Mar 8, 2022

Business education trends in 2023 and beyond: new content & formats

TRAINING 4 min read

Impacted by the need for lifelong learning, the demand for increased flexibility and digitalization, business education programs will undergo extensive changes in content and format.

Business education is not business as usual anymore. The external factors impacting it have multiplied significantly in the past two years and will lead to its complete transformation.

To help you navigate this fast-changing landscape and ease your transformation journey, we have published a trend report with the key trends that will impact business education.  

We predict ten trends, split into three categories:

  • societal trends that will challenge the purpose of business education
  • industry trends, like new content and formats, that will change the way it is taught
  • tech trends that will open new avenues and make the transformation of business education possible. 

Enjoy this sneak peek into our 38-page Business education trend report then download it in full.

With lifelong learning becoming mandatory due to the shortening shelf life of skills and evolving learner expectations changing towards digitalized, interactive and flexible experiences, business education programs will undergo extensive changes.


New content to tackle contemporary challenges

Learners need to acquire more than business knowledge to thrive in an everchanging world. Tech awareness, digital and soft skills, knowledge of wider societal issues such as climate action or diversity, equity and inclusion must be added to curricula.

According to Financial Times, responsible and ethical leadership are significant issues for MBA participants. 70% of respondents mentioned ethical leadership as the most important to business education, followed by diversity and equality with 67%. Furthermore, in an AMBA report, 66% of business school decision-makers stated that their programs had changed to ensure they offer up-to-date information to students on the significance of business management in helping to tackle climate change.

Responsible and ethical leadership are significant issues for MBA participants. 70% of respondents mentioned ethical leadership as the most important to business education, followed by diversity and equality with 67%.

Financial Times, 2021

In organizations, apart from digital skills, it´s soft skills that are becoming increasingly relevant. They cannot yet be replaced by technology and are necessary in any job function, transcending roles, organizations and industries.

McKinsey  asserts that soft skills will be part of the key skillset for thriving amid uncertainty and navigating continuous change. According to LinkedIn, 9 out of 10 skills that L&D professionals are currently deploying are soft ones.

71% of employees agree that lifelong learning needs to be delivered flexibly if they are to engage in it.


Financial Times, 2021

New formats for flexible business education

The future of business education is flexible: untied to a specific place, a particular timing, or a strict format. The one-size-fits-all education model will become obsolete and give way to varied programs and learning paths: short courses, non-degree programs, certifications or microlearning. 

As lifelong learning becomes mandatory, adult learners who are unable to study full-time need dedicated programs that will allow them to reskill or upskill.

Organizations and institutions must devise flexible, shorter and focused programs for those learners that juggle multiple responsibilities.

Apart from adult learners, younger generations entering university, business schools, or the job market will demand different learning experiences than their predecessors: more virtualized, flexible, interactive, and collaborative.

Virtual and hybrid learning as enablers of flexible business education


Virtual learning can functionally and effectively occur remotely using device-based tools without a standard classroom environment. It can be asynchronous or synchronous (live).

Synchronous virtual learning occurs in real time and requires virtual attendance at a specific time in a common virtual space shared with other participants and an instructor, which can be remote or in a dedicated room.

There are many technologies that make live virtual learning possible, from video conferencing tools, more accessible but less powerful, to dedicated solutions like virtual classrooms.

Asynchronous virtual learning allows learners to access their program materials online at their convenience.

Think of online courses like MOOCs, platforms like LinkedIn Learning or mobile apps like Duolingo.

While flexibility is unparalleled, the asynchronous aspect makes it more difficult to grasp complex concepts, practice skills, get support from teachers or collaborate with colleagues. Plus, it requires more discipline and motivation. 

Hybrid learning, also called blended learning, is an umbrella term encompassing a mix of onsite and online, synchronous and asynchronous methods.

It can combine live sessions in a standard classroom, hybrid classroom (some participants onsite, some online) or virtual classroom, with asynchronous methods, virtual or analog: from mobile learning or pre-recorded videos to presentations, e-books, cheat sheets, etc.

A particular subtype of hybrid learning using a hybrid virtual classroom occurs in real-time, with some learners in the physical classroom and others connecting remotely, according to their individual preferences, while instructors teach onsite. It enables high flexibility and the best of both the online and offline worlds. 

New content and formats is just one of the ten trends that will impact business education. Would you like to find out what else lies ahead? Then download our brand new 38-page report