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Leaders for a New World

Throughout history, technological advances have transformed the way we work. As the workplace evolves, so too must the capabilities of the leaders who lead them. In recent years, organizations have undergone a nearly unprecedented amount of change and this disruption has resulted in a skills gap that many professional industries are struggling to overcome.

The Daniels College of Business wants to prepare leaders to lead the transformation of their organizations in in the age of technological disruption. The College launched a new program, the Master of Science in Digital Leadership, the first of its kind in the country.

Program Director Aaron Duncan says the program aims to embrace emerging technologies, analytics, and leadership to equip leaders in the craft of digital leadership.

“A lot of folks are overwhelmed at the prospect of digitally transforming their business,” Duncan said. “We are meeting organizations where they are. We want to help leaders have enough digital fluency to lead their teams, but without the pressure of knowing every intricate aspect of the technology.”

This approach to leadership speaks to the present moment. For example, blockchain technology has enabled cryptocurrencies and NFTs to dominate the zeitgeist. But the ins and outs of the blockchain can seem intimidating. With the MS in Digital Leadership, leaders can learn the essentials of these kinds of technologies while simultaneously focusing on the skills needed to successfully lead future-focused teams.

“The arc of the program takes students through three concepts. First, it’s digital fluency; then, digital transformation; and finally, digital leadership,” Duncan said.

Aaron Duncan

Aaron Duncan

The program is largely composed of five-week Sprints, many of which draw from the same framework as the Sprints offered by Entrepreneurship@DU. The fully online classes combine asynchronous learning with weekly synchronous sessions that puts the professor and students in the same virtual classroom.

“The classes are application-based. Students in the program will be able to apply it back to their organizations immediately,” Duncan said. “I think that is one of the degree’s greatest benefits: why write about the theory of something when you can be learning and applying what you learn? The Sprints model can be fast and furious, but it is fun and immersive at the same time.”

Topics in the program include AI, augmented reality, cybersecurity, mobile technology and many more. Fluency in these cutting-edge technologies, paired with a strong foundation in digital transformation and digital leadership techniques, can equip anyone with the know-how to take the helm of today’s organizations.

Due to increasing dependence on digital technologies, these skills are more relevant than ever.

“One thing we are seeing, especially with the pandemic, is how reliant industries have become on technology,” Duncan said. “It has been ingrained in the ways we work. We keep hearing about how this is ‘the new normal,’ and we are watching organizations and industries pivot in real time.”

It is clear what organizations need to do to stay competitive. With a degree in Digital Leadership, young professionals can equip themselves, and their organizations, to handle these crucial changes.

Learn more on the Daniels College of Business website.

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