Boston City Campus is gearing up to train the next generation of leaders
Barack Obama’s first degree, after which he entered the workplace as a Community Organiser in Chicago, was a Bachelor of Arts. One might agree that the man who is Head of State of America must have management savvy – which Obama has in great supply, despite never having completed a degree in management or commerce. Both Bill Gates and Elon Musk are future-thinking leaders in technology and command great wealth, and both are proud and active philanthropists. These are globally influential people who are astute in their fields, and all value something much more than business acumen only. They understand “what people [and institutions and societies] want/need”.
Today’s socially conscious young person is attracted to employment that does not only serve the purpose of paying a salary: the work that is done must mean something more than money-making – it must be purposeful. Yes, making money is the core tenet of capitalism but the truth is that the foundation of business relationships is the connection between people who close deals, the people who set up funding arrangements, the people who manage local and global projects.
Whether your ideal job is in the public or private sectors, or in civil society, i.e. a role in non-profit organisations, Boston City Campus (Boston) recognises that management is more than numbers on a ledger. We advocate a holistic learning experience that prepares you for a wide range of opportunities. Our Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSci) ensures that you are well-read in subjects as diverse as Strategic Management, Public Administration, and Environmental Economics, as well as Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology. To these core subjects, we add Project Management, Entrepreneurship, and Research Methods because we understand that in the world today all employers need that spark of ingenuity and innovativeness in their employees, and that report writing has become a feature of any corporation or not-for-profit as accountability to stakeholders remains key to most (if not all) projects.
Scenario 1: you are a member of a global team responsible for the distribution of World Bank relief funds to the starving and needy in a war-torn country. Your reports to the World Bank must cover not only the numbers, which you do understand, but also the efficacy of the relief effort, and the social effect of the intervention.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is undeniably “here” – whether we see it to a greater or lesser extent. Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote (with and EVP of AI and research Harry Shum in their 2018 book, ‘The Future Computed: Artificial Intelligence and its Role in Society’) that “[a]s computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important”. What computers can do today will only be magnified tomorrow, and it is naïve to think that we can ignore the pundits who have emphasised for some time that the skills the workplace values today are critical thinking, creativity and abstract problem solving. A purely business-focused degree does not offer this type of skillset. Business transactions infer a human connection – be that in pitching a project, motivating for funding, or inspiring the public to get behind a socially just cause. Moreover, there are stakeholders to keep happy in any organisational setting, which requires astute and genuine liaison between parties, the type of connection that the numbers themselves cannot create and sustain.
Scenario 2: the tech start-up you work for has patented a brand-new product but needs seed funding to get it off the ground. The tech guys can demonstrate how the product works, and the number guys can prove the financial viability – but only the BSocSci (you) can excite the funders with relatable and real-life situations, backed up by extensive market research to the point that they commit to the project.
Liaison is part of the broader need for communication in the world today. A BSocSci graduate has been taught how to conduct research and write reports which serve as clear and accountable project updates for all involved. These reports are destined for a wide and varied audience – oftentimes philanthropists, financial experts, and specialists in fields such as the medical professionals who have been mobilised and are being supported in the fight against COVID-19. The project lead in this instance must write a report that is understood by all parties. Numbers alone do not tell the full story.
Scenario 3: the board of your global not-for-profit agreed to allocate resources to assisting the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa. The members of the board range from Eastern business moguls to Western European hospitality giants. The board wants a report on which resources were allocated and how, and the relative effect of this deployment. You know that the continued support of the organisation for desperate people in your own city depends on the clear legalities and ethics on which the assistance is based, the cultural nuances and understanding in the presentation of the report, the accuracy of the numbers you account for, and the translation of the wider social impact of the scheme for the diverse international audience.
Krystle Dodge, writing for Degree Query in the United States, listed the highest paying roles for graduates of the Social Sciences. These included Political Scientist, Economist, Urban and Regional Planner, and Survey Researcher. Our BSocSci graduates are perfectly placed to understand the needs of people in society – better still, our graduates understand that societies and cultures differ, want different things, and respond to different stimuli. Think of Boston’s BSocSci graduate as the keen-eyed spotter on a game drive: before anyone else has spotted the carefully camouflaged sighting, the BSocSci sees, understands, and can direct others to see the sight… or in the business world, to see the developing trend. The numbers follow the trends, and it takes human nature to understand human nature.
Boston is serious about education and serious about our students. We recognise that there is considerable personal and family sacrifice involved in achieving a higher education qualification. We want your qualification to change your life, and in turn, positively influence the society we live in. We do not want our graduates to be ‘clicktivists’ who are deaf to the calls of our society: we aim to mold graduates who are deeply attuned to society at large, and able to view ideas from many different angles. The Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology modules that are core to the BSocSci are key to molding socially conscious leaders. The programme’s Fact Sheet offers that “[p]rospective students who are energised by the many possibilities for making a difference in society will find the BSocSci intellectually stimulating and practically robust”. It really is the business degree of the future.
The BSocSci is the perfect degree from which to springboard. Postgraduate study options are widely available to the BSocSci graduate, from postgraduate qualifications in Management, Education, Marketing to the clinical focus of Psychology and Sociology. It would not be strange to find the BSocSci graduate in a Master’s programme specialising in Strategic Management, Development Studies, or completing a postgraduate qualification in secondary-school teaching (subjects that can be taught include Management, Business, and Economics, Geography and History, as examples). The options are endless. You would be able to enrol at your institution of choice for further study – but do bear in mind that each institution has its own entrance requirements.
Boston offers more. Not only are we offering a BSocSci which opens many doors to you, but we are offering you an individualised learning journey – one which you oversee. By offering technologically mediated online learning, together with textbooks (free of charge) and support centres countrywide, we are offering a learning experience, not the transfer of knowledge. This is critical to the development of the successful graduate who wants so much more than the words on a page… you want engagement, discussion, debates and that feeling of personal development that you know will translate into confidence in the working world.
Africa is ready for a new crop of leaders. Boston is ready to partner with you!
Chat to a training advisor on 011 551 2000 or visit www.boston.ac.za for more info.