We’re all familiar with the benefits of an MBA. However, there’s a new qualification to hit the management market that CEOs need to get to grips with: the Masters in Management (MiM).

Although the MiM is a relatively new qualification, it has already gained momentum worldwide and is now becoming more popular in the UK. Unlike the MBA, there are different variants of the MiM available, depending on what the student wants to achieve and which industry they wish to enter after they graduate. What every MiM qualification shares, however, is one common goal: to prepare entrants for a career in management before they hit the management track. It’s for that reason that many refer to the qualification as a “pre-
experience” masters degree in business.

Some of the UK’s top business schools are already experiencing a boom in applications for their MiM qualifications. According to a recent article in the Financial Times, applications to the London Business School MiM have increased by 22% this year, despite the price tag for the one-year programme of £24,000 ($39,000).
Other schools offering MiM qualifications include the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE). It offers students a choice of two different one-year degrees, aimed at those with prior knowledge in economics or business, and a two-year degree for those with unrelated degrees. 
To understand whether the MiM is at all useful, it is helpful to understand its content, and particularly to understand how this differs from a typical MBA content. MiMs tend to teach functional and technical skills, whereas MBA programmes assume that their students already have these at hand. MiM programmes often incorporate some degree of international study – something that helps to give students the edge in today’s globalised marketplace.
The London Business School’s MiM covers modules such as financial tools, accounting, economics, markets and marketing, strategy and business and society. These are absolutely fundamental topics which managers should have a thorough understanding and working knowledge of. For those students whose first degree was unrelated to business, this kind of course could be a very useful bridge for the gap between pure academic studies and the demands of the workplace.

For those students who already hold a related degree, the MiM could still be useful. The extra qualification helps them to stand out from the crowd, and employers who view this qualification on a candidate’s CV will know that they take their career sufficiently seriously in order to invest such time and money into it.

Of course, there is no substitute for the practical, real-life experience that a manager can gain in the workplace. One criticism of the MiM is that it is too theoretical, rather than practical. However, which candidate would you rather employ onto your graduate training scheme: one who had spent a year learning management theory, or one fresh from their BA course but with absolutely no idea about business?

Employees entering the workplace with an MiM will still need training, guidance and development as they begin their careers, but they will surely be better equipped to hit the ground running than their counterparts who have not studied business to this level.

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