For recent graduates looking to jumpstart their career, the Masters in Management degree (MiM) has emerged as an increasingly popular tool to enhance their business acumen and expand their skill set, enabling them to thrive in a wide range of industries and organizational settings. Individuals are increasingly drawn to these degree programs for candidates with little to no professional work experience.
“Demand is certainly following a positive trend for MiM programs. However, competition for top candidates among the leading programs went up, as well. There is a fierce contest especially for candidates with a strong international profile,” says Omid Aschari, managing director of the Master of Arts in Strategy and International Management, at University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
So why is demand for MiM programs increasing? Candidates are often drawn to these degrees because of the unique value they bring to fresh graduates seeking career advancement. “The skills and knowledge components are manifold. Our program, for instance, offers soft skills such as communication workshops, team development opportunities, but also hard skills such as data analysis and strategic tools and frameworks,” says Aschari.
There are plenty of other key components that can make a MiM degree a transformative experience, one that is in demand around the world.
“The combination of advanced topics, leadership and international experiences helps students build mature and reflective mindsets. This leads to measurable employability outcomes -- we recently announced that 96 percent of our MSc International Management graduates achieved employment within three months after graduation,” says James Eteen, academic director of the program at Imperial College Business School in London.
“Applicants often want to explore career options and build professional networks prior to entering the job market -- or perhaps change industries at the early stages of their careers,” he adds. “Many also seek to set themselves apart from other job candidates by gaining valuable international experiences as part of the program.”
MiM degrees also allow students the freedom to choose elective subjects to study. “Our elective portfolio provides access to topical themes, including designing innovative business models and developing sustainable strategy development,” says Steven Togneri, head of MSc admissions at Imperial.
There is a diverse range of career paths that graduates can pursue upon completion of their studies, showcasing a MiM program’s versatility and appeal across industries, but some stand out. “Generally, there is a move for many towards wanting to follow a career in consultancy -- and the MiM is an attractive program for those who want to pursue a career in this area,” says Andrew Keating, associate professor of marketing at UCD Smurfit School in Dublin, Ireland.
UCD is part of the CEMs Alliance, a collaboration of business schools that offer a Master’ in International Management program. “The students undertake a term abroad in one of the CEMS Alliance schools -- which allows them to be immersed in a different culture, experience different ways of teaching and learning,” says Keating.
Another key part of the CEMS MiM is that every student is required to do an international internship to graduate. “What we have found is that the lack of substantial work experience is generally not a major issue or barrier to getting the type of job that the students are aiming for,” Keating says.
Increasingly, MiM programs are looking out for students with work experience, even if it’s not substantial, says Aschari, at St. Gallen. “We offer real-life challenges that stretch the students’ leadership and execution skills.” One prominent component is SIMagination Challenge, an experiential course on which students aim to tackle societal challenges such as poverty.
“It addresses their needs to stay close to real-life learning experiences that challenge them. Alumni say that it made them more resilient and prepared them for the job market,” Aschari adds.
Experiential learning is key at Imperial too. For example, on the MiM program, students can take a new business idea from inception to pitching to a panel of experienced industry experts. Also, students have an opportunity to engage with businesses through internship placements or consulting projects, as well as participate in international trips to visit multinational companies around the world.
“MiM programs should be highly practical and focused on impact, while also being academically demanding,” says Togneri. Through such experiences, MiM programs offer a range of benefits and advantages for individuals aspiring to excel in their careers and make an impact in business and wider society.