Top Business Careers and Skills in 2021 + 11 Programs to Match
February 1, 2021 | edX team
According to a McKinsey report, over 70% of leaders expect large-scale changes in their company’s leadership practices, technology, and operations as a result of the pandemic. Another report marks 2021 as the year of transition, when the “next normal” truly arrives.
From strategic management and modern finance to Lean Six Sigma and business analytics, read on to learn more about equipping yourself with in-demand skills and explore 11 edX business and management programs that will help you thrive in this pivotal year.
Learn How to Make Strategic Supply Chain Decisions
One of the pandemic’s biggest impacts is unquestionably the disruption of global supply chains. In a McKinsey survey of 60 senior supply-chain executives, 85% of respondents struggled with inefficient digital technologies in their supply chains and 75% said they faced issues with production and distribution. As the pandemic subsides, companies are gearing up to invest in supply chain resilience.
- If you’re looking to build foundational supply chain management and logistics skills, explore MITx’s MicroMasters® program in Supply Chain Management, where you’ll learn about supply chain analytics, design, technology, dynamics, and end-to-end management.
- Identify weaknesses in business processes and learn how to analyze and improve business performance with a TUM Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate.
- Leaders can start making strategic supply chain decisions amidst current economic and societal shifts by taking the executive-level course Leading Digital Supply Chain Transformation in the Post-COVID-19 Era, taught by award-winning faculty of the University of Texas McCombs School of Business and Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.
Solve Complex Problems With Analytics
One of the top 10 hard skills in 2020, business analytics can improve decision-making and planning within any organization. As more companies look for ways to lower costs and drive efficiency, the need for business and management analysts is expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that demand for business and management analysts will increase by 11% from 2019 to 2029 and analytics skills are quickly becoming a must-have across all business functions.
"In 2021, professionals in the digital marketing space must be comfortable with data, period,” said Wendy Moe, PhD, Associate Dean of Master's Programs and Co-Director of the Smith Analytics Consortium at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “They must know how to manipulate data, understand how it is collected, and analyze and interpret it.”
- Gain knowledge of scripting languages such as Python to automate tasks and apply statistical methods to solve problems with SNHU’s MicroBachelors® program in Business Analytics Foundations.
- Learn about key marketing analytics tools that drive company value in the Digital Marketing Professional Certificate program from UMD and USMx.
Develop Core Business and Management Skills
Whether you’re a mid-level manager or business executive, working professionals need to have a broad range of leadership and management skills to effectively communicate and implement business strategy and vision.
- Learn about the fundamentals of business communication and communication techniques from DoaneX’s Business and Professional Communications for Success MicroBachelors® program.
- For mid-career professionals interested in learning core business knowledge such as strategic management, project management, and financial management, consider Boston University’s Online MBA degree.
- Enhance your leadership abilities, develop and deploy business strategies, and optimize customer interactions in Wharton’s Strategic Management Professional Certificate program.
- Create deep relationships with your customers by leveraging customer behaviors and connected strategies with the Executive Education course Connected Strategy: Maximizing Customer Engagement from Wharton.
Gain In-Demand Finance and Accounting Skills
Job prospects for those with a background in finance and accounting have been steadily rising. According to the BLS, one of today’s highest-paying jobs is financial managers, who earn a median of $129,890 annually. Fast-track your finance and accounting career with courses and programs like the ones below.
- Apply financial decision making, identify the basic structure of financial reports, and understand the basics of corporate finance, capital budgeting, and more in the MITx MicroMasters® program in Finance.
- Learn everything from financial and managerial accounting to financial statement analysis and data analytics-based decision-making in a top-ranked fully online Master of Science in Accounting program from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.