Cultural literacy will be a critical skill for workers in the 21st century. As globalization continues, businesses will seek opportunities overseas in order to remain competitive and develop new markets. To be successful, however, company management will have to understand how to operate in a foreign environment. Not only language skills, but also an understanding of a foreign culture’s values and business ethics, will be prerequisites for success.
Why Don’t More Students Study Abroad?
In the 2015-16 academic year, 325,339 American students studied abroad. In contrast, 1,078,822 international students studied in the United States during the same period. Although the Citadel’s School of Business has a study abroad program, including a partnership with the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA), not everyone can move overseas and leave family and a job behind.
A solution is needed, as the imbalance between international students learning here and Americans going abroad will lead to American businesses having a difficult time hiring employees who know how to function in more than one culture. But more importantly, this exchange of students is a drop in the bucket. Millions more students need to get international exposure in order to be able to thrive as members of the 21st-century workforce.
The Solution: An Online MBA
Online education provides the answer. Currently, six million people are enrolled in at least one online course. Some of the advantages of distance learning are well-known, including convenience, lower cost, and access to first-rate instruction. But another crucial benefit of online classes may not be as apparent: the amazing diversity of student and faculty who can come together to learn. An online classroom can have people from all over the world, limited only by time-zones and connectivity.
Working with students from other cultures on class projects is excellent preparation for executing business deals in the global economy. Rich Caturano, a businessman and immediate past chairman of the American Institute of CPAs, says job candidates who are able to communicate effectively and work in multicultural teams are highly desirable and difficult to find. Citron is blunt:
“Graduates lacking these skills severely limit their ability to relate to and promote their business to a diverse clientele, which can limit their opportunities to advance in the firm. Cultural competency in today’s marketplace is the difference between success and failure.”
Experience in navigating cultural differences, reconciling American and foreign standards for business ethics, and avoiding misunderstandings are the prerequisites for advancing up the ladder of corporate leadership.
Getting an Online Education From The Citadel
The Citadel’s Tommy & Victoria Baker School of Business offers a Masters in Business Administration that can be earned completely online. In addition to top-notch faculty, this platform offers students an opportunity to get to know their fellow students, whether they be in the same state, country, or half-way across the world. Through classroom discussions, students can network with students from China, India, Germany, or other powerhouse economies. These connections are strengthened by the Citadel School of Business Mentor Association and the MBA Association.
Furthermore, distance learning does not eliminate the possibility of study abroad! The School of Business offers one online MBA course called“The Cuban Economy,” offered by Dr. Trumbull each Spring semester. The class is taught online, but students travel to Cuba for the week of Spring Break!
The Citadel has designed an online MBA program to guarantee success for its graduates. Part of that is providing a world-class online educational experience where students can interact with their peers throughout the world and begin to build the network that will bring them business opportunities after graduation. If you are interested in having a global educational experience from the comfort of your own home that will prepare you for a successful career in business, please contact us today!