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Masters In Management: A Fast-Track To Finance And Consultancy Careers

HEC Paris' Julien Manteau says degree is gaining global appeal

By  Seb Murray

Sat Oct 31 2015

The master in management has gone global. But France has always had a strong tradition of excellence in the degree. And nowhere more so than HEC Paris, which received a staggering 10,000 applications for its MiM, up by 14% last year.

MiMs are accelerating the career progression of liberal arts or technical degree subjects’ graduates. At HEC Paris, 40% go into the consultancy sector; around 25% flock to financial services.

Among the star-studded alumni are Jean-Paul Agon, chief executive of French cosmetics group L'Oréal; François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, the luxury conglomerate that owns Gucci; and industrial champion Lafarge’s chief, Bruno Lafont.

Julien Manteau, director of development at HEC Paris, predicts further global take-up of the MiM in the years to come.

Is there now a growing global recognition and acceptance of MiM degrees?

This trend can be observed in the number of GMAT takers worldwide: the biggest growth is in master in management GMAT takers.

The US business schools like Kellogg or Duke or Michigan Ross have launched a master in management. It’s really going global: we can see this in Asia with National University Singapore, or Tsinghua in China.

Major business players and universities are really launching such products everywhere, even in Brazil. It’s clearly a major trend.

Why is this popularity growing?

It’s a response to the needs of today’s young graduates. I think that they feel that to boost their employability it’s useful for them to complement their first degree, whether it be in engineering or liberal arts, with a management degree. And it will help them have faster career progression.

How have applications to your MiM degree faired over the past three years?

There has been a strong increase in terms of applications. Last year we had more than 14% progression compared with the year before.

We can see the market developing. It’s especially true with international applicants: every year we have more.

In France there is a tradition of the master in management. If you look at the FT [MiM] rankings a few years ago, there was almost no other business school outside France who proposed such a program. Now it’s gone global, so we have major players from the UK, India, and all over the world. But France has always had this tradition.

What impact are MiM degrees having on other programs in your portfolio? Is it detrimental to your MBA?

For last three years we have had the opposite. The number of MBA applicants have increased, as well as the quality of the pool of applicants.

Our market is a brand market. There are some incredibly strong brands in education and this is why when one segment is growing its beneficial to the whole portfolio of programs because it enriches the brand.

Which sectors are employing your MiM graduates?

There are two major sectors: consulting firms hire around 40% of our graduates, and then the financial sector, around 20-25%. All in all these two sectors account for around 60% of our graduates and then it’s very well distributed among all [the other] sectors.

Is competition for jobs among MiM graduates intense, as they are competing with both undergraduate and postgraduate talent?

I don’t think so. We can beat the competition with undergraduates very easily because they [MiM graduates] are more prepared for the professional world. Our students have a lot of experience that they acquire during the program.

And they don’t compete with MBA students.