Aug 27, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

With specialized business skills increasingly in demand in today’s global marketplace, how can future international management leaders position themselves for optimal career opportunities? As more and more international students ask themselves this question, one school has responded with an innovative solution: Wake Forest University School of Business and their new International Leaders sequential master’s degree experience.

Here’s a closer look at what makes sequential master’s degrees from Wake Forest a smart choice for talented and enterprising international students.

What is a Sequential Master’s Degree Experience?

“A sequential master’s degree is the bundling of two specialized and distinct degrees into one multi-year experience at our school,” explains John White, Executive Director of Enrollment Management, at Wake Forest University School of Business. The outcome, continues White, “is that students emerge in two years with two specialized degrees that will enable them to add immediate value to any company.”

Helping to pave the way several years ago was the Wake Forest “Emerging Leaders” program, developed in partnership with the medical school to help future physician assistants gain business training prior to enrolling in the PA program. The newest sequential master’s degree track, the “International Leaders” program, debuted in July and is targeted at international students from non-business undergraduate majors. Offering a two-fold advantage, students acquire critical business and professional skills through the school’s top-ranked Masters in Management (MiM) degree program in their first year. Graduates then advance to Wake Forest’s highly-technical, STEM-certified Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) degree program. With a focus on programming, coding, technical skills, and big data experiential learning projects, the MSBA degree not only complements but amplifies the Management degree, offering another differentiating advantage to its graduates -- one that is valued by top employers.

For those unsure about a MiM or MSBA over a traditional MBA, The Economist recently heralded the MiM degree for its on-the-rise status. Additionally, according to a recent Financial Times report, MiM programs continue to expand while MSBA programs are experiencing high levels of growth, all while MBA enrollments are mostly stagnant. Experts cite lower costs and equivalent curricula as reasons to choose a MiM degree over an MBA. The specialized STEM-certified MSBA degree further adds to an international job seeker’s skill set, allowing the combination of degrees to give your career a compelling and lasting boost.

The Many Benefits of Sequential Degrees

The advantages of Wake Forest’s sequential master’s degrees for international students are numerous. In addition to immersive graduate learning opportunities, including the procurement of two distinct degrees, students gain sought-after STEM skills and communication skills. The two-year length of the International Leaders program amounts to double the opportunities to develop critical connections, which can lead to networking and employment opportunities.

In terms of career preparation, Wake Forest is ranked one of the top schools in the US. White shares that students gain access to “excellent career services support for job searching, offered to all students regardless of country of origin or citizenship status.”

An additional benefit of Wake Forest’s International Leaders sequential master’s degree program occurs even before classes start. Students can apply for both degrees simultaneously with conditional admission to both programs being conferred at the same time. While enrollment in the second program is contingent on successful completion of the first degree, there’s undeniable peace of mind that comes with knowing that after two full years of study in the United States, you’ll walk away with twice the skills and two valuable master’s degrees.

Considering a Sequential Master’s Degree

Is the Wake Forest International Leaders program right for you? White advises that an ideal student would be one “looking to build a strong foundation in leading people and organizations with an opportunity to stay in the US for an additional year-long immersive experience learning about data, software tools, programming languages, and other fundamentals of a business analytics program.”

If you are a high-achieving international student seeking to hone your management experience while gaining specialized analytics knowledge and experience, Wake Forest’s International Leaders program may be the unique two-degree experience you are seeking.

Learn more about Wake Forest’s cutting-edge International Leaders sequential master’s degree program, including the Masters in Management and Masters in Business Analytics programs.

Read more about Wake Forest University School of Business.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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