A postgraduate business degree is supposed to open new doors and get you a better job. That’s the bottom line, pure and simple. The question then is, what can business programmes do to bring you across that finish line? In other words, what should you, as a prospective student, look for in a business programme if you want to enhance your job prospects in a meaningful way?
First, look for opportunities to practice in the real world. Many business programmes have internship and work placement requirements (or options) that are perfect opportunities to gain hands-on experience and contacts in the industry.
“As a low-income kid from a small town who entered college without an extended network, my internships equipped me with the skills, confidence and relationships to channel my potential into a rewarding career,” Darren Walker, the President of the Ford Foundation, wrote in the New York Times.
Image courtesy of The University of Derby
The best business programmes are able to place you in interesting roles at prestigious organisations. Be sure to check the extent of the respective university’s ties with industry – for example, some universities indicate where previous students have interned. Also, look for programmes that give you opportunities to work with employers on live projects as part of a course. The more practical training and exposure you get, the better.
You also have to consider the strength of a university’s careers service department. While such departments are commonplace in universities around the world, not all of them are equal. You can typically discern both their dedication and capabilities by reading the information they put up on their website. And you may end up thanking yourself for doing that.
“In 2009, students who used career-center resources were more likely to land a job than those who didn’t use them,” wrote Kerry Hannon in the U.S. News & World Report, citing a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers of over 35,000 students from over 840 U.S. colleges and universities.
Aside from considering the university’s industry links and career services, you should carefully examine the School’s business programmes. Whilst enrolling on a broad, all-encompassing postgraduate business programme will always hold you in good stead with employers, it can also be worth thinking about how you might like to specialise your studies for your future career.
Business and technology have rapidly changed over the last few decades, resulting in the rise of fields like information systems, international business, supply chain management, and energy/sustainability management. Specialising in one of these growing fields may set you apart and make you far more competitive as a candidate.
“According to MBA recruiters from major companies, likely areas of demand will be Human Resource Management, Project & Programme Management and Marketing. Another specialisation that is also becoming popular globally is Supply Chain Management,” wrote Andrew Main Wilson, Chief Executive of the Association of MBAs (AMBA), in The Independent.
With all that said, here are 5 UK graduate business programmes with top employment outcomes:
Image courtesy of The University of Westminster
The University of Westminster has been delivering management education for over 175 years, and the Westminster Business School has gone on to earn a sterling reputation as a premier institution of business education. The School is fully accredited by all major professional and international organisations, including AMBA, CIMA, DMI, ACCA and many more. When this is combined with the school’s extensive corporate connections, and its status as the most diverse university amongst all the world’s English-speaking countries, according to the Hotcourses Diversity Index, Westminster is able to ensure a strong professional practice focus as well as outstanding employment outcomes.
The school offers a comprehensive range of business programmes, including the Master of Business Administration (MBA). The Westminster MBA has a particular emphasis on helping you develop your leadership skills and knowledge. It also gives participants plenty of opportunities to practice what they have learned through a two-month part-time internship, and number of hands on modules like Consultancy Skills and a mentoring programme which pairs students with industry professionals.
Westminster will be launching a new and unique MBA programme in 2017. Paired with the school’s existing expertise and knowledge base in delivering business education this is set to propel business students to the height of professional success.
Image courtesy of The University of Bedfordshire Business School
The University of Bedfordshire Business School offers business, management and law education that is distinctly international and practice-driven. Undergraduate courses offer work placements and industry practice weeks, delivering hands-on industry experience and skills that meet the needs of a broad range of global employers through networks like the Small Business Charter. The new postgraduate portfolio also offers live project and placement opportunities as well as a choice of six start dates in September, November, January, March, June and July. Postgraduate courses are block delivered in six-week long modules to provide flexible study based on a blended learning model.
The school’s suite of full and part time MBAs give students the chance to work with academic and business thought leaders on live consultancy projects across sectors, including logistics and supply chain management, healthcare and energy. Utilising a range of learning technologies including business simulations, students engage with leading employers both locally and regionally to develop and enhance their leadership and management profile.
Bedfordshire also boasts a great location – students live close to London in the key economic triangle between London, Oxford, and Cambridge. They can enjoy all the attractions of the vibrant capital without having to pay the extra cost of living in the centre. They will also have access to industry experts and professionals as well as prestigious firms at one of the world’s most important financial and legal centres.
Image courtesy of The University of Derby
Located in the heart of the UK, the University of Derby is ranked among the Top 50 universities by The Guardian League Table 2017. The university enjoys a splendid, strategic location, with London a mere 90-minutes away by train.
Derby is especially well-regarded for the quality of its postgraduate programmes. In the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2015, Derby performs above the sector average in all areas, and 95 percent of its postgraduate students agree that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching.
The Derby Business School offers a good range of postgraduate courses, including Marketing, Supply Chain, International Business, Accounting and Finance and of course, the MBA – which is incredibly flexible and offers plenty of scope for customization. Derby has exceptionally robust and extensive links with industry. Their long list of partners includes Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Toyota, Ford, DHL, Speedo, and the United Nations.
Image courtesy of the University of Beirmingham
A constituent of the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Business School is world-class institution renowned for its outstanding MBA programmes, which include full-time, executive and distance-learning versions. CEO Magazine’s 2015 MBA rankings placed Birmingham 7th in the world and 3rd in Europe.
The school, along with just a handful of others in the world, holds the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), AMBA (Association of MBAs) and EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System). It was recently named University of the Year in both The Times and The Sunday Times.
Image courtesy of The University of Bath’s School of Management
The University of Bath’s School of Management is among the top business and management schools in the UK – ranked 1st place for Marketing and 2nd place for Accounting and Finance by The Complete University Guide 2017. It was also ranked 1st place for Business Studies by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016.
Among Bath’s other advantages are diverse international placements, an impressive global alumni network, and industry-relevant insight thanks to the school’s many partnerships with organisations around the globe. The university boasts superb sports and social facilities, a pleasant community atmosphere, and a safe campus.