Feb 7, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

When you think about advanced business studies, the MBA may be the first degree that comes to mind. However, it’s far from the only degree that imparts business expertise. Enter the Masters in Management. Here’s a closer look at how this popular degree option can position you for a successful career in business.

Introducing the Masters in Management

The majority of MBA programs are designed for older candidates who’ve worked for several years and typically have some managerial experience under their belts. However, what if you’re ready to jump into graduate business studies, but you lack the requisite experience necessary to enroll in an MBA program? The Masters in Management (MiM) may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Like MBA programs, MiM programs provide foundational business knowledge and general management training across a wide range of topics with a broad perspective aimed at creating future managers. Required coursework may include subjects such as business strategy, entrepreneurship, business analytics, accounting/economics, organizational behavior, leadership, and information technology. MiM students may also have the opportunity to specialize in concentrations including finance, marketing, human resources, international business, analytics, and operations management.

However, unlike an MBA, the MiM program targets students with little to no work experience. Additionally, many MiM programs do not require undergraduate business coursework as a prerequisite. In fact, some programs are designed exclusively for non-business majors.

It’s hardly a surprise that the MiM degree is making a splash with many aspiring young business professionals. Forbes magazine recently reported on the phenomenon, which finds the average age on b-school campuses around the world dropping while interest in MiM programs skyrockets.

Why Wake Forest University?

All MiM degrees are not created equal. One standout among the rest?  The Economist recently ranked Wake Forest University’s (WFU) innovative Masters of Arts in Management program #4 in the U.S. and #21 in the world.

As with most MiMs, WFU students are predominantly “pre-experience,” meaning that they come to the program with limited work histories -- usually fresh out of a bachelor’s degree program. In fact, a full 90 percent of WFU’s MiM students progress straight from undergraduate studies in non-business majors into the program. There is also a small group with moderate experience either in the workplace or in volunteer/service work who enroll with the aim of “rebooting” their careers.

And while most business programs take two full years to complete, Wake Forest’s MiM takes less than a year -- with no sacrifice of practical or theoretical learning opportunities in small classroom settings, with an impressive 10:1 student to faculty ratio. Says John White, Executive Director Masters in Management/Accounting/Business Analytics Programs at WFU, “Given that it is a 10-month, accelerated program, we realize that some exposure to the market is valuable for those with limited or no work experience. We are able to offer this to students through two Action Learning Project modules where students work hands-on with real businesses to create solutions.”

Above all, in today’s increasingly competitive job market, employability is paramount. To that end, Wake Forest offers career services in the form of personalized guidance and career support via its market readiness and employment career coaches who work one-on-one with every student to optimize career outcomes following graduation. Additionally, students gain access to an abundance of networking opportunities.

Wake Forest School of Business from Wake Forest School of Business on Vimeo.

For international students concerned about their employment prospects, Wake Forest’s MiM addresses their needs, as well. “We offer full career support to all students, regardless of country of origin or visa status,” adds White.

Which begs the question: How do WFU MiM graduates fare in the job market? “There is so much competition out there for talent. Corporate recruiters have embraced the MiM graduate as an ideal employee who represents the intersection of liberal arts learning with a graduate business degree,” says White. “It makes for a hire with a unique perspective of liberal arts thinking and business acumen.  A different, entrepreneurial mindset is brought to the business as a result.”

In fact, a staggering 97 percent of WFU MiM graduates secure employment within three months of graduation and in a range of industries such as marketing/sales, consulting, finance, business development, operations, and human resources, while 99 percent are employed within six months of graduation.

While WFU’s MiM program offers a stand-alone path to sought-after management positions, it can also open the door to an MBA degree for graduates interested in continuing even further with their business training. “We recently instituted the MBA Advantage program, wherein our MiM graduates can return to Wake Forest within five years and complete their MBA degree with only one year of additional study,” explains White.

 

 

 

 

 

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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