Leading undergraduate degrees that spark agile business talent

Degrees remain the gold standard of higher education but in an increasingly competitive environment, a paper qualification from an accredited institution may not be enough.

On top of the degree, students also need skills that will help them thrive in dynamic work environments, as well as industry-relevant experience gained via internships or industry training.

This is because employers are increasingly looking for workers with agile talent; graduates must possess both the hard and soft skills necessary to help them respond to new challenges and create innovative business solutions.

And as globalisation becomes more and more integrated in business, there is also an ever-expanding need for globally-minded employees who work well in international settings.

Degree programmes that prepare students for such work environments are usually flexible and broad-based, providing learners with a solid foundation in business, yet allowing them to unleash their agility and adaptability in any work environment.

Employers today lean towards hiring graduates of such programmes as they tend to be more well-rounded and worldly, able to both adapt to international environments and thrive in them. New responsibilities, dynamic work roles and the need to think outside the box do not faze these graduates as their academic career would have prepared them for all these and more.

During the course of their study, they would have either been encouraged or required to take on corporate projects that link, or even embed them, in actual companies. This is a ‘learn by doing’ experience that teaches them to work with professionals and offers them a glimpse into the realities of the modern workplace.

And as any recruiter would say, the knowledge gained from such an experience is what gives these graduates a leg up in their job hunt post-graduation. Their early exposure to industry also allows them to build a contact base and network with professionals and leaders.

Should they choose to become entrepreneurs or launch a start-up, they are also prepared for that with the focus on innovation during their studies, and having gained confidence and expertise to succeed and pursue their ideas or dreams.

Studying for a business degree in a multicultural environment also helps them learn early on what it’s like to work with people from different backgrounds.

Here are three top-notch business schools located in diverse and flourishing cities that develop business graduates who are skilled, experienced, and agile.

HKUST Business School

This university was recently ranked No. 1 in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings for a number of reasons.

Students at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) study alongside a diverse and international student population.

Its location in Hong Kong, a central and diverse business hub in the Asia-Pacific, also offers students the chance to become accustomed to an international environment.

The university was only established in 1991, but has grown to become one of the leading universities in Asia, due to its progressive outlook on innovation and cutting-edge research.

Source: HKUST Business School

At HKUST Business School, the undergraduate curriculum focuses on broad-based learning with a flexible structure.

In this unique structure, students acquire multidisciplinary skills relevant to today’s and tomorrow’s business environment.

Recognising that all students have different personal strengths and preferences, they spend the first few semesters of study exploring their interests, only selecting their academic major(s) by the middle of the second year.

The School’s comprehensive academic advising system assist students to succeed in their own academic plan. Apart from a faculty advisor, each student has a designated academic advisor who guides them through the decision-making process when it comes to choosing their major(s). Over eighty percent of business students choose to specialise in two majors, such as Information Systems and Finance.

Plus, they can also take non-business minors to supplement their majors, which broadens their skills and knowledge, making them more valuable and well-rounded employees once they graduate.

There are also plenty of opportunities for international exposure, such as exchange and visiting programmes, international case competitions and conferences, and international internships.

With over 130 exchange partners, its extensive exchange network is one of the largest in Asia, where about half of all business students spend a semester at a renowned Business School overseas.

Students also benefit from the School’s close links with business sectors and an energetic alumni base in Hong Kong and Asia, as well as various internship opportunities and all kinds of career support. During their studies, business students gain experience working on corporate and social projects that prepare them for the real working world.

NUS Business School

Students at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School thrive from an academically rigorous yet flexible curriculum with diversity of global and experiential opportunities.

They are taught to possess multiple skill sets and solve new business challenges so they can excel in a challenging and demanding workforce.

They are also positioned to become leaders in business with the school’s strong focus on leadership and entrepreneurial development.

Business students learn how to become confident in business and are prepared for the future, ready to work in a dynamic marketplace.

Equipped with skills for success and a business mindset, students can also become start-up pioneers or entrepreneurs for innovative businesses.

Being in Singapore, the school delivers the best of East and West in business education, integrating the breadth of Western knowledge with Asian insights.

Students selected for The BIZAD Leadership Development Programme (BLDP) also benefit from additional development opportunities to realise their leadership potential, as they undertake BIZAD Leadership Modules unique to their programme.

SP Jain School of Global Management – Dubai

Located in the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), a city specifically built for colleges and universities, the multinational community provides students with the opportunity to learn from and connect with people from various backgrounds.

The undergraduate business programmes equip students with well-developed business insights, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.

Students can choose to major in either Marketing, Finance or Entrepreneurship, where their learning is targeted towards skills and knowledge to succeed in specific careers in business.

As a broad course to promote agility in graduates, the programme is made up of general business, specialist business, and liberal arts subjects.

The school emphasises on the development of real-world business skills alongside academic learning, ensuring that graduates are confident and hold the relevant expertise to compete in a global setting.

Every business student is required to take up an Action Learning or Entrepreneurship Project during the course of their programme, where they work with local companies to submit consultant-level reports.

Through this project, they learn first-hand knowledge on working in business as well as building an industry contact base.

Students can also participate in special global learning classes, where business frameworks are analysed and tested.

They also stand to benefit from the state-of-the-art campus, which is approximately 60,000 square feet spread over three floors, housing hi-tech learning centres, mock trading rooms, Reuters terminal, and more.

Interested in a Business degree? Consider a programme at one of these progressive and global schools that will prepare you for a solid start towards a career in business, no matter what industry you end up in.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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