Dubbed ‘Generation Jobless’ by The Wall Street Journal, college graduates ages 24 and younger face an uncertain future and a competitive work landscape. An alarming 60 percent of college graduates in the United States cannot find a full-time job in their chosen profession. The main question job seekers must ask themselves is, “Do I have the skill set to land and meet the challenges of my desired position?”
Holding an undergraduate degree is not always a sure-fire way to beat out the competition or quickly rise through the ranks at a company. If your undergraduate degree did not provide an applicable skill set for the job you are seeking, then you may need to think about a business graduate degree. An article posted on the Jobacle ‘Career News’ section discusses the rise of graduate degrees stating, “Professionals who only possess a bachelor's degree are falling behind the curve.”
Gaining an Edge in Today’s Bleak Job Market
A new trend is emerging among universities in the United States to combat the problems of ‘Generation Jobless.’ Master in Management (MiM) degrees are specialized, accelerated master's programs that cost less than an MBA, allow students to break through the increasingly crowded job market and join the work force faster. These degrees are specifically designed for undergraduates from non-business backgrounds and young entrepreneurs. Already popular in Europe, a recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reports a 69-percent increase in applications for these programs.
The latest school to launch a MiM degree is Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business (www.wpcarey.asu.edu), one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. Its MiM program, beginning in fall 2012, is a nine-month master’s-degree program designed to equip recent college grads (those who have graduated in the past 24 months) with a basic business foundation, while allowing them to acquire real-world skills that can immediately translate in a professional work environment. Geared toward undergraduate students from liberal arts, science, engineering or other backgrounds, the well-rounded program delivers a core business curriculum, including strategy, accounting, economics, business communications, project management and leadership.
Why MiM degrees help young entrepreneurs
A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation found that 54 percent of the nation’s recent college undergraduates either want to start a business or have already started one. However, many entrepreneurs do not major in business. In fact, only 22 percent of undergraduates major in the field.
This explains why many young entrepreneurs are enrolling in MiM programs. Imagine you are a dance major and dream of opening your own studio. You may choose the MiM degree to learn how to form a marketing plan, balance your budget and manage staff. These skills are crucial for an entrepreneur who must wear many hats while launching a business.
MiM or MBA?
As MiM degrees rise in popularity, many students and young professionals question whether a MiM is a good alternative to an MBA degree. The most important distinction between the two is the type of student eligible to enroll. If you've been in the work force for a handful of years and want to pursue an eventual C-level position, then an MBA degree may be right for you. However, if you’re a college senior or graduated within the past two years and have little to no business experience, a MiM is a better fit. Time and cost also factor into the decision. The W. P. Carey School’s MiM degree takes nine months versus a typical two-year MBA program. Also, tuition for a MiM degree costs approximately half that of an MBA degree.
Guest bio: Amy Hillman serves as executive dean at Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business. A nationally renowned professor of management, Hillman helped develop and launch the school’s new Master in Management (MiM) program, with the first classes beginning in fall 2012. She has a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.