An interview with Jean-François Detout, Skema Business School

"Opquast is fundamental."

the skema business school logo

Skema and Opquast

Regularly ranked among the top French business schools, Skema Business School is now present on 7 campuses around the world (France, China, United States, Brazil, South America). Director of the Specialised Master’s degree programme, MDCE (Marketing Data & E-Commerce), Jean François Detout discusses the integration of Opquast certification into the curriculum for all students.

Jean-Francois Detout presents in front of students in a large lecture hall

What is Skema Business School’s main focus?

The school’s three main pedagogical directions are AI, digital, and hybridisation. Before the current context of Covid-19, we were already focused on varied teaching formats and asynchronous courses, optimising the experience of our students, and location flexibility for multiple international campuses. This trend, which we call hybridisation, has also obviously accelerated with the pandemic.

Why did you choose to integrate Opquast certification into your training courses?

It’s linked to this conviction: to become a good manager and decision-maker in digital, you need to have a global vision of the web. You can’t be a good web project manager without having a minimum command of all aspects of the web: IT, technical, marketing, etc.

We did a test two years ago, offering the certification to students on a voluntary basis. After, we surveyed those who took the training and certification exam, asking them to rate it based upon the relevance and impact on their career. The results were overwhelmingly positive, so we decided to make Opquast compulsory.

How does this benefit your students?

Opquast is not only useful, it’s fundamental. It is part of the set of certifications that they have to pass, which we believe are vital in becoming a well-rounded web professional. Even if they obviously don’t master everything, they will have acquired sufficient cross-disciplinary knowledge, and will have the reflexes to know how to work on a quality web or digital project, to communicate with all web professionals, both technical and non-technical.

How is it integrated into the programme?

In March, Elie Sloïm, the CEO of Opquast, holds a kick-off session with the students to give an overview and context of the training. It’s a little ritual that is very effective to motivate them! Then, we give the students 4 months of access to the platform to complete the training and take the certification. This year, we have more than 200 students taking it. On a side note, we’re quite proud to hold the record for the highest final exam score for a student.

What courses do you offer? What levels?

We offer, among other things, Specialised Master’s (MS) and Master’s of Science (MSc) degrees that prepare students for digital and digital transformation professions. However, digital as well as AI, are an integral part of all of our other courses.
Our Specialised Master’s degree programme offers 450 hours of courses per year, in alternating years, with classes on customer experience, UX, e-commerce, CRM, website redesign, activation, data collection, analytics and everything related to traffic acquisition and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). All these topics are approached from a technical angle but also from a global perspective. This is what we call “digital strategy”. The idea is to bring together all the skills needed to become a good decision-maker in the realm of the web, e-commerce or data. After graduating from this programme, our students possess multiple specialisms.

What is the biggest contribution Opquast training offers your students?

As part of the multi-specialist MS, you can’t know everything, of course, even if you take a lot of training and courses. What counts is being able to put this knowledge acquisition to work. It is necessary to master the best practices of the web, as defined in particular by Opquast, the web being one of the least regulated sectors. In itself, when you work on the web, you can still do what you want, but that doesn’t mean that you should! Hence the importance of having these rules and this common lexical field, which will enable professionals to work together towards quality, effective, and useful web and digital projects. Opquast certification allows this, and it also pushes some students to challenge themselves to go further and deeper into other technical aspects of the web that are not necessarily part of our programmes.