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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The World Economic Forum cites, “[the digital economy] is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And, these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.” Where land, oil, and capital drove the past three Industrial Ages, this new “4th Industrial Age” is powered by “digital oil” – data. Companies are building and deploying systems of intelligence to prospect, discover, and refine the digital oil of the digital economy. And, the miners of this digital oil are “business scientists”. Business scientists must understand how to capture, observe, and utilize customer, financial, market, and product data. They do not necessarily have to be technical – as in know how to code – instead, they must learn how to generate and review business data and use their creative skills to operate business application software. In the US, politicians, academia, and industry leaders are currently placing a tremendous focus on technical training, coding, and other STEM programs. However, the unspoken truth is that many of these positions will eventually be eliminated through advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Additionally, many people are simply not interested or well-suited for these technical programs, degrees, and jobs. However, people who are creative and critical thinkers – products of liberal arts programs – are ideally suited to fill the positions of the digital economy. All they need is some additional specialized training and knowledge. Micro Education companies and microdegrees are well-designed to provide such training.

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