Bridging the talent gap to prepare a new generation of emerging leaders: Introducing the new AGSM Master of Management program

Friday, 21 September 2018  @Business School

Digital disruption is forcing business leaders to reconsider their organisation's structure, purpose and how they define their future talent needs.

And with the rapid pace of change, leaders have less time to invest in training new hires as they adapt to their first role. They need grads who understand the fundamentals of business and can hit the ground running.

"Employers are looking at their grads and seeing that, yes, they may have a particular skillset, but they're not well-prepared for the work environment," says Professor Nick Wailes, Director AGSM and Deputy Dean UNSW Business School.

Digitisation also means business leaders are seeking diverse skillsets and talent.

"When we're talking to organisations about their future talent needs, one thing comes through really clearly – they're increasingly looking for a broader set of skills, particularly those known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths)," says Wailes. "As their businesses change and become more digital, those skills will be much more valuable to them."

Leaders from AGSM @ UNSW Business School spoke with over 35 companies and found, despite many students graduating with STEAM qualifications, organisations are still struggling to find that talent.

There's a clear gap in the education offering – that will be filled in 2019 with AGSM's new Master of Management degree.

"The Master of Management degree is a post-graduate, pre-experience course to prime non-business graduates for entering the workforce," says Wailes.

What's distinctive about the program is the focus on students from a STEAM background giving them the tools they need to effectively integrate to a business career – and giving organisations the talent, they need to thrive in the future.

"We're focusing in on how we can help companies get better access to business-ready STEAM talent," says Wailes.

What does the Master of Management offer?

The part-time degree is made up of 12 courses with a flexible structure designed to support students as they enter the workforce. Students can speed up or slow down the course according to their career changes or commitments.

AGSM has designed the course into two blocks: business fundamentals, and core skills for emerging leaders.

Students will start with the Managing Yourself and Others course, where they will connect with their cohort, learn how to bring out the best in themselves and others, and embed important ways of thinking to prepare them for immediate success in their studies and long-term success in their careers.

In Financial Management students learn how organisations are financed and what the cost drivers are in businesses. "I think it's really important to be able to understand those things," says Wailes. The marketing course shows students how organisations create and communicate value. "No matter what you're doing, you've got to understand the value you're creating for others and how to position that."

In economics, students' will focus on macro, broader economic impacts to business, as well as microeconomics and the role that incentive plays in an organisation. And the strategy course will prepare students for disruption. "No matter what organisation you're in, it can't just carry on doing more of the same; every organisation is going to have to be able to adjust and think about how it disrupts itself," says Wailes.

 "One course I'm really excited about is Communication Value," says Wailes. This course focuses on developing students' communication skills and their ability to story-tell, create a narrative and convince other people.

"I think it's incredibly important in anyone's career to not just know what the answer to a question is, but to communicate that effectively to other people, give them context and create the narrative that helps them understand why your answer is the right answer," he explains.

Students will also study law, regulation and ethics, with a framework to help them understand ethics and the consequences of decisions. They'll learn core skills in digital technology and coding, and the degree will finish with a three-month internship where they can translate what they've learnt in the course, as well as the technical skills from their previous degree, into a workplace environment.

Three reasons to study the Master of Management, according to Professor Nick Wailes:

1.       Follow your passions

"A lot of students decide to do their first degree because they really love science, or maths, or the creative arts. What can happen at the end of those degrees is there's no clear pathway to a career.

So to them I say this is a fantastic way to get value out of the amazing skillset you've developed – this course makes it easier for organisations to understand how valuable you can be to them."

2.       Start building a great network

"It's a great opportunity to build your networks, get fantastic support from other students, and as you go through the early stages of your career you'll have a fantastic group to draw on and work with. It can't be underestimated how valuable that is."

3.       Find your career path

"This course helps you look at the way businesses work, what the new and emerging roles are, and what are all the exciting possibilities. You may choose to build your own business, you may choose to work for a not-for-profit organisation, you might go into a company – but it's a great opportunity to get a great scan of what the possibilities are."

To learn more about enrolling in the Master of Management course click here.

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