New graduate program addresses artificial intelligence in the workplace

Courtesy of Steve Moysey

A master’s degree in organizational leadership will be offered starting fall 2020, said Steve Moysey, director of FSU’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

The graduate degree was announced in a University press release Jan. 23.

Other colleges offer organizational leadership programs. It is a “growing field” of study, said Moysey.

FSU’s master of science with a concentration in organizational leadership (MSOL) will include a focus on the rise of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the workplace, he said.

Moysey is the director of both the current MBA and new MSOL programs.

He said the MSOL is a nine-course program built with advice from A.I. experts.

“Any future-looking graduate program that deals with management, leadership, or any of those things, that doesn’t focus on the impact of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation is committing educational malpractice,” Moysey said. 

Artificial intelligence is on the rise in many fields. Moysey said A.I. is writing novels, painting old masterpieces, composing music, and diagnosing patients.

“As you go into the MSOL program, we’re going to make you aware of all the stuff you need to think about that maybe you’re not getting right now in your programs,” he said.

Moysey added artificial intelligence experts say 40% of jobs will be impacted by A.I. within the next five years.

He described ways in which machines are learning to create “non-human entities,” such as pictures and videos, with striking human resemblance, without any human input. 

“I predict,” Moysey said, “within another year, they will be indistinguishable from real human beings.”

He said the MSOL program helps students think about how the world will look in the future.

As an example, Moysey discussed what would happen if truck drivers were replaced by automated vehicles. “All the truck stops will disappear. All the service stations which service trucks disappear. Think about all the infrastructure that goes away.

“That change alone will put – potentially – 10 million people in the U.S. out of a job,” he said.

Historically, changing technology has impacted the workforce before. Moysey compared the automation of trucks to the development of the diesel locomotive.

Steam locomotives needed to stop for fuel and water. “Think of the infrastructure that grew up around that: people delivering the coal and water,” he said. “It disappeared when diesel came out.

“People said, ‘That’s never going to take off,’” he added. 

Moysey said the program is a foundation to help students understand the way the world of work is changing, and how to fit into it.

“One of the things we wanted to do was to start a campus-wide conversation about what this means to the future of education,” he said.

Moysey said the program is geared toward undergraduate students who want to improve their skills, but also professionals who want to advance their careers.

MSOL serves as an alternative to the MBA program for high-achieving students who want to continue their studies, he said.

“The MSOL will kickstart your career. The MBA will enhance it,” he said. “That’s basically the difference.”

Moysey said the MBA program usually includes people in their 30s with an established career track who want to advance in their career. Undergraduates going directly into the MBA program often lack work experience in a professional environment. 

“You’re going to be in a classroom, potentially, with people with more experience than you,” he said. “You’re at an experiential disadvantage.”

Moysey said FSU’s MBA Business Advisory Board – which oversees the MBA program – saw an opportunity to introduce a new master’s program in organizational leadership.

He said the MSOL answers the question, “What things do I need to know which they didn’t teach me as an undergraduate that will help me launch a career?”

Moysey said the capstone for the MSOL is a project, either assigned by an employer or inspired by student interest. As with the MBA program, MSOL graduates will be encouraged to publish their findings.

Like the MBA, the MSOL’s curriculum is kept up-to-date to provide students useful tools for their careers. It includes “hard skills,” including accounting, finance, and economics, along with “soft skills,” including team development and personality skills, added Moysey.

He said the program is relevant, connected, and engaged with the needs of future employers and students in the age of artificial intelligence.

“It’s going to impact everything,” he said of A.I. “Nobody really knows where this is going to go.

“The key thing is: can we help you understand it?”

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