MiM degrees are adapting to meet the needs of a new generation of students and the ever-shifting requirements of the corporate world. As the lines between business disciplines blur, these programs are redefining themselves to produce leaders who are agile, tech-savvy, socially conscious, and capable of navigating the complexities of a global economy.
The curriculum and course offerings, in particular, have changed over the years. At the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, since 2021, the MiM curriculum adopted more hands-on learning opportunities -- for example a component on experiential learning was added, where organizations challenge students to analyze and develop innovative solutions to address their business challenges.
“The topics of these projects range from digitalization, technology and operations, data analytics used in banking, consultancy and other industries, strategic communication and strategy development,” explains Aika Bolat, the program manager for MiM at Frankfurt School. “Students are exposed not only to local but global approaches by visiting partner companies in other cities throughout Europe.”
Recently, a group of students specializing in digital business, tech and operations visited companies in Prague to learn how digitalization is being increasingly used in procurement, operations, supply chains and outsourcing.
In addition, the German institution’s MiM program offers a wide range of data analytics courses during the summer term to help prepare the next generation of tech-savvy managers and business leaders. Courses in Python, Tableau, Power BI, and Excel develop the key skillsets required by many employers.
Technology and digitalization are not just shaping the content but also the delivery of MiM degrees. “Universities are now utilizing technology and AI tools in teaching and learning to deliver courses in hybrid mode,” says Bolat. “This is helpful for international students who are unable to travel. The preference is still to have in-person teaching in the classroom. But some sessions, including preparatory courses, simulations and games are frequently done online to deliver the content more effectively.”
There are emerging specializations or concentrations within MiM programs that reflect the evolving demands of industries as well. “Today, companies are asking us for experts with a range of skills who are aware of the challenges facing society,” says Cécile Kharoubi, associate dean for the MiM program at ESCP Business School in Europe. “We are creating more and more specializations in sustainability, social responsibility and social impact, while ensuring that all of our students graduate with a foundational understanding of sustainability and its major challenges.”
At ESCP, the structure of the MiM program is based on core courses, which are compulsory for all students, but they can take up to three specializations. Among ESCP’s 70 specializations, 23 touch on sustainability topics, ethics and social responsibility, while 14 are specifically dedicated to sustainability and social impact. Those include “Energy: Geopolitics, Climate and Business” as well as “Marketing Transition to Sustainability”.
Additionally, ESCP recently added the specialization “Responsible Innovation in Africa” to the MiM program. “Transforming Africa for a sustainable future by developing its human capital is a prerequisite for the global ecological transition,” says Kharoubi.
The impact of globalization is also present at several levels of ESCP’s MiM program, including the student body. “Our classes are particularly diverse, both in terms of nationalities and academic backgrounds,” Kharoubi adds. “This means that our students naturally learn to work with colleagues who don’t have the same cultural codes, or the same way of thinking and working.”
This intrinsic diversity of the classes enables the MiM students to experience the difficulties; associated with interculturalism during their studies. “So when they are ready to enter the job market, they are already perfectly prepared for international careers,” Kharoubi says.
Furthermore, many MiM programs encourage their students to gain international experience by studying abroad, such as taking international internships, exchange programs or double-degree programs. The University of St Gallen, for instance, has a network of more than 200 exchange partners.
“The impact of globalization on MiMs is profound in terms of structure as well as content, the reason being the increasing demand for talent with a ‘global citizen’ mindset, that can perform in international careers,” says Omid Aschari, the managing director of the Master in Strategy and International Management at St Gallen in Switzerland.
Lastly, he notes that there is a high demand for business for graduates that can use their entrepreneurial thinking and corresponding activities to support agile business practices.
“Hence, a number of MiM programs are increasingly addressing this need by offering coursework and resources for aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs,” he says. “Furthermore, they organize for developing their young talent and equip them with the instruments to initiate and manage innovation.”
For instance, at St Gallen the students have direct access to the START Summit, a network of start-up entrepreneurs that is hosted at the University of St Gallen. MiM programs are clearly responding to the demands of the 21st century, and positioning themselves to empower a new generation of managers to face the challenges of a changing world.