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Choosing The Right Postgraduate Business Program


Choosing the right business program If you want to get ahead in the world of business it is a good idea to study a postgraduate business program – proven academic knowledge of business is very impressive for prospective employers and could be the key to getting you that all important job. But it is important to make the right choice when choosing your business program. Some business programs will be more suited to your current career path than others, equally, others will not. It is a question of researching the sort of program that is going to be of most benefit to you right now and the one that will deliver the most for you in future years. You also need to be realistic about the level of time commitment that you are able to put in, as well as what external aspect could make this an enjoyable and ultimately successful experience for you.

Here are the most important factors to consider while choosing your business course.

Academic considerations

It may sound obvious but postgraduate business programs are not all the same. If you think that one business qualification is going to be as good as the next one, then think again. Programs that are run by prestigious institutions often carry more weight than those from other places. That is not to undervalue the academic rigour of other institutions, but qualifications from business schools at the highest ranked universities such as Oxford, Humboldt, Zurich, Cambridge, Imperial or Goldsmiths tend to attract more attention. If you are entering into a postgrad business program to further your career, then the kudos of your chosen academic institution should be a consideration.

Business schools and universities are ranked nowadays – often on a global basis – and it is important to take these in consideration. Sometimes it can play in your favour to attend a seat of learning that is seen as up and coming – the sort of place where the brightest of the bright are going. Often a specific lecturer who teaches at one place can make the difference, especially if your chosen industry has a specialisation that relates to his or her work. Also some institutions are renowned for a particular specialisation – and if this is the field in which you would like to study and work – then this could well an important factor in your decision. 

How to study

It might sound obvious, but full-time academic courses are not for everyone, especially if you have financial obligations that prevent you giving up work all together. If you have a family, a mortgage or both, then part-time study is much more likely to be the way to go. Part-time study does mean you have to sacrifice some of your family life and social life, but the sacrifice can be worth it. It is also worth considering studying online via distance learning so that you can study from home without having to travel to work and to a university campus, too. In effect, this gives you more time to fit it all in although you do have to be really disciplined.

Full-time business programs tend to be the courses of choice for the ambitious. If you want to push your career on quickly then get through your program on a full-time basis. If you commit yourself to the program without any distractions, then you could even end up top of your class. The sooner you complete your postgraduate business program, the sooner you can reap the financial rewards of getting that senior executive position or directorship.

Location, location, location

Choosing the tight business program

As we have seen, some centres of study are perceived to be better than others, but you do need to think about your business sector. For example, if your industry is based around financial services, trading and commerce, then London-based business programs are a good choice, because they are geared up to those particular sectors. Frankfurt, the second financial capital of Europe, is another good place to think about studying for the same reason.

Equally, Paris and Brussels are excellent choices if your work involves government or government contracts. There are few better places to get a business perspective on the workings of the EU than those two university cities. If you want to get an experience that is outside the EU, but still study in Europe, then consider ETH at Zurich or the Ecole Polythechnique at Lausanne. This is likely to stand you in good stead if your future work takes you outside of Europe, perhaps to the United States or Russia.

Remember that it is not just a question of what you will learn, but who you will meet and the networks that you will build. These can be as valuable as the study programs themselves in the long term.

Social factors

There are social factors that can affect your choice of university – and therefore your choice of business program.

If, for example, you need to study close to your family, it can be a bit much to uproot them for a year or two in another city, just because you have enrolled on a postgraduate business program. However, if your kids are young enough, then it should be a consideration, at least. If the needs of your family mean that they cannot move, then try to study closer to home so you can be with them regularly – or alternatively of course there is the online option which means you can study at any location without the need to move. 

You also need to think about the sort of place you like to live. Do you like busy cities with a buzzing nightlife? Or do you prefer a more relaxed rural location? You may also want to bear in mind extra-curricular activities on offer at the universities – this could affect your decision and in fact be the difference between choosing an out of town campus-based university or a business school in the heart of a big city like the LSE in London. It is always a good idea to have at least one extra-curricular activity no matter what sort of postgraduate study you are doing. This way, not all of your focus is on your work and you can relax more easily. It usually allows you study better to have a social hobby to focus on, too to help give you that all important work-life balance.

It is really important to put the time in to choose the perfect business program for you – that way you can help ensure academic success!


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