This is a guest post by Artur Meyster, founder of Career Karma.

Whether you’re an aspiring executive or a seasoned one, if you think that you don’t need to have a deep understanding of technology and how it affects your business, you’re wrong. According to a study by McKinsey Digital, only about 40% of industries have embraced digitization as of 2017. 

However, looking at this statistic deeper begs us to ponder if that 40% represents the early frontrunners in the fourth industrial revolution. As McKinsey predicts, profits will begin to dwindle for the bottom 25% of businesses who are slow to adopt a bold digital strategy. Conversely, the top 25% of businesses that are staying ahead of the curve will reap a disproportionate amount of gains. 

With the exponentially increasing permeation of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence across all sectors or business, having a deep understanding of these fields is imperative to maintain a competitive edge. Additionally, big data is fueling business growth, and companies will need people to analyze and translate the data into actionable steps. 

Disrupt, or Be Disrupted

Although the tech industry has been accelerating for years to seek out ways to disrupt traditional business models, the real name of the game in 2020 is “Disrupt, or Be Disrupted.” The next decade is going to transform business in ways we have never seen before and maybe never thought possible. Those who come out on top will undoubtedly be those who have adopted this mindset.

McKinsey also noted that 70% of businesses are going to attempt to transform many aspects of their companies to a digital platform. However, it is likely that only about 30% of them will succeed in doing so. We can imagine what is going to happen to the rest. 

So, why is it that some companies who invest heavily in technology are already seeing returns, whereas others in the same industry are not? Well, it just may be that the digital skills gap that is affecting 54% of businesses is to blame. 

Traditional College Business Degrees Can’t Compete

If you hold an MBA, you may have experienced some shock when you tried to apply the skills you learned to your real-world business, only to feel that you were somewhat unprepared. Well, you’re not alone in that feeling. 

It is becoming increasingly apparent that business courses taught in colleges are simply not able to keep up with the trends of today’s business environment. However, it’s not to say that traditional college degrees are obsolete. They still carry a lot of weight, especially for those just starting out in the business world. And, it is for this reason that colleges are following the model set forth by coding bootcamps and micro degree programs to offer these complementary skills without dedicating years to learning new skills you need. 

Having Technical Skills Translates to Every Industry

Even if your business is not a tech company, leveraging the skills learned in bootcamps can help you better understand how to apply technical knowledge to help it grow. A 2018 report by Gartner studied why leaders in all industries consider digitalization as one of their top 10 priorities. In fact, they even predict that soon CIOs will be the new executive leaders of organizations of all sizes.

Digital transformation must be customized to fit your business’ unique goals, and bootcamps are tailored to meet those specific needs. For instance, if your business deals with high volumes of sensitive customer information, taking a course in cybersecurity will give you the skills you need to ensure there are no breaches. A micro degree in data analytics can help your business put big data to good use.

It may surprise you to find that many of the F100 CEOs hold engineering degrees in various industries. A great example of combining tech skills and business skills is the CEO of American Express, Stephen Squeri, who earned a BS in accounting and computer science. Naturally, we can see how those two subjects would complement one another in an industry where digitization is growing faster than a lot of others.

Avoid Investing in the Wrong Areas

How can you make an informed decision about which areas of digitization to increase or decrease funding if you’re not informed? Relying on lower-level employees who may not have the proper knowledge they need to make a truly informed decision is a bad move, too. If you want to maximize your company’s ROI, you must have the proper knowledge to make the best moves.

Revisiting the McKinsey report mentioned earlier, the survey results showed that many companies are still not bold enough in their investments. Those who are very bold and seeking to disrupt the industry are the companies that are thriving. This means that making sweeping improvements across multiple dimensions within their businesses have increased efficiency, with profit following.

The McKinsey survey found that the “winning” corporations that participated closely tied their corporate and digitization strategies together, whereas the “losers” still had not yet done so. If you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense since disruption can only be achieved by a complete overhaul of corporate strategy. 

Why Get a Micro Degree From a Bootcamp

Coding and micro degree bootcamps are growing so quickly year over year because they offer many benefits that are important to busy professionals. On top of many of them being much less expensive than a traditional college degree, many also offer flexible schedules and payment plans. This means you can start expanding your knowledge without committing a lot of time and money upfront. 

Above all else, the most effective leaders understand that learning is a life-long journey. Times change, trends come and go, and knowledge is something you can’t really ever have enough of. Your MBA or other degree has served you well thus far, so maximize your potential and continue that journey of learning.