Not interested in teaching digital skills

The past 11 months I have been researching digital skills and skills necessary to work in a data-driven environment. Specifically, what do business schools do to make sure that their students possess these skills? I used several data sources to answer that question. These three books were extremely helpful during the research:

  1. The Text mining handbook by Ronen Feldman and James Sanger: It covered far more than I needed to know. It does not have that much information about how to do code something, but it provides something more valuable: The theory behind the text mining. This is important information for making decision about how to analyze the text.
  2. Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age. This is a must have book by Matthew Salganik for all researchers in the social sciences who want to use digital tools. Unfortunately it was published after my data collection started.
  3. Resonate by Nancy Duarte: This book is especially helpful now. It contains a lot of information and inspiration about how to make compelling presentations.


Let me begin with a disclaimer pointing out some of the big limitations in the research poster below: The topic model was done for the complete data set. This includes vacancies outside of the business field. Hence, some topics are not very business-minded, such as ‘hepatitis research done at the academic hospital in Groningen’ (topic 9) or machine learning in the theoretical physics for aviation (topic 11). Of course, if you are creative you can turn them into business topics (and make some money).

But, still …

Keeping this limitation in mind, I like to share my conclusion:

My large representative sample of business school’s social media activity with regard to relevant skills is adequate for nowcasting business schools’ engagement with skills that are necessary to perform in a data-driven work environment. While the results might reflect stronger business schools branding and external communication strategy and hence does not perfectly reflect the learning opportunities provided to students, it nevertheless paints a reliable picture of how important business schools perceive different skills. Business schools’ social media post about a skill signal at least their awareness about the skill and desire to be considered a legitimate voice on the topic. Consequently, business schools desire to be considered Big Data and communication experts, but are less concerned about ICT literacy and relational Big Data. Unfortunately, this desire is not reflected in the scientific and technical capital business schools require by new recruits.

You can read some background information about the study on the poster below or in a previous post. Feel free to reach out if you have questions about this study, like to know more, want to collaborate, want to share additional insights from your experiences and research.


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