Should I Pursue My Business Master’s Degree at a Different University?
Provided by Annelies Van Herck, SIM-HSG Manager and Deputy Director, and Nathalie Naveda, SIM-HSG Manager for Recruiting, Admissions and Marketing at University of St. Gallen.
In today’s world, where opportunities to keep investing in your personal and professional development seem to extend far beyond regional boundaries, and where words, such as “dynamism,” “disruption,” “change” and “innovation” are far too many times employed as synonyms of progress and advancement, we may all feel tempted to answer this question with—well, why not?
Indeed, why not? Let’s start by a quick reality check—not changing university for your business Master’s degree comes with its fair share of advantages.
First, we could mention the long-established positive correlation between stability and growth. Change, like all investments, does imply some risks. Depending on how big of a change you envision, a shift to a new university will require time, effort and, potentially even, quite a bit of money. Extra costs can arise from your university application and your move. Finding your way in a new city or country can also be very time-intensive. Additionally, your eligibility to a certain programme and the crediting of courses might prove to be more difficult than anticipated.
Why, then, could it be beneficial to choose a different university to pursue a Business Master’s degree?
Business Master’s degrees vary by topic, type, duration, and much more. Changing from a bachelor’s to master’s degree means carefully considering your preferences in many of those aspects.
- Experiencing a different teaching philosophy and methodology: Do you feel the need to complement your research-oriented educational background at your current institution with a hands-on approach and market insights? Or vice versa? Whether you are planning to pursue a doctorate degree, or immerse yourself directly into practice after your studies, the educational approach of your future alma-mater may be one of the most crucial aspects to consider when deciding whether to make a change or not.
- Changing subject and/ or pursuing a specialization: Is the subject you are passionate about not taught in your undergraduate university? Do you aspire to join the ranks of an institution recognized as the world leader in a certain topic? Do you have plans to specialize in a certain field, not available at your current university? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then change may be inevitable.
- Gaining access to an exceptional faculty: Renowned professors and practitioners, exclusive access to experts in certain fields and intellectual networking opportunities may also be great reasons to consider a different institution.
- Learning from a challenging curriculum: Some master’s programs allow more flexibility to create your own study path, and hence, facilitate a more personalized curriculum.
- Enlarging your personal network: Whether staying in your hometown or moving to the other side of the world, at a different university, you will meet new people and be welcomed into a new community. There is brings great chances that to form new friendships.
- Experiencing a different university culture: Student life varies largely from institution to institution. At a new place, you may discover there are different ways to do familiar things through exposure to new perspectives and challenges.
- Strengthening your professional network: Through established partnerships, alumni network and career services, a new institution may offer you access to exclusive professional opportunities at the master’s level that would complement the offerings from your undergraduate degree.
- Exploring a new environment: Changing university means changing the environment, the landscape, and the facilities around you. Immersing yourself in a new culture, realizing how you react and adapt to unfamiliar situations and places, and it may be a great opportunity to train and acquire the soft-skills needed by a business graduate.
Changing university only makes sense if it serves your needs for personal and/or professional development. Do not change because you have been told to, or because you see others taking this step.
Remember that making the decision to change should be the result of a process.
In the end, it is all about figuring out what matters to YOU the most.