October 30, 2018

An Emerging 21st Century Job - The Business Scientist

Bruce Cleveland | Founding Partner, Wildcat Venutre Partners
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Bruce Cleveland | Founding Partner, Wildcat Venutre Partners

There has been significant discussion and angst around how automation will displace hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs via machine learning, AI, drones, robotics, etc. It's no longer a question of "if" automation will infiltrate every industry globally - it's just a matter of when.

However, just as we experienced through several Industrial Ages, where many jobs were eliminated, new opportunities arose. This, too, will happen - is happening - in the 21st century and the First Intelligence Age.

In fact, the digital economy and digital transformation are giving rise to an entirely new type of worker-- the "business scientist". Business scientists don’t need to code software. Instead, they “operate” soft machinery – business application software – from industry leaders such as Marketo, Salesforce, SAP and others. These applications power key business functions in companies of all sizes and industries.

And, it turns out that a liberal arts background is ideally-suited for business scientists – where you are taught to write, analyze, think critically and creatively. By simply adding “digital skills” to a universal skills set and providing a work experience, people with a liberal arts background are ready to take on these business science roles.

It's interesting that while politicians, academicians, and others seem to be laser focused on STEM programs, there are, in fact, 6-7X the number of jobs available for people with business science skills. The fact is that only 6.5% of all US jobs are STEM-related and this percentage is not projected to grow much higher. And, the unstated truth, is that unless you score(d) 650 or higher on the math section of the SAT, you aren't likely to get into a quality STEM program or job no matter which coding academy you attend.

Business science jobs aren't posted as business science positions-- we all know them primarily as "operations" roles. But, the people who are being hired to fill these roles today must understand the "science" of the function and trained and certified how to use the business software that powers the function.

Don't believe me? Go to Indeed.com and type in “sales operations” or “digital marketing” or “customer support” and you will see that there are literally 100s of thousands of jobs posted right now.

The mission of GreenFig - a microeducation company that teaches applied business science - is to prepare people to be business scientists. GreenFig students include people who are graduating from a higher-ed program, professionals who need to upgrade their skills, vets returning to civilian roles, women returning the workforce after a long absence, and the un/under employed.

GreenFig's strategy is to partner with industry-leading business application software providers (e.g. Marketo, Salesforce, Workday, Zendesk, et al.). While each of these companies have phenomenal online programs to teach the mechanics (how to set up and manage their applications), GreenFig teaches the strategy behind using these applications.

For marketing, this means understanding personas, offers, call to actions, SEO/SEM, etc. For sales operations this means understanding how to create territories, quotas, commission plans, etc. And so on for each business function.

GreenFig uses a hybrid delivery model - online and on premise. GreenFig works with colleges and universities that provide the classroom and instructor of record. GreenFig then broadcasts live into the classroom using its instructors from industry and via real-time instruction - not pre-recorded - so you get live interaction with other students and instructors.

GreenFig also provides an integrated work experience with its program – a mentored, internship that it calls an Apprentorship. And, GreenFig prepares its students to take, and pass, key certifications from Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Marketo and others.

The result -- high completion rates, high placement rates and high NPS - for very little $ and time - 1 semester, 2 classes per week, arranged to fit around work hours.

So, if you're worried that the job you have may be going away or that you don't have the requisite skills to retain or secure a job, take a look at GreenFig and becoming a business scientist. It's a 1 semester commitment to a 21st century career.


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We’ve all heard the joke: What’s the difference between a large pizza and a history degree? One can feed a family of four. For the purposes of the pun, history can be replaced with any liberal arts major. From English and art history to political science and philosophy — the notion has been that those who choose a humanities tract graduate from college with heaps of debt yet find themselves working as a barista or the checkout line at Whole Foods. But that doesn’t mean their liberal arts degree doesn’t have value — even as we transform to a digital age. Many assume that in our current (and future) tech-consumed and driven world, that math and science education — software engineering, programming, coding, and the like — is the exclusive golden ticket to career success. To be sure, we need these kinds of minds and this kind of training. But, it’s a mistake to believe that the liberal arts educated don’t have a critical role to play in the digital workforce. Because after all, who is going to do the selling, the marketing and the customer servicing of today’s technology services and products? Answer: Those who have honed critical thinking, writing and interpersonal skills, and who possess the nontechnical ability to connect with end users a la their liberal arts education. This notion is confirmed in “That ‘Useless” Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket,” a Forbes article that provides example after example of liberal arts degree holders achieving success in today’s tech world, along with stats to back up the claim that tech companies are increasingly recruiting more nontechnical talent. The article uses the analogy of the automobile industry in the 1920s, which “created enormous numbers of jobs for people who helped fit cars into everyday life: marketers, salesmen, driving instructors, road crews and so on.” A similar trend is unfolding today. The article goes on to reveal that “throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Texas, software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger. Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers — and make progress seem pleasant.” And the ability to connect is what liberal arts thinkers do best. But don’t pack your bags for Silicon Valley just yet, English majors. Yes, you’ve got great critical thinking, writing and communication skills. And yes, tech companies are hiring nontechnical people like you. But to land one of the aforementioned sales and marketing positions requires more than just a degree. While you have the right foundation, your university education did not prepare you with the up-to-date digital skills and experience required for a job-ready resume in the fast-moving, fast-changing digital age. That’s why a liberal arts degree crossed with a microdegree in applied business science from GreenFig is such a powerful combination for procuring a growth career in tech. GreenFig’s curriculum has been tailored by industry experts to help you gain these high-demand skills and master critical strategic concepts in a short period of time. And unlike traditional online courses, GreenFig’s hybrid training platform is laser-focused on experiential learning — combining live, interactive online and offline team-based instruction, all the while guaranteeing its students gain real-world, practical experience. So you can demand a higher salary in an evolving industry faster than it takes to perfect latte art. For more details on how you can transform your liberal arts resume into a tech-ready ticket in less than 10 hours a week, visit greenfig.net. Click here course schedule for September 13, 2017 term.

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