped me a lot in my personal branding and becoming an independent individual.

7. Digital Entrepreneurship

The next important digital skill for you to acquire as an MBA student is Digital Entrepreneurship. Once you’ve acquired all the important skills for MBA students, you must know how to utilize these skills. 

This could be done by:

  • Creating courses around the skills that you’ve acquired
  • Providing consulting

Here were all the skills which are important to MBA students like you. 

If you don't master these digital skills, you'll be severely limiting your future career opportunities and earning potential. 

I advise you to start acquiring them now! 

Don’t worry, I’m here to help you with it. Let’s find out how you could start off acquiring these skills and incorporating them in your entire MBA journey. 


How To Start Learning Digital Skills?

In order to make you understand how to start acquiring Digital Skills, I’ll take you through a five step BASIC framework. 

This framework is all about how you can acquire all the knowledge which you can from your MBA  and how you can keep on applying that in order to create a brandable body of work for yourself.

Here are the five steps:

  • B- Basic Knowledge of Marketing
  • A - Apply this knowledge on case studies
  • S - Skills Acquisition (Digital Skills)
  • I - Implement these skills in the real world (Internships, live projects, creating a body of work for yourself)
  • C - Create a brand for yourself 

I can assure you following these steps will help you achieve all the career outcomes you want from your MBA.

I’ve already talked about this five step framework along with three other secrets in my free course, Five Steps Ahead Blueprint, for MBA students like you to design your MBA career in Marketing with the help of Knowledge and Digital Skills. 

Get access to it from here.


Conclusion

The demand for digitally skilled professionals has risen dramatically in recent years. Digital skills are critical for all kinds of industries and businesses.

Therefore, it becomes important for MBA students to inculcate digital skills and a basic understanding of technical tools, even if you may believe you've chosen a career path that isn't overly technologically reliant.

The above list of digital skills and five step framework of starting to acquire these skills will not only help you stand out from the crowd but also make sure you protect yourself from the growing demand of these skills in the workplace.

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About the Author:

Darpan is a Marketing Strategist & Consultant by profession and a blogger by hobby. He is an engineer by qualification and also an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Udaipur. In his 6+ years of professional experience, he has crafted go-to-market strategies for brands like Abbott (in Singapore), Genpact and CL Educate apart from the other small and medium businesses which have witnessed growth through his marketing and strategy consultation. Darpan has worked as a Product Head of the biggest vertical of an education technology company in New Delhi.
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