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EXCLUSIVE: Cornell Is Launching A 12-Month Masters In Management Degree

Plans highlight the growing global popularity of the 12-month degree

Sun Dec 18 2016

Cornell University’s College of Business will launch a 12-month Masters in Management degree in 2017.

The plans, due to be announced next year, highlight the growing global popularity of the MiM, a largely European phenomenon.

“In the US demand is picking up,” said Roland Siegers, executive director of CEMS, a global alliance comprising 30 of the world’s most prestigious business schools that offer MiMs.

Big brand US business schools have in recent years rolled out their first MiM degrees, including Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management.

Cornell’s MiM will be branded Masters in Professional Studies, and will be "approximately one year" in length, according to Mark Nelson, dean of the Johnson Graduate School of Management, which is part of the College of Business.

"We are currently designing that program and deciding whether it will be generalized or offer additional specialized tracks," he said.

The first intake will enrol in Fall 2018. The price of tuition is not yet clear.

Unlike MBAs, MiMs are targeted at those at the beginning of their career. The average age of MiM students is 22, according to a survey by the FT. About 60% have not yet worked and a further 30% have less than two years’ experience.

Cornell’s program launch comes as applications to MBA programs, US schools’ flagship management degrees, show signs of waning demand.

Young managers are increasingly questioning the time and monetary commitment of a traditional two-year campus MBA, which can cost well over $100,000 per year.

“The millennials are saying they don’t want to spend money on an MBA,” added CEMS’ Roland.

When many millennials find it hard to land jobs or end up settling for low-skilled posts, MiM degrees have strong employment rates thanks to their connections with corporations and strong alumni networks.

However uptake in the US has been slow. Only a handful of top US schools offer MiMs. And only one MiM program offered by a US business school — Arizona’s WP Carey School of Business — is ranked in the Financial Times’ top 90 — a key benchmark for students.

One challenge is that recruiters have not always recognized the value of the MiM, which does not carry the same brand appeal as an MBA.

“There has been a need to educate employers about how the program is different from both an undergraduate degree and also an MBA,” said Russ Morgan, associate dean for the Duke Master of Management Studies.

“There has also been a need to get a mass of graduates into the market to demonstrate to employers the quality of graduates with these degrees.”

However as more students move towards specialized masters degrees MiM uptake is expected to continue to rise globally.

At Michigan Ross, applications leapt 25% last year, according to Amy Dittmar, senior associate dean for graduate programs.

“Although the MiM isn’t historically as popular or common in the US, we’ve seen increasing demand from pre-experience students,” she said.

“A large number of students come out of undergrad and are looking for some additional business acumen to add onto their degrees.

“They are looking for the ability to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.”