How Business Simulations Help Graduates Get Ahead In New England’s Tech Industry

How Business Simulations Help Graduates Get Ahead In New England’s Tech Industry

The tech start up industry in Boston and New England is making a strong comeback after many years of stunted growth. To gain an edge in this competitive industry, recent business graduates from New England universities need something to make them stand out from the crowd. Engaging lectures, hands-on lab sessions, and relevant case studies are necessary elements of a well-designed business course curriculum. But they cannot provide one very crucial thing: experience. This is where business simulations, created by Boston-based Smartsims, enter to provide the tools to nurture fast-thinking, creative, tech-industry-ready graduates.

Business simulation games are a specialized form of experiential education, focused entirely on improving business acumen by tapping into students’ natural aptitude for technology and their love of gamified environments. Business simulations allow students to apply newly acquired theoretical knowledge in a simulated business world. Students can gain hands-on managerial experience by running their own business in a safe game-like environment. This focuses on the importance of learning by doing, versus solely theoretical learning. Harvard Magazine states this kind of active learning helps students achieve a more meaningful life beyond a career.

Constant Innovation

Many people erroneously think that business learning software programs are nothing more than video games wrapped in serious clothing. Very few people dig deeper to discover the numerous benefits they offer. During a typical business simulation game students form teams to create a winning strategy for their virtual companies, utilizing the business theory they have learned to make sound product, marketing and financial decisions. In addition, student teams need to constantly re-evaluate their initial business game strategies and regularly analyze the results of the simulation. Since they are competing against other teams, even the most well thought out plan has the potential to disintegrate over time as the competitive landscape evolves. This need to constantly innovate and adapt is a cornerstone of the business simulation learning experience, as it is in the real world.

Holistic Thinking

Another cornerstone is the skill of holistic thinking. The cross-functional nature of business management simulation games mirrors the decision-making in real world companies. Students learn that no decision is made in a vacuum. Every decision is interrelated and has consequences on the bottom line of the organization. When teams understand the importance of cross-functional communication and decision-making, they will typically see an improvement in their outcomes and overall results.

Other Learning Outcomes

While these are some of the skills needed for students entering the job market in a tech-savvy city such as Boston, they aren’t the only benefits of learning through business simulations. In addition, this next generation of students can develop the following from simulation-based learning:

  • Strategic planning skills
  • Financial skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Strong economic concepts
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Forecasting and future planning
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Goal setting
  • Report preparation
  • Advertising skills
  • Overall employability