"One of the lessons we have learned from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus is that no one can just sit back and do nothing, you have to adapt to the constantly changing environment," Péter Fehér, Dean for Executive Degree Programmes and Academic Specialisation Postgraduate Training at Corvinus University of Budapest, told Portfolio. The expert also pointed out that many companies have seen the opportunity in the difficult situation. For example, last autumn there was a significant increase in the number of applicants for postgraduate specialisation programmes: according to Fehér, many employers decided to train their employees, as this can be seen as a fringe benefit, and both the company and the employee benefit from it.
The economic impact of the coronavirus crisis varies between industries and companies and depends on a number of factors. According to Péter Fehér, Dean for Executive Degree Programmes and Academic Specialisation Postgraduate Training at Corvinus University of Budapest, the companies that have been able to recover the fastest are those that have reacted very quickly, not playing the waiting game, but taking action: they have started development, put a strong emphasis on digitalisation, motivated employees rather than laying them off.
What Covid-19 has shown is that no one can sit back and do nothing: not me as a lecturer, but neither can students, employees or employers do so, either," he said, adding that everything is changing very fast and anyone who wants to stay on their feet has to keep up. Fehér said that no one has ever experienced a crisis like the one we are experiencing now, and that the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus is of a very different nature from the 2008 global crisis.
We are now witnessing a huge market reorganisation: companies that invested a lot in digitalisation even before the epidemic situation have now lost their competitive advantage, as the majority of companies have caught up in 2020, albeit out of necessity,- the dean noted, adding that a significant number of companies have also invested in employee training, and Corvinus has also experienced this, as the number of applicants for postgraduate specialisation programme increased in 2020.
Companies need up-to-date, quickly usable knowledge
According to Péter Fehér, one explanation for the increased number of applicants could be that many companies have trained employees as a kind of fringe benefit. At the Corvinus University of Budapest, the proportion of students taking part in postgraduate specialisation programmes has not changed significantly, and in 2020, roughly 50 percent of them still had their workplace financing the cost of their training. According to Fehér:
A postgraduate specialisation programme is a good investment: in each specialisation, it responds immediately to changes in the market and offers solutions that can be applied quickly.
"The students are practically all professionals of their trade, it's a strong community of professionals who are looking for solutions to real problems, and they can try out what they have learned in the workplace the following week, and report back on their experiences at the next training session," the dean explained.
The training period is a minimum of 2 semesters and a maximum of 4 semesters, applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree or a college or university degree under the former system, and in fact the programme offers a practice-oriented specialisation building on previous studies.
The changes brought about by Covid are markedly present in the course of the training
In autumn 2020, the corporate internal and executive coach training course was launched, with a response of huge interest and excessive applications. According to Fehér, this may be due to the fact that the epidemic situation has very much changed the role of managers, with human resources issues affecting the organisation becoming very decisive.
There was also a strong demand for research and innovation manager/economist training, which may be partly due to the fact that some companies have realised that innovation and development should not be neglected even amidst economic difficulties.
If a company wants to survive and even gain a competitive advantage, it needs to prepare now for what it will do differently after the crisis period, and this training can help," said Fehér. In response to the current market situation, the data-driven supply chain management training will start in autumn 2021.
"It has become clear over the past year and a half that a change of perspective is needed. Supply chain management is successful when it works with the latest technologies and appropriate databases, in some cases it is necessary to make decisions based on data, which is not yet the case in many companies, but this needs to be worked on," said Péter Fehér.
In September, the first international project manager training course will be launched, in partnership with a non-profit organisation, the Project Management Institute, to train project managers who are able to independently manage medium complexity projects in international traditional and virtual environments to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
During the training, students can learn from practitioners, and they can apply the knowledge they have learned very quickly themselves," said the dean, adding that this training will start in English, as there are many medium-sized companies that are increasingly active in neighbouring countries and have significant international business connections, so it is increasingly important that their staff are not alien to the international environment
The tourism and hospitality sector has been hit hard by the Cornavirus epidemic. The tourism development manager/economist course will focus on how to revitalise the sector, what has been learnt from the past year and a half, what could be done differently, and will provide students with modern, marketable and globally applicable knowledge.