W ith so many bright talents in the job space, a bachelor’s degree has become the bare minimum for getting your foot in the door. These days, however, it’s seldom enough to propel you up the career ladder into coveted leadership positions.
Students worldwide are increasingly turning to postgraduate studies in order to stand out. Postgrad student numbers soared by 59% within the last decade alone, reported the Guardian UK.
Fiona Major, postgraduate programme director of pharmaceutical giant GSK, noted how postgrads tended to have “values-based leadership” and “strategic thinking”, making them more attractive candidates. If your career plan includes rising into management positions, it’s worth investing in a postgrad program to equip yourself with management know-how.
This doesn’t necessarily mean an MBA, which unfortunately no longer commands the prestige it once did. With more and more job seekers boasting those three letters on their resume, other Master’s-level qualifications are actually more likely to get you an executive position, headhunter Debbie Goodman-Bhyat tells The Economist.
Here, we’ve narrowed down eight of the best alternative options for postgrad study in management:
1) Master of Science in Engineering Business Management, from Coventry University, at PSB Academy
Established since 1964, “Asia’s Future Academy” has won numerous awards for their standards in education in recent years. Developed in collaboration with the UK’s Coventry University, their prestigious course balances rigorous technical training with a strong focus on management skills.
Coventry University is a rising force to be reckoned with. Lauded as one of the World’s Top 200 Young Universities (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2017), and UK’s Top Modern University for 7 consecutive years (Complete University Guide 2013-2019), the school has also been awarded Gold for Outstanding Teaching and Learning (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017)
If you aspire to leadership within the engineering sector, this course will arm you with a deep understanding of the necessary competencies—global engineering strategy, people management, and project management, just to name a few.
These areas are taught through case studies and applied work, enabling a smooth translation of theory to the workplace. You can also choose to specialise in a particular management area via an individual project, allowing you to align your learning even more closely with your career interests.
Duration: 12 months (full-time), 15 months (part-time)
Local Students and International Students: S$21,828.00
Prerequisites (at least one of the following):
- A minimum of a second class honours degree in any engineering related subject or Management studies.
- A relevant professional qualification of an equivalent level.
- A lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant experience at a professional level.
- Satisfactory, independent evidence of working for several years in a relevant area (non hons grads).
- Students whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
Find out more here.
2) Master of Science in CFO Leadership, Singapore Management University
Offered by SMU’s School of Accountancy, this distinctive degree aims to transform you into a finance and business leader. The program trains finance professionals in specialised hard skills such as making financial decisions, while giving them the right tools to lead their organisations and shape business outcomes.
Specialising in business and management studies, SMU has received recognition from AACSB International and was a finalist in “preparing students for the workforce” (Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards), so rest assured that you are in good hands.
Duration: 1 year
S$55,000, SMU alumni will be eligible for 10% off.
Prerequisites: GMAT / SMU AT TOEFL / IELTS
Find out more here. (Interested individulals may also be interested in the Tsinghua-SMU Master of Science in CFO Leadership degree programme, which will be conducted mostly in Mandarin Chinese and in both universities)
3) Master of Technology in Software Engineering, National University of Singapore
Consistently achieving high rankings in global university rankings, Singapore’s oldest university brings together the best of IT and management know-how to bring you a program suitable for aspiring project managers in the software industry. The comprehensive curriculum includes technical knowledge like building software solutions and IT infrastructure. This is integrated with training on soft skills, project management, and innovation.
Duration: 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)
S$16,400.00 to S$17,597.00 for Singaporeans aged 39 and below, and Singaporean PRs
S$10,348.00 to S$10,830.79 for Singaporeans aged 40 and above
$41,600.00 to S$45,590.00 for international students
- Bachelor’s degree (preferably in Sci. or Eng.) with a GPA of at least B
- Proficiency in the English Language (written and spoken)*
- Preferably two years of relevant working experience as an IT professional in software development or maintenance (eg: programmer, designer, software project manager)
- Applicants who graduated from universities where English is not the medium of instruction require a TOEFL or IELTS score.
Find out more here.
4) Master of Science Management: Organisational Leadership and Change, SIM GE
Developed and awarded by the UK’s University of Birmingham, this programme aims to impart to graduates crisis management skills, sustainable leadership skills, as well as resillience and reliability. It is made up of 10 core modules and 3 electives of the candidate’s choice, so that candidates can tailor their education to their immediate needs and interests.
Elective options include Advanced Strategy, Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship modules and International Innovation Strategy, amongst others!
According to The Graduate Market in 2020 Report published by High Fliers Research, the University of Birmingham was amongst the top 10 universities targeted by the largest number of UK’s top employers for graduate recruits.
Duration: 1 year (full-time)
- Bachelor’s degree (2nd Class Honours degree or its equivalent)
- Other qualifications will be assessed on individual merits
- ≥ C6 pass in English as First Language at GCE O-Level/ 6.5 in IELTS
Find out more here.
5) Master of Supply Chain Management, Curtin Singapore
From operations management to global business, this course equips you with the necessary competencies to take the next step in your career in logistics and supply chain management.
Curtin’s program was ranked within the top 3 best Masters for Supply Chain and Logistics worldwide by the 2019 Eduniversal Masters Ranking. It is also globally accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. Amongst the top 1% worldwide, Curtin is Australia’s second-most international university, with strong industry connections and research performance.
Duration: 1 year (full-time), part-time available
Prerequisites: IELTS band 6.5/TOEFL score of 79
The program is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and graduates may be eligible for full membership status with 3 years working experience.
Graduates are eligible to apply for graduate membership of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Association of Australia (LAA).
Find out more here.
6) Master of Science International Business Management, from Edinburgh Napier University, at PSB Academy
For those looking for a more general understanding of business management, this MSc program offers solid coverage of competencies in the international business management arena.
The strength of this course lies in the diversity of its approaches, spanning from economic insights to management essentials such as intercultural business communication. Regardless of your field of specialisation, this degree promises to open doors to a wide range of management-level prospects.
One of Scotland’s largest higher education institutions, Edinburgh Napier University has received accolades for their internationalism from university ranking systems such as Times Higher Education (Top 180 University for International Outlook) and QS (Rated 5 Stars for Teaching, Employability and Internationalisation, QS Stars 2017). Their strengths in teaching, employability, as well as research have also received recognition (92% Research Internationally Recognised, Research Excellence Framework 2014) .
Duration: 16 months (full-time), 20 months (part-time)
Local Student: $21,186.00*
International Student: $21,186.00*
- Honours degree (Second class division 2 or above); or
- Other qualifications and/or experience which demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 10
- GCE O-level English (Grade 1 to 6) or equivalent/IELTS score of 6/PSB Academy’s Certificate in English Proficiency (Advanced)
All applications are subject to approval by Edinburgh Napier University.
Find out more here.
7) Master of Conflict Management and Resolution, James Cook University
Great leadership is essentially about people management – communicating, negotiating, and resolving the inevitable conflicts that crop up. This JCU degree is targeted at honing such invaluable soft skills, paving your way to becoming an effective leader in any professional sector.
Subjects studied include workplace conflict management and facilitative mediation practice. The course draws on real-life case studies and conflict situations, allowing you to apply new knowledge easily to the workplace. This degree will be conducted online.
Placing 38th in The Times’ Higher Education’s 150 under 50 rankings (2016), JCU consistently ranks amongst the top 2% of universities worldwide.
Duration: 1.5 years, full-time (part-time available)
$AUD27,320.00 per year
Prerequisites: AQF level 7 bachelor degree or equivalent as recognised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Division of Tropical Environments & Societies
Find out more here.
8) CEMS Master’s in International Management, National University of Singapore
This double-master degree program is the product of collaboration with CEMS, a global alliance of renowned business schools, MNCs, and NGOs. Not only does it deliver rigorous training in areas such as global management practice, it includes unique opportunities for cross-cultural immersion and experiential learning.
The extraordinary program incorporates overseas exchange trips with two CEMS partner schools, plus an internship with either a CEMS Corporate Partner or an international company. In other words, you get to hone your management and business communication skills in a truly global context.
The CEMS MIM program has been ranked among the Financial Times’ top Master’s in Management programs in the world since 2005.
Duration: 1.5 years
- A good undergrad degree from a four-year business-related degree programme. Three-year business-related degrees may be considered on case-by-case basis.
- TOEFL score ≥ 260 for computer-based test, 620 for paper and 100 for internet / IELTS score ≥ 0.
Find out more here.
9. Master of Management, Singapore University of Social Sciences
This programme has a unique feature: it’s stackable! You can graduate with the Graduate Diploma in Management after completing 12 management courses, and go ahead to make it a Master of Management after taking another 30 credit units worth of courses.
The Master of Management has 2 tracks to choose from. The first is the Management track and the second, the Specialisation track. You can choose from 6 specialisations (Digital Marketing, Financial Technology, Intellectual Property and Innovation Management, Professional Life-coaching, Non-Profit Management, Taxation) for the latter, making this programme highly flexible.
Duration: 18 months, part-time (up to 4 years)
Local students and PRs: S$28,248
International students: S$33,897.60
- An undergraduate degree (or an equivalent) from a recognised institution
- If degree was not obtained from an English-medium university or conducted in the English language, an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5, or a TOEFL score of 580 (paper-based) or 85 (internet-based), or a PTE Academic score of 58, or C1 Advanced score of 180 is required. It must be less than 2 years old.
- Shortlisted applicants may have to sit for written tests/interviews
- If you have social outreach or volunteering experience you may have an added advantage
Find out more here
Whether you find specialised or general programs more suitable, postgrad studies can give your career just the push it needs. And with part-time programs becoming more common, you don’t even need to worry about stopping work for a year or two to go back to school. Time to hit the books!
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