International Diploma = International Career?

A Master’s degree in English provides the mind-set to operate at an international level

A Master’s obtained in English is the first step to an international career. English has arisen as the “universal interpreter”. Graduates hired by multinationals are being introduced to the internal rules explained mainly in English. It’s a well-known fact that a degree obtained in English is a prerequisite for people looking for a more fulfilling international career. Going even further, it can be argued that English-language professional terminology in fields such as finance, trade and business is a fundamental part of building a meaningful ability to communicate, and thus succeed, in a global world.

The demand for Master’s graduates has increased steadily over the years. A Master’s education gives more than just a degree; it provides a great opportunity to build critical thinking and thrive in an international environment, often surrounded by colleagues of different nationalities.

In an interview for Forbes Magazine, Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications and strategy consultant for companies such as Google and Yahoo, admits that the ability to speak any second (or third) language is clearly important for becoming a global leader. However, she regards effective communication in English as an absolute prerequisite to excel in a multinational company.

Stacie Heaps, a professional business writer based in Utah, USA, argues that in today’s business world “making a good impression and projecting yourself as mature, intelligent, confident and professional is critical to long-term success”. She goes on to say that inappropriate language can have a negative effect on professional and personal credibility. She is of course talking about English. Studying a Master’s degree with content and lectures presented in English makes graduates much more confident in their communication. It allows them to make that “good impression” that Heaps is so passionately talking about. That is exactly the turning point which most prospective Master’s students are looking for: a chance to excel in a world obsessed with international business.

Cross–cultural management

To add to the picture, it is sensible to ponder over the influence of cross-cultural management and how this defines the best start to every graduate’s international career. Harvard Business Review stresses the idea of English as a universal communication tool in a strong publication titled: “Global Business Speaks English”. English has become the common corporate language for multinationals such as Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor, etc. as a result of a concerted effort to facilitate communication and performance across geographically diverse functions and business endeavours.

For instance, CEO Hiroshi Mikitani from Japan’s largest online marketplace, Rakuten, made English the official language in the company overnight and considers this a vital step to achieving his mission - the company’s goal is to become the number one Internet Services company in the world.

Salary Growth and Employability

The value of regular higher education cannot be measured in quantitative terms, rather in qualitative effects such as change in mind-set, strong peer bonds and professional network. However, one way to measure the positive effects is to explore salary trends for Business Master’s graduates.

The Master’s in Business is a smart move for all undergraduates, especially if they are at the beginning of their career and want to establish themselves as successful professionals in the business world. Median base salary for specialised Business Master’s recipients in 2014 ranges from USD 63,000 (Master of Accounting) to USD 73,000 (Master of Finance), markedly higher than the median base Bachelor-level salaries. More than half of employers, ranging from 54% to 74%, plan to increase starting annual base salaries in 2015 for Business Master’s hires according to GMAC. The data is more than compelling that a Master’s is a reasonably justified investment for people wanting to expand their salary and competence portfolios.

According to the latest Corporate Recruiters Survey carried out by GMAC, 50% of the employers surveyed in 2014 planned to hire graduates from Master in Management programmes (up from 18% in 2009 and 45% in 2013).

The survey further reports that more employers sought Master of Accounting graduates and Master of Finance graduates in 2014 – up respectively by 45% and 44% compared to 2013.

The annual Year-End Poll of Employers, also conducted by GMAC at the end of 2014, builds further on this data. The survey claims that 96% of employers worldwide concur that graduate business school hires create value for their companies.

In 2015, 86% of employers plan to maintain or increase the number of candidates they hire from Management-related Master’s, including 34% of employers who did not hire this candidate type in 2014. Candidates from other specialised Business Master’s programmes in 2015 will also be on the hiring list, as all employers with plans to hire this candidate type are likely to hire again at the same or increased levels. This also includes 41% of employers who did not hire this candidate type in 2014.

To sum up, a Master’s obtained in English gives three very distinct, and yet quite significant, advantages: the ability to communicate and utilise professional terminology in English; the ability to adapt to and lead in an international environment, and most importantly, the prerequisites for a well-paid career.

This article has been produced by Advent Group and featured in the 2015-2016 Access Masters Guide



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