Skip to main content
No application fee for online programs. Get started today!

Employers Seek MBA Grads With Cultural Competence and Communication Skills

In today’s global business environment, employers increasingly recognize the value of hiring MBA graduates who possess not only traditional business acumen but also essential soft skills. Among these attributes, cultural competence and communication skills have emerged as fundamental prerequisites for hiring, developing and promoting leaders.

Below, we explore what these skills entail and why they have become so sought-after by leading employers.

What Is Cultural Competence?

Cultural competence is crucial for aspiring MBA students in today’s globalized business landscape. According to Indeed, it refers to the ability to effectively interact and work with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, understanding and respecting their values, beliefs and norms.

Top business programs like the La Salle University Master of Business Administration (MBA) General online emphasize cultural competence because it enables students to navigate the complexities of international markets and diverse workplace environments. Competence in working across cultural backgrounds goes beyond merely acknowledging differences. It involves developing the skills to communicate, collaborate and make decisions in a culturally sensitive and inclusive manner.

As a skill set, cultural competence includes not only awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity but also adaptability, empathy and the capacity to bridge cultural gaps. MBA graduates with cultural competence are better equipped to lead diverse teams, negotiate international deals and develop products and services that resonate with a global customer base. In essence, cultural competence is a vital component of leadership in the modern business world, helping MBA students foster stronger relationships, drive innovation and find high demand for their services in an increasingly interconnected and culturally diverse global economy.

Skills for Intercultural Communication in the Workplace

Communication and interpersonal skills are essential leadership qualities in today’s dynamic corporate environments, as Indeed notes. Empathy, a key trait, enables leaders to connect with their team members more deeply by understanding their emotions and perspectives. It fosters trust and a more inclusive workplace culture where employees feel valued and heard.

Adaptability is equally crucial. Leaders must be flexible and open to new ideas and approaches as well as capable of navigating unforeseen challenges. An adaptable leader can pivot quickly, inspire their team to embrace change and keep the organization agile and responsive to market shifts.

Active listening is another indispensable skill that allows leaders to truly hear and comprehend the needs and ideas of their team members and stakeholders. By actively listening, leaders can identify opportunities for improvement, resolve conflicts and make more informed decisions. Sensitivity and awareness are closely related, encompassing an understanding of the workplace’s cultural, emotional and social nuances. Leaders who are sensitive to these factors can create a more inclusive environment that respects diversity and fosters collaboration. Leaders who hone these communication and interpersonal skills in an MBA program are better equipped to build strong relationships and lead their teams to success.

Corporate Recruiters Seek These Soft Skills

In its 2023 Corporate Recruiters Survey, the GMAC reports, “In the next five years, employers think the workplace will look increasingly global, hybrid, and dependent on different mediums of effective communication across cultures.” U.S. employers prioritize interpersonal, communication and strategy skills, yet a third express doubts about the preparedness of business school graduates to thrive in this changing environment with the necessary communication skills.

Here are some additional findings that emphasize the importance of soft skills in business candidates:

  • Among employers who view communication skills as currently valuable, 81% view intercultural skills as gaining the most future importance.
  • Employers cited multilingualism (77%) and active listening (75%) as gaining the most future importance.
  • Of finance and accounting employers, 83% said communication will grow in importance in the next five years — the highest proportion of any industry.
  • Compared to all other degree programs, MBA graduates continue to be in the highest demand, with 91% of recruiters expressing a preference.

Learn About Managing Cultural Diversity in an Online MBA

La Salle University’s online Master of Business Administration program provides a foundation of expertise in how cultural and communication factors shape global business management. This is a central theme throughout the curriculum and the primary focus of two courses in particular.

The Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace course in the management specialization explores leadership approaches with regards to the growing multicultural workforce in the U.S. Students learn basic concepts and issues of intercultural communication and cross-cultural relations. They discuss issues regarding ethnocentrism, racism, sexism and ageism and practice techniques used in cultural analysis and diversity research.

The Frameworks for Socially Responsible Decision Making course covers ethical, legal, cultural, political, social and economic challenges that individuals and organizations face. Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills using theory to address organizational stakeholders’ issues.

If you are fascinated by the prospect of thriving as a leader in an increasingly multicultural corporate environment, the MBA online program can prepare you to meet the fast-growing employer demand for cultural competence and communication skills.

Learn more about the La Salle University’s online MBA General program.

Related Articles

Our Commitment to Content Publishing Accuracy

Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only. The nature of the information in all of the articles is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.

The information contained within this site has been sourced and presented with reasonable care. If there are errors, please contact us by completing the form below.

Timeliness: Note that most articles published on this website remain on the website indefinitely. Only those articles that have been published within the most recent months may be considered timely. We do not remove articles regardless of the date of publication, as many, but not all, of our earlier articles may still have important relevance to some of our visitors. Use appropriate caution in acting on the information of any article.

Report inaccurate article content:

Request More Information

Submit this form, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to answer your questions.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or call 844-466-5587

Begin Application Process

Start your application today!
Or call 844-466-5587 844-466-5587
for help with any questions you may have.