Academic journal article College Student Journal

Preparing Business School Graduates for the 21st Century Workplace

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Preparing Business School Graduates for the 21st Century Workplace

Article excerpt

Business school educators need to be aware of possibilities for developing new techniques to better prepare graduates for an increasingly complex business environment. One criticism of current curricula is that they are too specialized, producing graduates with an overly narrow understanding of business information. Such an understanding makes it difficult to apply knowledge and make decisions as contexts and circumstances change. This paper addresses Langer's concept of mindfulness, which has been shown to help individuals process and make better use of information outside of contexts in which it was initially learned. Specifically, it examines the applicability of Langer's seven "myths of learning" to accounting and assurance services education. While we argue that a mindfulness-based approach would prove beneficial to accounting educators, graduates, and practitioners, these concepts are by no means limited to the field of accounting. In fact, all areas of business will be able to reap the same benefits from this dynamic methodology.

**********

Preparing Business School Graduates for the 21st Century Workplace

Considerable attention has recently been paid to the skills and abilities that business students will need to succeed at the employment opportunities facing them in the future. The vast changes that have taken place in the business world over the past several years have caused many schools to reevaluate their programs as they strive to better prepare students for their careers. Business educators have realized that they must respond to the needs of the business community and that business school programs must adapt to changes in the business environment. Skills once deemed to be appropriate and necessary for graduates may no longer be applicable or effective in preparing them for today's challenges. Many professionals have voiced such concerns to academicians and it is clear that programs must continuously improve if they expect to produce competent, employable graduates.

Changes are necessary in all areas of the business school and faculty members in all of the business disciplines have begun to take steps to determine how they can help their graduates contribute more effectively to their organizations. Research in management (e.g., Tanyel, Mitchell and McAlum, 1999), operations management (e.g., Green and Williamson, 2000), marketing (e.g., Celuch and Slama, 1999), finance (Tanner and Cudd, 1999) and information systems (Gill and Hu, 1999) has focused on developing more effective ways to add value to today's business students by better preparing them for the challenges they will face upon entering the workforce. While some improvement will result by adapting topical coverage in the various disciplines, teaching methodologies also need to evolve in order to provide students with the skills necessary for success.

Accounting programs have been especially impacted by these changes and a great deal of effort has been expended to address the necessary changes (e.g., Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC), 1990; Elliott, 1998). Accounting practitioners will need to be more familiar with an entity's overall information flow, less bound by the structures of traditional accounting systems and assurance service methodologies, able to understand how organizations manage risk, and capable of redefining categories as necessary in order to make the best use of information as contexts and circumstances change.

The purpose of this paper is to examine ways in which accounting education has and should continue to evolve in order to better prepare students for such an environment. While this paper specifically focuses on accounting, these same concepts can be successfully applied to other areas of business. Specifically, we examine a concept termed mindfulness, which is characterized by: "the continuous creation of new categories; openness to new information; and an implicit awareness of more than one perspective" (Langer, 1997, 4). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.