by Mark Bennett
, posted on 5 Nov '20

Innovation, Engagement and Leadership – The Benefits of a Postgraduate Business Degree in 2021

There’s good evidence that a postgraduate qualification in Business and Management can help you stand out in a global jobs market, enhance your employability and improve your earnings.*

But will a Masters in Business and Management have the same value in an increasingly turbulent future? There’s no reason not to think so.

The challenges being faced by businesses and their leaders are obvious enough right now. Tomorrow’s professionals will need to be able to adapt to changing marketplaces and to understand the needs of different businesses, together with the customers and societies they serve.

Put simply, that means being innovative, adaptive and highly engaged with industry. All of which are precisely the sort of skills developed through postgraduate study at a top business school.

To understand why, it’s worth taking a closer look at what these programmes offer, what makes them unique and how you can benefit in 2021 (and beyond).

Up-to-the-minute training

Business Masters degrees are as innovative and pioneering as the leaders they seek to train. They have to be, in order to produce graduates that can tackle the issues business and industry will face in the future, not just those they’ve faced in the past.

A great example of this is an important issue like climate change, already the focus of a dedicated MSc in Climate Change Finance and Investment at University of Edinburgh Business School (a leading UK institution with triple-accreditation). Graduates from this programme are already working in 10 different countries, for organisations including S&P Global and the United Nations Development Programme.

Whatever 2021 does or doesn’t throw your way, a postgraduate Business degree will already be able to prepare you for it.

Industry engagement

The academic component of your programme will provide you with in-depth subject knowledge including expertise in current management theory and best practice for a range of business scenarios. But that’s only part of a postgraduate Business Masters.

The syllabus for your programme will be informed by industry experts and you’ll have the opportunity to engage directly with them through guest lecture sessions, alumni networking, group consultancy projects and sponsored dissertations.

This means that the training you receive will be informed by – and sometimes even delivered by – the kinds of leaders and organisations you may ultimately go on to work with and for.

Personal and career development

Perhaps more so than any other subject area, postgraduate study in Business and Management is about your own development. The value of this kind of education isn’t simply in what you’ll have learned before you graduate; it’s also in the kind of graduate you’ll become.

Good business schools will design their programmes to develop this. Again, taking University of Edinburgh Business School as an example, their Masters offer an integrated Edinburgh Award for Professional Development: using individual coaching, peer support and masterclass training to develop students’ awareness of their strengths and the impact they can make, as well as vital soft skills for the world of work.

A range of options

Chances are, you think ‘business school’ and a certain type of qualification springs to mind. It’s prestigious, it’s competitive and it looks great on just about any CV. It begins with ‘M’, ends with ‘A’ and, in the middle, there’s a ‘B’.

But MBA study isn’t for everyone – at least, not right away. For one thing, you’ll usually need a fair bit of professional experience, which means this is one postgraduate Masters that isn’t always ideal for someone who’s just finished their undergraduate degree.

This is one of the reasons why business schools also offer a wide range of MSc (Master of Science) degrees in Business, Management and related topics.

These tend to be slightly shorter courses, typically one year full-time, though flexible study options are also available. They’re suitable for people building on an undergraduate business degree or returning to university to pick up specialist skills.

And specialism is key here. You can take an MSc focussing on Marketing, Human Resource Management, Accounting and Finance, Business Analytics or a range of other areas.

What students say

One of the biggest benefits of a postgraduate Business programme is the opportunity to study alongside other highly motivated students from a diverse range of backgrounds.

There are over 600 students from over 80 different nationalities enrolled on Masters programmes at University of Edinburgh Business School. Here’s what some recent alumni have to say about their experience studying for a postgraduate Business degree:


"My Edinburgh Award coach was the highlight of my year. She gave me the tools to nurture and really lean into my strengths and use those strengths to support the places where I felt less confident or had less experience. In that way I was able to approach personal professional development from a place of empowerment, strength and compassion. My coaching experience led me to what feels like endless opportunities."

  • Mally Smith, alumna 2019 MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

"Although studying at The University of Edinburgh was in itself an honor for me, participating in the Edinburgh award made my experience even more worthwhile. The program significantly advanced my professional skills and knowledge through 1-2-1 coaching sessions, seminars and practicals. As a result I have acquired valuable skills that will not only be useful in the advancement of my career, but also the success of the organisations that I work for, therefore giving me a competitive edge in the job market."

  • Veronica Winja Otieno (MSc IBEM 2019/20)

Find out more

Browse the range of Masters degree opportunities at University of Edinburgh Business School can do for your career.


*Data based on a report from the IFS, which finds that Masters in Business, Economics and Law can improve earnings by more than 10%.