Keeping up with trends in business is critical for students in an increasingly speedy society.
Like many industries, today's business climate is heavily reliant on technology. Though not a new trend, the technologies keep changing, and the most successful business graduates will be those prepared with the most up-to-date Internet and computer skills. And we don't mean simply training those thumbs for Blackberries and iPhones. Students must ensure they understand how companies use technology, communications systems, and computer resources to run most efficiently. And they should also be prepared to think about how companies can apply technology in fresh ways to attract more business.
New graduates must also ensure they are prepared for the business world with strong interpersonal and communication skills. Undergraduate and graduate programs that emphasize working in groups, written and oral communication, and personal relationships will be ideal for those pursuing careers in management and sales.
Another common business trend that has been ongoing for many years and will continue is global expansion. An increasing number of businesses -- from multinational firms to small agencies -- work with people from different backgrounds and cultures. You may find yourself e-mailing a colleague in Prague, or staying up late to chat with a customer in Hong Kong. The most successful international business professionals are those who speak one or more languages and understand the different ways business is done around the world. Students should seek out international business classes and study a foreign language (or two). European languages are popular at many colleges, and Spanish is in-demand in the U.S., but business expansion in Asia and Eastern Europe may make Chinese, Russian, and other Slavic tongues increasingly popular.
Other trends include "becoming green" to support the environment (and be seen as philanthropic by customers), and doing more sales online with an e-business model. More and more schools offer classes -- and entire programs -- that bring business and management know-who to these hot concepts.