You are eager to advance your career and love the idea of pursuing a graduate-level education — but what if you’re not quite sure which direction to take? If you have a general interest in advancing into management, you may have considered an MBA or other management master’s programs. An especially compelling option? The Master of Science in Management, which could help you make rapid progress in your career.
In this guide, we answer a few common questions about this unique graduate-level degree: What can you do with a master’s in management, and, more generally speaking, is a master’s in management worth it?
Is a Master of Science in Management Worth It?
For many ambitious professionals, the answer to this question is simple, “Yes.” There’s no denying the personal and professional advantages of pursuing a graduate education — and the MS in Management offers the flexibility and skill development to make business management a more realistic academic opportunity and career path.
While this degree is not ideal in every situation, there is a wide range of scenarios in which it can prove valuable. For example, you may be eager to acquire general management and communication skills to facilitate a step up in HR management. This is also a worthwhile program if you have a technical background but need to round out your broader skill set.
Key Skills and Knowledge Acquired in a Management Master’s
The MSM program largely revolves around soft skills and leadership development, which many employers cite as central to hiring decisions. Equipped with these skills and a broad understanding of organizational behavior, you could better understand how to connect with team members or clients and align overarching organizational objectives with personalized goal setting and development. Essentials emphasized throughout an MS in Management include:
Strategic Leadership and Decision-Making
Decision-making might seem like a simple skill, but from a leadership perspective, it’s more complicated. It involves understanding and assessing the facts of any given scenario, drawing on a wealth of information to drive the best possible choices based on those unique circumstances.
The mechanisms of managerial decision-making are a distinct area of focus within the MS in Management curriculum. This coursework provides ample opportunities to apply decision-making models and frameworks through case studies — and to reflect on these through fascinating class discussions.
Many MSM students aspire to work in employee relations where their newly developed leadership skills can be used to
8 Ways an MSM Degree Boosts Your Career Prospects
Once you’ve acquired the skills and foundational knowledge outlined above, you could be ready to use your MSM to elevate your career. Prepare to take advantage of exciting career-boosting opportunities gained through your graduate program:
1. Industry-Relevant Skills
Top employers appreciate graduate credentials, of course, but they often express far more interest in specific competencies. Thankfully, MSM programs provide both: an esteemed degree and the far-reaching skill set developed along the way.
Through elective courses, you can also hone skills specific to your preferred industry. For instance, aspiring HR leaders gravitate toward this degree due to its emphasis on employee relations and equal employment opportunity. Meanwhile, aspiring project managers benefit from taking a course strictly dedicated to this pursuit.
2. Evidence of Leadership Potential
There’s no denying that MSM degree programs are rigorous. Yet the long hours of studying pay off in the long run because students who thrive in these programs are better equipped to handle the challenges of moving into management roles. Employers recognize this and are more willing to hire job candidates who have clearly thrived in leadership-oriented degree programs such as the MSM.
3. Problem-Solving Abilities
At this point, you may be wondering: What can you do with a business management degree? Job opportunities abound across all sectors, ranging from HR to IT project management and beyond. However, what unites these leadership roles is a need for strategic problem-solving. This is a central theme throughout the MSM program, where case studies and other experiences give you plenty of chances to practice problem-solving as it relates to various real-world management concerns.
4. Credibility and Commitment
There is no easy way out when you pursue your management master’s. It takes considerable commitment to enter these programs in the first place — and once enrolled, you can expect to dedicate a lot of time and effort to coursework, perhaps while also continuing to excel as a professional. Your degree, then, provides the ultimate sign that you can handle hard work and busy schedules.
5. Enhanced Communication Skills
Across numerous sectors, communication is consistently referenced as the skill employers value most. This is especially crucial in leadership roles, as communication allows for stronger connections with team members. Competent communication also makes it easier to convey inspirational messaging in developing a more cohesive and purposeful company culture.
6. Teamwork and Collaboration
MS in Management students hone their teamwork skills through class discussions, case studies, and projects, which allow them to put newly gained knowledge about organizational behavior into action. Along the way, an MSM provides helpful insight into what makes for a productive and positive team — including the transformative roles of HR and performance management every step of the way.
7. Ethical Decision-Making
Today’s leaders face a myriad of ethical concerns that weigh heavily into the already complex problem-solving process. Business ethics urges leaders to apply moral reasoning to a variety of organizational affairs. From sustainability to diversity and inclusion, these matters can heavily influence company culture and employee performance. The MS in Management prepares tomorrow’s leaders by thoroughly examining the ethical context of core strategies and initiatives.
8. Strong Network
Graduate programs provide exceptional networking opportunities. Where else would you find such a passionate group of like-minded students and professionals? In addition to interacting regularly with inspiring professors, you have the opportunity to form close connections with fellow students. They can form the basis of your professional network and be an amazing source of support, motivation, and guidance as you take the next step in your career.
Tips for Leveraging an MSM on Your Resume and in Interviews
Once you’ve earned your MSM, it’s time to make the most of this powerful degree to score your dream job. Keep in mind that, while a graduate-level education would help get your foot in the door, you’ll still need to put in the effort to demonstrate what sets you apart from numerous other job candidates with their master’s degrees.
Highlight Real-World Projects and Case Studies
Employers want to know that you not only understand leadership principles but also that you can apply them in real-world situations. If your work experience is limited, however, your resume can benefit from other examples of your skill set in action. This may be easiest to highlight via case studies, which reveal specific instances in which you have needed to apply complex concepts or skills in real-world situations.
Mention Leadership and Teamwork Skills
We’ve touched on the importance of teamwork and collaboration in management, yet many resumes focus exclusively on individual pursuits. This is a major oversight; your resume should reveal specific situations in which you’ve acted as a valued leader or team member. This is an ideal area to draw on your work experience, but teamwork can also be highlighted in other capacities, such as leadership roles in extracurricular activities, volunteering, or fundraising.
Showcase Relevant Courses
Though all coursework in an MS in Management program could expand your leadership capabilities, some classes will be especially relevant to your industry or niche. These should be prominently displayed to reveal that, even if you don’t have a great deal of experience in your field of choice, you have made the effort to develop a relevant skill set.
Discuss Key Takeaways From Your Program
Employers want to know that the value of your graduate education extends beyond the space your degree occupies on your resume. While mentions of coursework and case studies help, it is also a good idea to sum up your experience by revealing a few of the most important takeaways from your time as a graduate student.
Use Quantifiable Achievements
When possible, demonstrate your results-oriented approach with quantifiable achievements that are easy for would-be employers to understand. If you previously worked in marketing, for example, your efforts may have led to a significant increase in client acquisition. If you have a background in HR, key performance indicators relating to time-to-hire or retention could prove especially attractive from the employer’s perspective.
The Online Advantage: Flexibility and Adaptability With UTC’s Online Master’s in Management
As you plan the next steps in your career, think carefully about securing graduate-level credentials. By pursuing your degree online, you could continue making your mark in the workforce while also seamlessly handling other obligations and, of course, excelling as a student. UTC’s online Master of Science in Management gives you the flexibility to handle it all on your terms. Get in touch today to learn more.