What does it take for a business graduate to be sought by the biggest companies today? Which business degree will kick-start their careers or catapult them to the C-suites?
As job markets evolve, so do the skills checklist used by hiring managers. With massive changes in demography, huge acceleration in the progress of technology and a climate crisis looming, the stakes are huge for businesses to adapt. To do so, they would need a team who can take these challenges in their stride.
To be part of that prized talent pool, mere technical corporate know-how would not cut it anymore. According to Bloomberg’s survey of 1,320 job recruiters at more than 600 companies, the rare skills companies are willing to pay top dollars for include creative problem solving, strategic thinking, leadership skills and communication skills.
Another survey by the Financial Times concurred; more than 70 leading employers from all over the world said the traditional “hard” skills taught in MBA courses are easily found. What’s rarer are soft skills, loosely defined as “human” skills, including abilities such as teamwork, collaboration, persuasion and adaptability. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents rated the ability to work within a team as the most important skill business graduates should have. Employers also rated skills such as creative problem solving and time management, as well as the ability to build, sustain and expand network of people highly.
As humans face the prospect of being rendered redundant by machines or saving a planet at risk of catastrophic warming, another element is just as crucial: entrepreneurship. The combination of emerging technologies from the Fourth Industrial Revolution and entrepreneurial passion has the potential to bring incredible outcomes – something that businesses want, and business graduates would greatly benefit from bringing to the table.
Future-proofed human skills, creative problem-solving and an entrepreneurial spirit – these aren’t the easiest traits to demonstrate in an interview. But a degree from one of these top business schools will give you everything you need.
LANCASTER UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT SCHOOL (LUMS)
Lancaster business graduates hold a critical edge against their competitors thanks to the School’s close links with industry. It is accredited by some of the most influential business accreditation bodies: the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the European Foundation for Management Development’s EQUIS system, and Small Business Charter.
Each year, an expert team of 50 business leaders in the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence network deliver masterclasses, offer their expertise and support research. The entrepreneurs include an expanding international group representing different cultures and experiences. The curriculum incorporates action-based challenges, including a consultancy assignment for a global company. Dedicated careers coaching and workshops are available to help students develop vital employability skills, delivered by a careers services department ranked first in the UK by Financial Times.
These initiatives explain Lancaster’s impressive performance in global league tables. The Executive MBA was recently ranked the joint-best in the world for its students’ career outcomes in the QS Global EMBA rankings – on average, Lancaster’s EMBA cohort received a pay increase of 62 percent in the 12 months after finishing the course – well above the global average of 38.9 percent. Meanwhile, the Masters in Management is rated joint-second in the UK by the Financial Times for alumni achieving their career aims.
SOUTHAMPTON BUSINESS SCHOOL (SBS), UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
A founding member of the prestigious Russell Group and a Top 100 QS Global University (2019), the University of Southampton is well-known for producing top-notch business graduates. With phenomenal partnerships with the global marketplace and a track record in producing career-ready students, SBS has long been the preferred choice among recruiters.
SBS is where it is today due to several effective initiatives. Through the Business School’s Executive Learning Partnership, Southampton brings together senior managers from more than 25 of the region’s prime organisations to collaborate in specialist masterclasses and share fresh industry insights. To enhance this knowledge-sharing practice, the business school runs monthly evening seminars that involve established speakers from academia and global industry.
Collaborating with Future Learn, students can get involved with entrepreneurial masterclasses. The vibrant startup accelerator Future Worlds gives student innovators the opportunity to mix with researchers, entrepreneurs and successful startup initiatives. Meanwhile, the one-year industry placement, available to all undergraduate learners, exposes students to the realities of their chosen work environment. To complete students’ personal and professional development is the University Careers and Employability Service. Which seeks out fantastic opportunities to get students started in the working world and a comprehensive programme of opportunities.
WARWICK BUSINESS SCHOOL (WBS), UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
WBS has a wide range of courses for aspiring business students of all levels. At the undergraduate level, the school offers four single honour degrees, a foundation year, and several joint degrees through other university departments. At the postgraduate level, students can apply to its MBA or MSc courses in business, management and finance to help take their knowledge to the next level.
Its MBA was recently ranked 1stin the country and 24th globally in The Economist’s Which MBA? 2019 rankings. Compressed into 12 months, this is an intense, fast-paced and captivating programme with opportunities to travel, receive unlimited coaching, work with leading companies and network with a peer group from a range of industry sectors and cultures. Blending lectures and seminars with case studies and projects, candidates will enjoy one of the most innovative learning experiences available. WBS also offers the MBA part-time via distance learning as well as an Executive MBA.
WBS’s applied learning emphasis applies to all programmes at this business school. No longer restricted to lecture halls and chalkboards, students here learn through a mix of practical experiences such as its Marketing Insights Series and Case Study Competitions. Such opportunities put students at the centre of real business challenges, expanding their minds and putting their theoretical knowledge to the test.
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH BUSINESS SCHOOL
Located in Scotland’s compact, hilly capital is the University of Edinburgh Business School. With a long tradition of teaching and research since opening its doors in October 1919, the school has been at the forefront of learning ever since. Today, it provides 21 undergraduate courses, 14 Masters, two MBAs and executive education programmes in business and management to aspiring business leaders from all over the world.
The University of Edinburgh Business School holds triple accreditation, awarded by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and the Association of MBAs (AMBA), highlighting the quality of teaching and excellence of research at the school. It’s ranked 20th in the 2020 QS world university rankings, 66th in the 2019 Economist Which MBA? rankings and 37th in the 2018 FT Finance MSc world rankings. The Edinburgh MBA is also ranked 87th in the world in the 2019 Financial Times’ Top 100 MBA programmes.
Adding to this string of accolades is the school’s unique student projects. Companies can commission specialist research or consultancy and benefit from high-calibre students here through group consultancy and individual research, on a business or management issue of your choice. These include: Undergraduate Enterprise Consultancy, Carbon Finance Consultancy, Emerging Markets Consultancy and Energy Consultancy.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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