Financial TimesBusiness School Briefing: careers Q&A, cyber criminals

May 17, 20210

Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools. Edited by Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


Are you ready for the future workplace? University students, faculty and career services staff are invited to join the Financial Times for a virtual Q&A, on Wednesday, May 19 at 12pm ET (5pm GMT/9am PT), to discuss employment trends, ways to prepare yourself (or your cohorts) for hybrid work models, and how companies are addressing diversity and inclusion.

Andrew Jack, the FT’s global education editor will moderate. Panelists are from the FT, Syracuse and Fordham business schools and LinkedIn. Register on

Are you interested in learning more about management?

View our new directory of flagship executive courses from business schools around the world, plus a list of providers of customised programmesThe directories allow users to search and examine different data points including school name, location, numbers of participants and revenue range.

Andrew Hill’s Management Challenge

DarkSide, the ransomware group blamed for shutting down a vital US fuel pipeline, seems to be using the tools of corporate capitalism to attack corporate capitalism itself. In this week’s column, I’ve discussed how hackers’ use of public relations, online recruiting, and legalese lulls victims into thinking they can deal with the criminals.

For my management challenge this week, imagine you are the chief executive facing a ransomware attack. What is your first response to the hackers who say they’ve encrypted your data? And how might you then proceed to deal with the attack? Send your answers to

In further reading this week, Marion Halftermeyer’s has dug deep into the lore and culture of Pictet, the secretive Swiss private bank, for Bloomberg. “Up until a few years ago,” she writes, “the firm was so old-fashioned that managing partners were expected to be addressed as Notre Sieur, a formal French title for sire.”

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

Executive education is in flux, with plenty of new entrants, as I explained in this piece for our latest report. The latest alternative training provider to offer leadership training is The Economist, which has created an executive education arm in partnership with online course provider 2U.

Could we be going back to the office to learn? You could if you work at London’s Canary Wharf, where the owner has been handing over prime office space for business school classrooms. UCL School of Management has taken an additional floor in One Canada Square to provide extra capacity after its postgraduate business student intake has grown 70 per cent since 2019.

Scott DeRue steps down next week as dean at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, for an undisclosed role in industry. His interim replacement was announced by the school last week – professor of economics Francine Lafontaine.

For further reading this week, the following report from Prof Sonya Grier at the American University Kogod School of Business suggests why there is not more diversity among faculty at business schools. Inclusivity is about those standing at the front of class as well as the students in it.

Data line

Companies with 20,000 or more employees are expected to commission at least three times more programmes than smaller organisations, say Andrew Jack, Leo Cremonezi and Sam Stephens. Those with between 1,000 and 20,000 employees will commission, on average, between six and eight executive training programmes this year.

The smallest companies will commission around four programmes, an increase from 2020 when companies with fewer than 1,000 employees commissioned less than three on average.

Bar chart of Average number of courses expected to be commissioned in 2021. Chart ordered by size of company's workforce. The three most important learning priorities for all companies are leadership, change management, as well as diversity and inclusion. showing Largest companies are commissioning the most executive courses in 2021

Further analysis regarding the future of executive learning can be found.

Top business school reads

Wall Street ends lower as inflation debate intensifies Fed governor Lael Brainard and investor Cathie Wood weigh in on volatile day for markets

Israel’s conflict with Palestinians widens Building housing international media destroyed as bombardment of Gaza continues

US consumer prices rise at fastest pace since 2008 S&P 500 in biggest one-day drop since February after inflation measure hits 4.2% for April

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