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Executive Masters in Focus

IEDP Developing Leaders is increasing its coverage of world-class EMBAs and post-experience Masters


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As the world of work continues to become more fluid, and job tenure ever shorter, the need to acquire new skills and insights is increasingly important. Alvin Tofler, the US futurist and philosopher, is often quoted saying that “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

As we move towards the practice of lifelong learning as a standard approach, and away from the front-loading of higher education in only our late teens and early twenties, executive and post-experience Masters are increasingly becoming part of executive’s armoury in making them stand out from the crowd in the war for talent.

These Masters range from long-standing broad generalist degrees such as MBAs, to an ever-widening array of more focused and specialist topics such as on leadership, coaching, international business and the many other specialisations.

See our growing list from the top global business schools set out below.

Executive and post-experience Masters are demanding, but in many ways more rewarding than degrees taken earlier in people’s careers. The choice of topic is going to be much more closely aligned with the participant’s needs and passion and the discussions and dialogue amongst participants will be more informed and experience-led than undergraduate or pre-experience Masters can provide.

Executives choose to invest in Masters degrees for a variety of reasons: to move from a specialist to a general management role; to transition up to senior leadership; to access latest thinking and formalise their previous knowledge; or to set up their own businesses.

We highlight the personal experiences of several executives who have enrolled and completed degrees below.

An increasing number of organizations are actively encouraging and supporting employees to engage in their own development through enrolling in Masters degrees. This can mean providing time-off and space to attend classes and do coursework within office hours, to part-funding attendance. It is worth exploring what your employer might be willing to do to support you with a proactive personal development initiative like this.

CLICK HERE for EMBAs and Masters degrees currently profiled on IEDP Developing Leaders

Read these profiles of current and past participants in Masters degrees:

Taking a Broader Leadership Role: The leadership journey of emlyon EMBA participant Matthew Cobham

A Marathon of Learning: IMD alumni Manish Kapoor describes how his EMBA experience opened up new worlds

An Empowering Epiphany: A conversation with HEC Paris Executive MBA alumnus, Anne Bougel, CEO of Labelium Canada

Combining Finance with Non-Profit: Columbia EMBA Eddwina Bright is combing her finance and non-profit experience to make an impact on the world and on next generation leaders

Leaving the Comfort Zone: A profile of London Business School EMBA Alumnus - Nicola Serafin

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