The Number-One Skill Employers Look for in MBAs (and How to Give Your Graduates a Leg Up)

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We know communication is critical for a business’s operations, reputation, and bottom line. We’ve know communication takes up more of our working hours than any other activity, and we know the cost of poor communication can be devastating to an organization’s bottom line. So it was no surprise that the GMAC Corporate Recruiter Survey found communication to be the most important skill recruiters look for in new hires. In fact, four of the five top skills were communication related, including oral and written communication, listening, and presentation skills.

Given these findings, it would follow that MBA programs across the country would prioritize communication development for their cohorts. While many do offer coaching and presentation skills workshops, it’s been traditionally difficult for these programs to provide students with the opportunity to better identify their individual gaps and finely hone their own abilities in preparation for career success. After all, quality one-on-one coaching is prohibitively costly for universities and, in all likelihood, too time-consuming to fit into students’ busy schedules. And while traditional workshops may provide good information, they are, by definition, too general to help each student satisfy her own unique communication needs. What’s more, both approaches are subjective, and neither is trackable, so a direct ROI is nearly impossible to identify.

And yet, the fact remains that communication is the number-one skill students need to leave their universities with.

So what’s the solution?

Artificial Intelligence-Driven Learning Platform Gives Students the Personalized Communication Training They Need to Outperform the Competition

Here at Quantified, we’ve been focused on helping higher education programs solve this problem by leveraging the powerful combination of technology and world-class communication coaching and research. Our human-trained AI technology uses visual and vocal analysis and natural language processing to hone individual communication skills, indexing individual strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.

This means that students can record and upload communication samples and then receive one-on-one feedback, recommendations, and support tailored precisely to their individual skills and development opportunities. We’re providing large groups of graduate and undergraduate students with access to world-class communication coaching that would otherwise be out of reach. And we’re making it trackable. Once students receive their initial feedback and spend time engaging with the recommended resources, they can upload a second (or third or fourth) video to find out—objectively and specifically—how they’ve improved and what they need to work on next.

But the platform also empowers educators—the professors, career counselors, and program administrators—do develop more effective curricula tailored to each cohort. The data students receive on their individual communication skills is also available to educators in aggregate form, meaning professors can now build lessons and workshops on a clear, informed foundation, analyzing what students are bringing to the table and designing a syllabus that will fill the gaps.

We’ve had the privilege of working with MBA and EMBA programs at top schools across the country, including Stanford, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Texas at Austin. We partner with these schools to offer robust communication assessments to help incoming MBA students focus and personalize their communication coaching and workshop opportunities, and to great success. At Wharton, we saw a 17.4 percent lift in communication skills across a group of fifty-four EMBA students, and professors and administrators are thrilled at the tangible difference the platform makes in the way they work with their students.

The thorough and objective insights from Quantified provides my graduate students with invaluable, personalized, and actionable guidance. Everyone can benefit from using this amazing and innovative platform.

-Matt Abrahams, Stanford University Graduate School of Business

The importance of communication skills for professional success is undeniable, and they’re the number-one priority for recruiters, so higher education institutions looking to give their graduates a competitive advantage must also make them a priority. And now, thanks to innovations in artificial intelligence and analytics technology, world-class communication coaching is accessible for students and educators across the country. Why leave it to chance?