The talent and honours programmes improve the competences of ambitious students

Do you dream of understanding success stories like Tesla, Amazon and AirBnB? Are you ambitious and would you love to take part in creating and developing the companies of the future? Do you - in short - want to boost your Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration? Then read on and find out whether the two new talent and honours programmes in digital transformation are just what you are looking for.

Two new elective courses are offered as talent and honours programmes in the autumn of 2016. The courses focus on digital transformation and teach the students how to apply analytical tools, which they can use to understand the rapidly changing world – and which they can apply within their own field of specialisation.

“Both programmes are developed with the aim of strengthening the students in their field of specialisation,” explains Professor Børge Obel from the Department of Management, who is responsible for the talent and honours programmes.

Why work with digital transformation?
One of the requirements for taking part in the talent and honours programme is that you have a profound academic interest in your field of specialisation and an interest in modern technology and all it has to offer.

According to Børge Obel, it is important to stress that the two programmes are not IT courses. On the contrary, students will learn what it means to work with digital transformation. Thus, they will become skilled at understanding large amounts of data, new systems, etc., and learn how to use this input to develop new knowledge and apply it in their specific field e.g. MSc in Marketing, Innovation Management or Strategy, Organisation and Leadership.

“A Master’s student in Marketing learns how to understand the company’s customers, a student in Innovation Management learns how to apply data to develop new products, while a student in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership learns how to apply data in relation to the organisation, the development of employee competences and recruitment,” Børge Obel explains.

“The students will be working with both ‘Concurrent performance’ and ‘Concurrent analytics’ and will be capable of understanding and analysing data which ticks in around the clock,” says Børge Obel.

The teaching is divided into modules, which allows for an in-depth treatment of the different topics. In addition, the students will work with cases, prepare and give oral presentations and write assignments during the semester.

Company visits and a study trip to the US
Both talent and honours programmes start with two weeks of a joint introduction to the digital company - how should we understand and work with IT platforms? What data should be collected? How should it be analysed? What is the digital company? This is followed by eight weeks of separate classes on each programme, which focus on how to incorporate this knowledge into the student’s field of specialisation on the MSc in Economics and Business Administration.

As part of the programme, the students will visit different companies and learn more about how the companies have tackled the notion of digitalisation.

The programmes also include a one-week study trip to the US, where the students will take part in company visits and also attend classes as the prestigious Columbia University in New York. Here they will be taught by some of the best lecturers in the US within the field of digital skills of the future.

What does it mean to study and work with digital transformation?
According to Børge Obel, digital transformation is a complex field of work which requires skilled students with special competences. You need an in-depth insight into digital transformations in a modern company to be able to handle the underlying data and processes. That is the reason why this specific topic has been chosen for the talent and honours programme. It is also a vital field of work in both Danish and international companies - now and in the future. The field is constantly developing and offers many challenges both theoretically and practically.

Keeping up the pace
“If you can predict and accomodate unforeseen threats that follow from technological progress, you can get the best job in the world,” said Arthur M. Langer with a smile when he visited Aarhus BSS. He is the Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University and one of the lecturers and the coordinator of the study trip to New York.

According to Arthur M. Langer, the world is changing. Mobility is the keyword at the moment as car manufacturers do not “just” make cars, and Amazon is not just an online bookstore. Today, changes happen so fast that it is impossible to keep up.

During his visit, Arthur M. Langer gave an interesting talk on the challenges and possibilities of digital transformation. Technology is continuously creating new opportunities that are either cheaper or faster than what we are used to, and the key to digital disruption is to reach the goal faster than one’s competitors.

Keeping the pace is vital for companies who wish to stand out from their competitors and get the consumers’ attention thereby gaining market shares,” Arthur M. Langer concluded.

Each honours and talent programme comprises one 30 ECTS course to be taken as an elective subject on the third semester of the Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration: 

1. Managing Performance, Resources and Organising in the Digital Firm 

- is a key challenge from both a theoretical as well as a practical perspective. This course will take an inside-out perspective on how to manage the resources in the firm in the context of the digital firm.

2. Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Customer Management 

- are heavily influenced by digitalisation. Digitalisation is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent companies most at risk of being left behind. The course will take an outside-in perspective on digitalisation.

20 students are admitted to each honours and talent programme.  To apply for admission, you must have achieved an average mark of at least 7 on the Bachelor’s programme. Your application must also include a motivation letter. Applications must be sent to Professor Børge Obel no later than 8 May. If you are not accepted on the programmes, you will be able to apply to other elective courses.

Read more about the honours and talent programmes.


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