Leadership skills have always been desirable, but now they are a necessity.
According to Forbes, “As the world becomes more connected, more transparent, and more diverse, businesses need a new type of leadership. This new leadership requires different skills to lead organizations into the future successfully.”
That’s why professionals are increasingly seeking specialised graduate degrees that prepare them for an evolving work environment where leadership skills, agility, adaptability and critical thinking are key.
In turn, universities like the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed innovative graduate degrees, shaping a new category of Master’s programmes for students to accelerate their careers and gain a competitive advantage within their existing specialisations.
These programmes are not the traditional MBA or MEng programmes, but rather business, technical and leadership education combined into one hybrid Master’s degree.
The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has a long-standing academic reputation stemming from its establishment in 1908, known for its efforts to continuously update programmes and keep up with changing times.
Many renowned ranking bodies have placed UBC among the top universities in the world, landing 51st in the world and third in Canada in the 2020 QS World University Rankings, and No.34 in the world and second in Canada in the 2020 Times Higher Education Rankings.
Specialised programmes that develop leadership skills
The Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia offers diverse disciplines, including the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and the Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP).
Taking pride in the application of innovation and fostering future leaders, the faculty develops professionals who are career-ready and able to handle the challenges of tomorrow.
The 12-month Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) enables students to expand their technical knowledge and business skills – ideal for practicing professionals looking to take their careers to greater heights.
Programme specialisations offered under the MEL degree are in dynamic and industry-relevant engineering areas such as Advanced Materials Manufacturing, Clean Energy Engineering, Dependable Software Systems, High Performance Buildings, Integrated Water Management, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Urban Systems.
These pathways mean students can explore their specialisation or learn something relevant and specific, such as engineering development along with business and leadership. On top of this, students don’t have to move away from their respective industry sectors to learn leadership skills.
Taught by industry experts with deep technical and business expertise, students get the chance to connect with people from different professional and cultural backgrounds with breadth of previous experience, exposing them to shared learning of new and diverse perspectives.
The course emphasises independent learning, designed to reflect a real-world working environment and how careers operate post-graduation. It features CAPSTONE-accredited projects or flipped classroom learning environments that allow students to develop their own leadership styles and learn through real-world examples of interaction and experiences.
And with the MEL constantly reviewing the course structure and adopting brand-new specialisations – like the Sustainable Process Engineering option being made available for a 2021 intake – UBC is clearly committed to serving industry needs.
Fostering future leaders in cutting-edge healthcare
Another innovative hybrid graduate programme is the Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP), offered in collaboration with the School of Nursing.
Ideal for practicing professionals who want to gain leadership skills and drive innovation in the fast-moving healthcare field, this 12-month programme was developed with health sector partners to ensure industry relevance and meet the evolving needs of society today.
Students deepen their knowledge as healthcare practitioners, connect with clinical experts and collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds. The two specialisations offered within this hybrid programme are the MHLP in Seniors Care and the MHLP in Clinical Education; 60 percent of classes are technical, while the other forty percent, based on leadership, are taught by the UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School.
The Seniors Care programme allows students to use their leadership skills to drive change for senior citizens, supporting community and social development. Professionals benefit from holistic learning in areas they can implement after graduation.
Then there’s the Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) in Clinical Education, developed to meet a need for leaders who are not only skilled in best practices, but also possess the ability to analyse business strategy and data.
Feeding the future workforce
Further pushing towards career success, UBC encourages students to meet regularly with an Employer Relations and Careers Manager who help facilitate their transition into leadership roles. During these meetings, students discuss effective application writing, interview tactics, networking techniques and a range of other career-related skills.
Through the hybrid MEL and MHLP Professional Leadership Master’s programmes, students get the best of both worlds: a solid understanding of the latest technical issues within their specialisation, and the ability to develop the leadership and business skills required by professionals if they are to stand at the forefront of their respective industries.