5 Hot New Masters Programs Tackling Today's Business Challenges – Forbes

“Look forward to the future and look forward to the unknown. Nothing stays the same and people … [+] change.” Angela Merkel, former Chancellor of Germany (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
What’s your biggest professional challenge in the year ahead? There are those that are deciding interest rates at the Central Bank, others are tackling new Covid viruses with the World Health Organisation, some are keeping companies safe from ransom hackers, and plenty are wondering how to deliver presents for the Holiday Season.
To be ready for the day when Jerome Powell, Anthony Fauci and even Santa Claus follow Angela Merkel’s decision to hang up her boots, business schools are doing a better job than the Logan family in Succession to prepare the next generation.
Here are five new Specialized Masters programs set to tackle these challenges in the coming years.
Health Management
If there is one topic that has been hot for the last year and a half, it’s health. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how important it is for the whole of society that public health systems are managed as effectively and efficiently as possible.
In fact, health management education has become such an important field to teach that a business school in London, UK, is dedicated to educate future leaders on how to effectively manage health systems. Programs taught by the UCL Global Business School for Health include a Masters in Global Healthcare Management.
Nora Colton, Director of the UCL Global Business School for Health
“Effective leadership and management in healthcare has never been more important”, says Nora Colton, Director of the UCL Global Business School for Health. “The healthcare sector is changing rapidly, and much of this change recently has been driven by Covid-19 which has spurred innovation and reflection, with processes becoming more digitized to streamline operations, drive costs down and create more access.”
The UCL Global Healthcare Management Masters aims to ensure those leading in the sector are courageous and innovative leaders, according to Colton, who says as “health and healthcare are consuming an ever-increasing amount of GDP worldwide, the workforce is not increasingly rapidly enough. We need to educate future leaders on key issues like the ability to assess value not just costs for healthcare patients, organisations and society, and substantial research and analytical skills which support an understanding of data driven and digitalised approaches to healthcare.”
Cybersecurity Management
Experts predict around 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025. With this surge in remote workers, and the reliance on technology, the importance of a company having an effective and successful cybersecurity network is more important than ever. Taking into account recent global cyberattacks and the fact that experts predict cybercrime to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, it is clear that future leaders must have robust and comprehensive cybersecurity knowledge.
“Cybersecurity risks have grown enormously in recent years and is now an issue at the top of the agenda for the majority of CEOs and Executives,” says Professor Paolo Maccarone, Director of the new International Master in Cybersecurity Management at MIP Politecnico di Milano in Italy.
Launched due to the “growing demand for talents that is not reflected in the market supply and the growing risks faced by companies in this area,” the first cohort has just joined the school.
Professor Paolo Maccarone, Director of the new International Master in Cybersecurity Management at … [+] MIP Politecnico di Milano in Italy
Maccarone says the program offers future business leaders a holistic, managerial viewpoint on cybersecurity issues, not just a technical one. It’s designed for those keen to forge a future managerial career focusing on cybersecurity and Maccarone sees this as an upcoming trend. “I think many other business schools will take this holistic approach to cybersecurity, and follow our Masters as an example,” he says.
Supply Chain Management
Whilst food and product shortages throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have reiterated the importance of effective logistical planning, there has never been more attention paid to global supply chains and how they are managed.
Emlyon business school in France recently launched a number of Masters programs that included a Masters in Supply Chain & Purchasing Management. Olivier Cateura, Director of MS & MSc Programmes at emlyon business school, says the programs focus on the changing needs of businesses in our continually evolving world, and help students to not only to manage production processes and integrate the latest digital and robotics technologies, but also develop their critical thinking to challenge current business models and behaviors, and embolden their creativity to realize innovative and collaborative solutions.”
Olivier Cateura, Director of MSc Programmes at emlyon business school
Supply chain management focused programs have become more common at business schools around the world, and Cateura believes that it is a trend we will continue to see. “We believe other like-minded schools striving for similar goals will likely develop programs to address the needs of our future like the increasing importance of supply chain management.”
One of the biggest changes in business over the last decade is the focus companies have adopted towards climate change and the environment. And, with sustainability being such a key focus for the future of business, it is only natural that increasing numbers of business schools have been launching specific Masters in this area, teaching future leaders how to tackle sustainability issues whilst also being profitable. ESSEC Business School in France recently launched a Masters in Sustainability Transformation with the aim of tackling social and environmental issues at the individual, organizational and societal levels.
Alexis de la Tour du Pin, Executive Director of the MSc in Sustainability Transformation at ESSEC, says “there is growing pressure from all kinds of stakeholders, such as consumers, the media, regulators, politicians or employees for companies and organizations to act more sustainably. Without deeply anchored sustainability skills, it will be almost impossible to face these difficult contexts and lead a much-needed transformation.”
Alexis de la Tour du Pin, Executive Director of the MSc in Sustainability Transformation at ESSEC
He believes that “existing programmes will shift their content to sustainability, to the point where rebranding will become the new norm. We’ll see more and more finance or marketing programs becoming Sustainable Finance Masters or Responsible Marketing Masters, the same way so many of these programs went ‘digital’ in the 2010s.”
Changing world
Today’s business world is characterised by uncertainty. Businesses have to be adaptable, flexible and forward thinking if they want to succeed long-term, and managers have to understand what’s changing in the world and how to keep up with developments.
A changing world is the key focus of a new business school program launched by Aalto University School of Business in Finland. The school’s Masters in Strategic Management in a Changing World explores core management skills as well as global megatrends, such as sustainability, to educate future leaders to strive for better business and society.
Dr. Pekka Pälli, Programme Director for the Masters program at Aalto University School of Business, says “the program was launched after a number of interviews with partner companies and other stakeholders. One CEO of a listed company said ‘The closer to the top management you get, the less your knowledge and your technical skills matter. It’s the interpersonal and communicational skills, combined with learning skills; that is, your willingness and curiosity to learn that matter most’.”
Aalto University School of Business
Pälli says “when looking at the popular and growing themes in business schools’ teaching all over the world, it feels safe to say that, most probably, programs with similar overall ideas will be launched in the near future”.
You can find out more about the world’s best Specialized Masters at the next CentreCourt Masters Festival with my fellow Forbes contributor John A. Byrne.


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