Busy Month For Deloitte: Consulting Giant Announces Major B-School Initiatives

Deloitte has been named the #2 accounting firm to work for in 2021 by Vault. Deloitte photo

One of the largest consulting firms in the world is also one of the largest employers for business graduates. So it’s news when Deloitte announces a new partnership with a leading B-School – even more so when it announces more than half a dozen of them.

Deloitte this month announced the names of six universities and colleges that will participate in the second year of its Future of Work Institute, which helps students develop skills, manage change and understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in the new economy – to bridge the gap between what they learn in B-School and what the market demands. Business schools at Boston University, Florida State University, Howard University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Southern California and Dallas College will follow in the footsteps of 10 B schools that will adopt the ‘groundbreaking curriculum’ in 2021 organized by Deloitte. with 250 graduating with micro credentials in new workplace strategies.

And in a separate announcement, the consulting giant says it will launch the Deloitte Initiative on AI and Learning at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business; The artificial intelligence research initiative aims to help expand learning and development opportunities for faculty and students across the university’s various colleges.


Deloitte’s Darren Schneider: New initiative at Maryland Smith “will help provide a deeper understanding of artificial intelligence to policymakers, industry leaders, researchers and the general public.”

Deloitte is recognized as the world’s leading consulting firm in a number of areas, including financial consulting, human resources consulting and public sector consulting, according to Vault’s most recent ranking, which ranks 11th overall in the Vault Consulting 50. Deloitte isn’t ranked as highly in data science areas as its MBB competitors — McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group — making its new partnership with Maryland Smith — widely regarded as a leader in AI, data analytics, and research — potentially fruitful makes for both parties.

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The Deloitte Initiative for AI and Learning, or DIAL, will build on previous collaborations between Deloitte and Smith, such as the Smith Analytics Consortium. Funding for DIAL was provided by the Deloitte AI Institute for Government. It will serve both graduate students and undergraduates. According to a press release, the DIAL program focuses on:

  • “Promote the adoption and development of ethical safeguards for privacy, fairness and transparency to guard against the adverse effects of algorithmic bias and other AI risks.
  • “Helping government agencies address and remove the roadblocks to AI implementation and advance governance priorities with enterprise-level AI.
  • “Support government’s use of ethical and trustworthy AI to advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • “Improving AI-human interaction and collaboration, and human perception of AI, whether it is for corporate leadership and workforce, or for end users and citizens.”

“The DIAL program allows Smith and Deloitte to continue their important collaboration at the forefront of cutting-edge research and emerging technologies,” said Wedad Elmaghraby, associate professor of operations management at Maryland Smith. “This includes partnering with local industry and federal partners to drive innovation for the greater good, creatively engage our students to take on analytical challenges in new and unexplored important areas, and contribute to our understanding of ethical, trustworthy artificial intelligence invest to further their potential promise. ”

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Darren Schneider, Director of Deloitte, adds: “As the amount of data becomes available, so does government’s need for technologies and policies that can extract valuable insights from it. In addition to our longstanding collaboration with the University of Maryland, DIAL will help bring a deeper understanding of artificial intelligence to policymakers, industry leaders, researchers and the general public.”


Deloitte specializes in the so-called “Future of Work Transformation” such as advising companies and governments on new workforce and workplace strategies. The Future of Work Institute was established in 2021 at 10 business schools across the US, including American University’s Kogod School of Business, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, and the USC Marshall School of Business. According to a Deloitte spokesman, six schools are taking part this year, although more could be added.

The future of work curriculum emphasizes the development of “empathy, emotional intelligence, written and oral communication, adaptability and resilience, curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving, and logical thinking” – skills that “enhance empathic listening, creativity, collaboration and… Teaming,” says Deloitte in a press release. The program awards graduates micro-credentials “through brief, focused training that identifies a person’s competency in a skill.” The rise of microcredentialing is itself a component of the evolving workforce, the company says.

“Increasing connectivity, robotics and technology continue to transform the nature of work, while new talent models and the gig economy reinvent jobs,” said Roy Mathew, director of Deloitte and national head of the firm’s higher education practice. “Getting a college degree is as important as ever, but it’s critical for students today to embrace resilience as a mindset, understand that they may need new skills as their career progresses, and adopt lifelong learning practices to to keep their skills relevant.”

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The Future of Work Institute bridges a critical gap between the B-school classroom and what employers say they need in the job market, Mathew says. The institute is open to both bachelor and master students.

“From young college students beginning to explore future career opportunities to graduate students who have experienced disruptions in previous careers, the Future of Work Institute aims to help students effectively prepare for careers that will inevitably change and disrupt will be,” Mathew said. “This skill could be particularly important for first-generation students who may be exploring a career path for the first time.”

The focus of the program is on the future, says Darren Brooks, associate dean of Florida State University’s College of Business and an advisory board member for the Future of Work Institute.

“By pushing participants to examine where the world of work is going, students can identify the skills needed to compete in a highly competitive global marketplace. This complementary program enhances my students’ academic experience to ensure they are prepared for the direction of the future of work.”

Adds BriAunna Palmer, a Florida State University College of Business student and Future of Work Institute graduate, “The presenters were really great – they showed me different ways I could use my major and what I could do in the future would like . It has actually opened my eyes to how it is changing and how we should prepare for it.”


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