Career Paths


These days, embracing tech is no longer an option. Companies need to adapt to the latest trends in innovation, or risk getting left behind. From entertainment to healthcare, employers are looking for tech-savvy change-makers that will give them an edge.

4 min read

It’s safe to say that we live in a digital society. The 21st century has become synonymous with digital business and innovation. Though we’ve been leaning towards technological solutions for a while now, it’s clear that COVID-19 has accelerated digital life and changed the way we work. For instance, businesses that already had a digital framework in place were in a strong position when it came to the shift to remote working.

So, it’s clear that digital jobs are resilient in the age of tech. The key is moving with the times, that is adapt, or face the wrath of digital Darwinism. But digital business and innovation doesn’t just mean remote working. Thanks to novel concepts like big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, business practices simply aren’t the same as they once were.

As you can imagine, these disruptive technologies call for a highly skilled workforce. Companies are seeking innovative thinkers who have both the tech and business acumen to drive growth. According to a report by the European Commission, more than 90% of jobs require digital skills in certain categories. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to have an innovative approach to business—and that’s where you come in.

What exactly is digital business?

It goes beyond simply incorporating technology into business. Digital businesses use technology to create new business models, transform customer experiences and of course, adapt internal systems that support business operations.

We often assume that e-commerce falls under the digital business umbrella, but this isn’t quite right. E-commerce might use tech for efficiency, but it doesn’t necessarily transform business models. So although many digital businesses choose to operate solely in the digital space, they aren’t defined by selling products and services online.

The digital business professional: a career in innovation awaits

Many traditional businesses are combining digital and physical resources to gain a competitive advantage.

It’s key to remember that digital businesses are transformative—technology is harnessed to create new experiences for their customers, and offer new values that differentiate them from other companies. Both Uber and Netflix are strong examples of companies that are making waves in the world of digital business and innovation:


Uber’s unique model is unlike traditional taxi businesses. It doesn’t have the typical overheads, nor does it have to provide and maintain vehicles. It’s innovative model capitalizes on our use of mobile devices to create a new customer experience.


It’s hard to imagine life without streaming movies and TV shows on demand—such is the power of Netflix. And its disruptive business model has completely transformed the movie rental industry. From an e-business comparable to traditional rental stores to a digital business, its influence can be felt all over the world.

Common elements of digital businesses

We’ve seen that digital businesses harness new technologies to drive growth in ways traditional models wouldn’t allow. Let’s explore some of the characteristics digital businesses share:

Adopting new business models. Customers’ desires are constantly in flux, so it’s essential to be agile and respond to their needs.

Harnessing technology. Tech is critical for examining data, cutting overheads or providing new exciting customer experiences.

Fearlessly transforming businesses. Restructuring is key—new roles are constantly being created as old ones become obsolete.

Digital business and innovation career paths

Thanks to the growth of digital business, there’s a huge demand for business-savvy innovators who embrace tech in all its forms. Since digital business isn’t industry specific, there’s a diverse range of roles to choose from, no matter the sector. Here are just a few possible career paths you could follow:

1. Digital business analyst

Analysts evaluate a company’s web traffic and use their expertise to recommend how companies can drive growth. From providing a detailed business analysis to highlighting problems and solutions, analysts need creative, fresh perspectives, as well as terrific communication skills.

2. Tech strategist

This is all about managing a company’s tech structure. Strategists develop and implement initiatives that improve operations and increase efficiency. Good communication skills are essential, since strategists often need to collaborate with management. Research skills are also highly sought after, as it’s important to keep an eye on competitors, too.

3. International business development manager

This role involves expanding a business into international markets. From maintaining and growing long-term client relationships to expanding and closing new business, international business development managers use their up-to-date digital business knowledge and strong leadership skills to support company growth at an international level.

4. E-commerce manager

E-commerce managers play a large role in their company’s website, marketing tools and techniques, and content and advertising. In charge of developing and carrying out digital marketing plans, this role showcases business management, digital strategy and communication skills.

5. Customer success engagement manager

This position is all about the customer—something that is increasingly important in today’s digital market. Ensuring that customers feel that their needs are met and that they are cared about across any platform is key in this role. This role is a unique hybrid between customer service and sales, and requires business and digital skills.

How you can become a change-maker

It goes without saying that ideal candidates need to keep up to date with the latest technology. This career path is all about having an adaptable nature—the only guarantee is change!

With such fierce competition, it’s so important to stay agile and adapt quickly to market changes.

The digital business professional: a career in innovation awaits

So, it almost goes without saying that companies are looking for the brightest strategic visionaries with a passion for tech. However, these candidates are few and far between. In many universities, tech and business are taught in silos. This leaves graduates lacking a well-rounded knowledge in both business innovation and tech developments.

To that end, IE University created the Master in Digital Business & Innovation, a program designed to encourage the newest wave of disruptors. You’ll learn all about business models and tech strategy, acquiring all the skills necessary to give yourself an edge in this digital world. With a seamless blend of theory and a practical methodology, you’ll be perfectly equipped for a career in an ever-changing society.