Angela Lawrence, Associate dean, staffordshire business school
For March 2020, Postgrad.com asked Angela Lawrence to be their ‘expert of the month’. Here she explains what the benefits are of studying a business-related masters program…
A business-related masters program is intended to develop a student’s thinking, skills and professionalism to an advanced and specialist level. Bachelor business degrees focus on giving students a broad range of knowledge around business operations, so that they understand the interactions between finance and marketing, operations and HR, and the important leadership and management skills required of a manager within a business environment. To support a more in-depth understanding of the complexities of the modern business environment, masters-level business degrees help students to develop strategic thinking skills that will drive a business forward in tune with fast emerging trends.
So, for me, postgraduate business study is about three things
1. Developing strategic leadership skills by learning how to bring together all elements of business performance, to drive an organisation forward to achieve positive outcomes. A good postgraduate business degree should challenge a student’s thinking and push them out of their comfort zone. It should demand research-based decision-making and equip them with the skills and confidence to drive those decisions through an organisation, harnessing the support of the management team along the way.
2. Gaining transferable skills at a high level. Postgraduate business programs teach transferable skills that are relevant for senior management positions whatever the industry sector. So, whilst there are a variety of masters-level subject-related degrees available, these could actually restrict employment outcomes to specific subject sectors. Studying for an MBA or similar postgraduate business qualification gives a graduate access to a multitude of senior positions that require a strategic thinker who can demonstrate a sound understanding of business environments. This experience is usually gained via project work that is built into the award program. Project modules provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate the full suite of management and leadership competencies that are derived from the program of study.
3. Proving yourself. Studying for a business-related masters program says something about an individual to me. It tells me that they have stamina and resilience in the business world, that they understand how to handle complex business challenges, that they have the confidence to make decisions that could change the direction of a business and that they are not afraid of that change. It tells me that they are a consummate professional and that they recognise the importance of evidence-based decision-making and the requirement to have their finger on the pulse of emerging business opportunities, which can only happen if an enquiring, inquisitive and entrepreneurial mindset is fostered.
In a post-Brexit business environment, more than ever before, businesses will need leaders who possess these attributes in order to survive and thrive.
Develop and master core competencies in support of your management and leadership ambitions. The Staffordshire University MBA is designed to accelerate your professional and personal development and to contribute to the journey of being the best you can be.