Whether you are a first time college student or a seasoned professional in career transition, the digital world is designing jobs every day that didn’t existed 12 to 24 months ago. In a job starved economy this is a pretty appealing prospect for anyone looking to remain professionally viable long-term and particularly interesting for students about to graduate. Certainly earning an accredited MBA onlinecan expose you to the latest tools in the digital marketplace if you use the right resources. However, professors (and employers) need to avoid assuming that their students who have grown up with the medium are also experts in how the internet works. They also need to focus less on the tools for education and on the latest gadgets and more on how their functions relate to measurable business results.
You see, that’s the key. Some people think all this digital stuff is still experimental, but don’t be fooled, it isn’t fluffy – it’s powerful and data-rich and lots of people are making a living (a very good living) building companies, apps, services and connections online. Early adopters are figuring out innovative and logical ways to cash in. Becoming a serial entrepreneur is actually a career path these days. But the only way this industry will mature is if it delivers measurable business results. I’m talking more than how many followers you have, how many times your pictures are re-pinned on Pinterest or if you can tweet 4,000 times a day (all perfectly legitimate business strategies in some circumstances), I am talking about addressing traditional business skeptics who only have one thing to say: “show me the cash conversion” and giving them hardcore business reasons for going viral. This is still such a hard thing to do….
As a practitioner who happens to be a digital business professor, it’s hard for me to think in theoretical terms. I always want to apply things in a practical way that will bring the biggest investment for the effort. More bang for your buck. Call me old fashion, but I like turning a profit. I think profit is super. And if I can do this while leveraging this new online environment in fun and creative ways, all the better in my book. I don’t mind working hard if there is a reward.
And I see the wisdom and benefit of working online. As a passionate problem-solver, I want to figure out the business models that utilized the complete digital ecosystem and as a passionate teacher, I want to share this secret sauce with my students. The market has changed and will continue to do so. I want my students, friends and colleagues to come with me in this new space and help me figure out how to do in the coolest way possible. What’s your path? How are you staying relevant in the new digital landscape?