6 Reasons to Do a Master’s Degree Programme

I am going to tell you a story about a friend of mine and yes, I know “a friend” sounds made up, but this friend is real and what happened to him could happen to anyone of us in the corporate world.  

To make matters simple, let’s call this friend of mine Jojo (yes, this time a made-up name). A while back Jojo found himself out of a job due to no fault of his. The reasons given: downsizing, centralising, the usual corporate jibber jabber, and this from a company in which he had spent the last two years of his life setting up and developing an entire function for the organisation. 

He was reporting directly to the Managing Director and Country-Head, a position he achieved by hard work and determination and with professional experience going back two decades – working for some of the biggest multi-national companies in the world. He was not worried: with his experience, getting a job would be EASY. 

Safely crossing the gap from one job to the next is not always straightforward…

But as the days turned into weeks and then into months and he was still unable to find a job, the gloom around him was palpable.  

Jojo’s story 

Jojo started his career immediately after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a top local university and as his career progressed at a faster-than-average pace, he never found the need and time to go back to school and enhance his academic profile too.  

Over time as life evolved, so grew his professional and personal commitments, demanding a greater share of his time and effort. He concluded that putting in time, effort and money into his education did not merit the return on investment.  

Fast forward to Jojo’s job search – he found that the lack of a master’s degree was having a profound impact on his ability to get hired. 

To be clear, I am not saying that you need a master’s degree to succeed in life. In fact, most people don’t have a master’s degree and are very successful in their profession. What I am saying is that a master’s degree can have a positive impact in your professional career (because, learning is good :D).

Added benefit of a Master’s – graduation is fun! Notice how these RKC graduates from 2018 have big smiles on their faces, despite the freezing cold of November in York.

Here are 6 reasons you should consider doing a master’s degree. 

  1. It shows you are hard working and committed: A Master’s degree implies that you have taken the extra step of getting a higher qualification, gaining extra skills and specialisations. Having worked on projects and submitted assignments and dissertations in a timely manner, it shows you to be more disciplined, structured and task oriented. 
  2. It levels the playing field: In today’s competitive job market, most of the candidates applying for any above entry level position will already have at least one master’s degree, if not more specialised qualifications and just a bachelor’s degree or lower educational qualification would just not cut it. Depending on the nature of the job and the position you are aspiring to, a master’s degree might be the minimum requirement to even apply. 
  3. It can help with switching careers: There may come a time in your career when you pull your hair and cry out – “I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”. I understand, I have been there a couple of times. For whatever reason, if you feel it is time for a change in career to a field that requires specific knowledge that you do not have or to a career in a regulated industry that requires you to have certain education qualifications, a master’s degree might give you a leg up in your new career. 
  4. It can help you standout: Unfortunately, this is the world that we live in. There may be several of your co-workers eyeing the same promotion that you have been after. Whether it is a management position or that specialised role within your company, a master’s degree could make the difference in your getting that position. In some cases, a company might also be willing to sponsor the master’s degree if they feel you are a potential leader and it could be mutually beneficial, so it is always worth asking the question to either your manager or the HR department.  
  5. It may help with relocation: We are no longer limited by geography. A master’s degree might help you in getting a work visa to a particular country; after all, you might be required to show why you are more deserving of a particular job than a citizen of the country and a master’s degree might go some ways in your company hiring you over a local.  
  6. It can fill the gap: Going back to the example of my friend, the longer you go without employment the harder it will get to explain the gap in your resume and to get employed. Doing a master’s degree is a good way to fill this gap, improve your knowledge, gain new skills and to generally show you are not one to wait around for things to happen.  

There’s more?

I am sure that there are many other reasons why people choose to do a master’s degree with benefits we wouldn’t have even thought off. If you have experienced or can think of any, let us know in the comments below! 

Finally, getting back to Jojo. It took him a while, but he is finally back to work. It is not what he wanted to do, and he had to take a hefty pay cut, but he is working again. He has still not joined a master’s programme (despite my constant reminders) but he is on the lookout for one that meets his requirements. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave it for too late.  Can it really ever be too late?

Explore the number of specialised master’s degree programmes offered by Robert Kennedy College through exclusive partnerships with top British universities. Or, if you have already made up your mind, click here to apply.

Robert Kennedy College and York St John graduates being silly with their hats in the Quad before graduation.

Join us in celebrating Robert Kennedy College and York St John 2019 graduates!

Sandra, Ilse, Doris, Asha, Melanie, Lilian, Matthew, Alaine, Marlini, Wilfried, Boguslaw, Ebru, Graham, Dag, Karen, Julie, Tony, Jialei and Sandra – these are the names of the 2019 RKC/YSJ MA in Leading Innovation and Change graduates who made it to York, to what I *know* was a great delight! We know quite a few of you could not make it physically to graduation this year – your achievement is no less impressive though – well done!

Graduation 2019 – group 1 photo
Graduation 2019 – group 2 photo

Wednesday the 20th of November 2019 was the day about 20 of our own MALIC students experienced the graduation of a lifetime, in one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe – the York Minster. For all of you reading this at home and thinking that sounds awesome – know that it is, and I hope we’ll be able to hear from a few of them who were there to confirm this is not just my impression!

Graduation: I couldn’t recommend it more

By the time graduation comes around, you will have attended the residency either in Zürich or York, so you know (or discover) that travel is not easy, nor cheap, but despite all that, I wholeheartedly recommend attending Graduation too. I haven’t heard a single whisper in the past 7 years of someone being disappointed with the graduation.

Here’s a short video of our graduates, so you can judge for yourself the emotions and excitement of the moment. See if you can count how many of them forget about the photo opportunity with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, in what was his last awards ceremony as York St John’s Chancellor. Next year’s graduates will be shaking hands with Reeta Chakrabarti.

A special shout out to Sandra Ahlers for the Dissertation prize, and to Ilse Baxter for the overall programme prize! Woohooo – amazing performance ladies – well done!

Finally, a huge CONGRATS! to all graduates alike, whether they’ve been able to walk the stage in York or had to stay at home (much like I did this year). Keep us in the loop with your professional exploits post graduation and help make this world a better place. Well done you all!

P.S. If you are wondering about the MA Leading Innovation and Change, know that it has smoothly transitioned into the MBA Leading Innovation and Change and next year we are likely to have the first batch of MBAs graduating in the Minster – are you one of them, or can you become one? Let us know in the comments!

York MBA: The Residency

Quite often we get one of these four questions:

What is the purpose of the residency? What happens during the week at the residency? Why should I attend it? And why is it important?

What better way to have the answers to these questions than to hear it from our alumni and faculty themselves!

The MBA programmes are taught mostly online via OnlineCampus (an interactive online learning environment) with intensive class discussion and collaboration, plus a one-week compulsory residency. Depending on your programme, the residency is held at two locations, Robert Kennedy College in Zürich and at the University campus in York, United Kingdom, both organised and taught by University faculty.

Dr. Brendan Paddison, Director of Post Graduate Studies says, “One of the unique aspects of our programmes with Robert Kennedy College is the blended delivery.”

Here’s what student and faculty have to say about the residency.

“The people who take part in these residencies find them very rewarding, both in terms of amount of energy that they generate, the friendships that they give rise to and the insights that people get into the experiences of those who are working in quite different organizations”, says Dr. George Boak, YSJ Senior Lecturer – Leadership and Innovation.

The residency is held several times during the year offering flexibility to fit your busy work schedule. The only pre-requisite is to have completed at least one module before taking residency.

Cristina Rettig, PR Manager – Glass Manufacturing (Germany) 2018 Graduate found the Residency an essential part of the MBA Programme. She adds, “It’s fantastic to have this online system. It gives you freedom, you can plan your own schedule. But I think to really draw people into it, the residency to me is a really essential part. I loved it, I loved the residency, I found it great!”

Follow the link to find out more about the Online Masters programmes: https://york.mba/catalogue

Student Testimonials – Johannes’s Truly Inspirational Story!

This week we bring you the truly inspirational story of Johannes from South Africa; a story which I personally found to be heart warming and one that motivates me to do something better in my life, everyday.

Johannes, a BA graduate and a Banker decided to pursue MA in Leading Innovation and Change (MALIC). One reason was that it is a well known Online Programme offered by the Robert Kennedy College in Switzerland. Another reason was that it was offered in partnership with York St John University in York, England, which he believes is one of the best countries for a special needs student.

Johannes graduated recently and it was a proud moment for him and his wife who commended his dedication throughout the course. He now intends to continue for a PhD.

As Johannes says, “At York, I was not just a number. The University was always eager to help”. Watch Johannes’s story and get motivated!

Success Story from South Africa

Download the catalogue to find out more about the programme, fees, start dates and eligibility criteria.

Student Testimonials – Part 1

Investing in an online education programme can be a big decision for any professional, with time and financial considerations being the main concerns.

We at Robert Kennedy College encourage all our applicants to do their research and find the best programmes that will meet their requirements and expected standard of education. Online education is fast becoming one of the key gateways through which people are able to realise their educational and professional aspirations.

Through this series of student testimonial videos we hope to answer some of your questions and doubts, by sharing with you the experiences of our students, both current and past. We show you their hopes, fears and challenges and how we at Robert Kennedy College worked with them and helped them in some small way in realising their dreams.

Below is the first video in the series – Christina from Germany – filmed at graduation in York last November.

York.mba – student’s story – Tina

Click here for more information on the online programmes offered by Robert Kennedy College through exclusive partnerships with British Universities.

Women in Higher Education – The 21st Century and The Future

Welcome Readers to the concluding part of the two-part blog on Women in Higher Education. It has been an intriguing first part; unveiling the history of education for women from medieval times, victorian era and revolutionising and challenging the political, cultural and intellectual state of affairs through the Women’s Liberation Movement. It’s even more interesting to see how far forward Women’s education has come to till date and what ensues in the future!

Equal Education, Equal Job Opportunities and Equal Pay: The Women’s Liberation Movement bought with it tremendous upheavals for women not only in the area of jobs and education; however it was instrumental in eradicating discrimination against women in walks of daily life like financing a mortgage or provision of goods and services. And when Sex Discrimination Act came into force in 1972, it led to ban of discrimination against women on the grounds of sex and marital status. Many universities that were single-sex only became co-educational institutions. Universities no longer could deny admission to women and prefer a male counterpart. Women got equal job opportunities and continued to work after marriages and becoming a mother as well.

21st Century – The Way Forward : Its been nearly five decades since the implementation of Sex Discrimination Act and the world now saw women’s education in entirely new light. The changing nature of work is swiftly making today’s education systems, labour policy and social contracts outdated. As a result, the path to a good life is increasingly difficult to identify and attain for many people. According to the World Economic Forum, there is a 32% gender gap, when you take into account health, education, economic participation and political attainment. Traditional tools, policies and structures are insufficient to address these challenges. Progress requires new data, new narratives, new dialogue, new tools, new behaviour and new collaboration.

Long standing advocates of women empowerment are endorsing equal respect and opportunities and also establishing the urgency of this task. This comes in the light of the realisation that women’s education is not only critical for women themselves, but has massive economic repercussions as well. The world economies are expanding and women are increasingly playing a crucial role in the development. For example, raising women’s labour force participation to that of men can boost GDP, for example, by as much as 9% in Japan and 27% in India. IMF research has uncovered myriad other macroeconomic benefits: reducing gender gaps in employment, as well as in education, can help economies diversify their exports; appointing more women onto banking supervision boards can challenge cozy group-thinking, thereby supporting greater bank stability and financial sector resilience; and tackling gender inequality can reduce income inequality, which, in turn, can drive more sustainable growth. Its hard to believe but even in the 21st century there are almost 90% countries that have one or more gender-based legal restrictions! These range from not being able to buying a property, to a husband having right to deny and restrict their wives from working. Helping women stay active in the workplace while raising a family is the key. In countries like Norway, for instance, affordable childcare and parental leave schemes have made it possible for both mothers and fathers to work. It is imperative that investing in women is investing in the future. As Prime Minister of Norway and Head of IMF rightly quote, “Time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive.”

Women in Higher Education – The History and The Future

Dear Readers, I am going to present this blog as a two part series. This week, in Part 1, I reflect and reminisce through the long history of women’s education. In the impending blog, we will explore how the history unfolded and revolutionised in the 21st century of Online Learning.

I feel blessed and grateful to my parents who stressed upon the importance of education and always encouraged me to attain higher levels of education. As a young girl, primary education came but naturally to me. Equal opportunities and maybe better than my brother, were provided to ensure I receive quality formal and university education. But this has not always been the case back in the history of women’s education. As a woman, today I feel grateful to those who fought for, liberalised movement and demanded rights rather than asking for concessions.

Medieval, Early Modern Period and Georgian time : There were not many educational opportunities back in the medieval times. The education was mainly the responsibility of the Church or the families themselves. Girls were usually not the part of education system run by monks and nuns unless the girls wanted to become nuns themselves. Family system though seem to include girls, however only so they could lead their households successfully in future. Early modern period saw some freedom by consequence of education. The Georgian time resiled back to limited scope and avenues for women’s education. It was the time when despite increasing literacy rates and supporting movements like bluestocking movement; the concept of ‘separate spheres’ began gaining momentum. It meant segregating roles of men and women, with men incharge of the outside work world and women responsible for family upbringing and household.

The Victorian era: With the advent of Industrial Age, increasing number of men went seeking mechanical, trades and techinical education. There was n increasing pressure from women as well around the time to provide them equal opportunities and avenues of education. New educational institutions, founded by influential women, sprung up like Cheltenham Ladies’ College in 1853, and Roedean School in 1885. Also establishment of Education Act in 1880, laid the foundation of compulsory and free primary education. Not only did formal education advanced, women got free reign in University Education in Victorian era. In 1878, University of London became first university in the UK to award degrees to women.

The Women’s Liberation Movement: The women’s liberation movement (WLM) was a political alignment of women and feminist intellectualism that emerged in the late 1960s and continued into the 1980s primarily in the industrialized nations of the Western world, which affected great change (political, intellectual, cultural) throughout the world. Women’s Liberation Movement as a whole was much aided by the opportunities offered to a post-war generation of girls who had been able to get into the grammar school system, and the opportunities offered to them at these schools. The Women’s Liberation Movement held a series of conferences around the country to demand equal pay, equal educational and job opportunities, and legal and financial independence from men, among other things.


What Qualities would land you the dream job?

When you are in school or university, you always dream of that dream job that you would like to do after graduation. You earn the crucial academic qualification and gain the necessary knowledge to embark on the professional journey of your life. You may be a fresher or a seasoned professional exploring the job market and may wonder what the employers look for when they are hiring. The hiring process has several layers to it than you as potential applicant can see on the surface. The Job Ad merely states the job description and the key requirements – qualification, experience and skills, required for the job. These are used to for the initial screening and shortlisting. Once shortlisted, when you end up at the interview, the hiring process reaches a different level all together. The employer evaluates you and your personality and whether you are a perfect fit for the job and the company. 

In the recent times it is observed that the employers are giving growing importance to ‘soft skills’; equal if not more to the academic skills and experience relevant to the job. It may therefore make more sense to hone and develop these skills to qualify as that ‘perfect’ candidate for the position:

  • Know what you want from your career 

The employer are really interested to know what you plan for your career, what do you want and how keen you are to work towards it. 

  • Have Vision

All interviewers ask this question – Tell us something about yourself. This is your chance to narrate your life story, how you envisioned it and what you did so far to make it vision your reality.

  • Self-Starter and Independent

This is a huge requirement of an employer for any position! They want to employ a pro-active individual who does not require constant supervision and hand holding; but rather is one step ahead in their work.

  • Sociable and Team builder

It is highly critical for an employer to hire an individual who is a great a team player. None of the organization department work in isolation; and there is interdependence and co-existence within departments as well. The success of any organization depends on how well knit the teams work.

  • Motivated

An ideal hire would be motivated and driven. They should have high personal and professional goals and propelled to achieve them. This will in turn ensure firm’s success and reach its goals. 

  • Assume Responsibility

Employers love to take those applicants onboard who they find have assumed responsibility of tasks, at work, outside or home and took on to complete it responsibly. Own the task or situation you are in.

Complete your Masters online with University of Cumbria’s Masters programmes. Contact our advisor today for guidance on the admission process.  

RKC & York St John Graduation 2018

It’s that time of the year again, when I get to travel to York and meet a bunch of our students who have made it all the way! Graduation is a special event, and more so when it takes place in the gigantic York Minster.

There is no way to really convey the feelings during such an event, even with photos and video, but short of having been there, you will have to try!

Congratulations George and Sarah for all your hard work getting the programme started, and Nigel, Amir, Ann, Rinnah, Sasha, Rula, Tim, Naomi, Joseph, Juliana, Misheck, Hannes, Tina, Mark, Leah, Nicole, Ryanhardt, Mufta’U, Wisdom, and sorry we missed you in the photo Patrick, Seth, Chris, Juan and Macaria – and even sorrier you could not be there Luis, Dawnia, Asuncion, Nicolas, Kourosh and Marilyn.

RKC Graduation 2018 @YorkStJohn

RKC Graduation 2018 @YorkStJohn

I am thoroughly excited about continuing this great event in the years to come with all of you now in the York MBA programmes! Looking forward to more smiley photos and silly videos! CONGRATS YOU ALL!

More photos from the day:

Group photo of RKC 2018 Graduation @YorkStJohn in the Quadrangle

Group photo of RKC 2018 Graduation @YorkStJohn in the Quadrangle

Group photo of RKC 2018 Graduation @YorkStJohn in the Quadrangle

Group photo of RKC 2018 Graduation @YorkStJohn in the Quadrangle

Group photo of RKC 2018 Graduation @YorkStJohn in the Quadrangle

RKC 2018 Graduation @YorkStJohn in the Quadrangle

P.S. stay tuned for some in-depth interviews with the graduates, sharing their challenges and tips and tricks for successful studies.

Are you a suitable Master’s applicant?

As a former education advisor, this is one of the most frequently asked questions, I heard from potential applicants: ‘what is the admission criteria of the University’; ‘do I qualify to apply for the programme?’; ‘what is required in the statement of purpose?’. So, here are answers to all your questions. I aim to write this blog as a two part series; the first part, unravelling the admission and qualification requirements. And the second part would focus on what an ‘ideal statement of purpose’ should include.

Reflection session

Reflection session

As a student, I am sure you all do your homework well in researching about the University you would like to apply for the Masters’. You would like to enrol with a University that is accredited, offers wide choice of courses of your interest, competitive fees, great student support, an excellent alumni network; in short the best university according to your requirements. Similarly, University also looks for the best talent; students that can academically outshine and cope the challenging pace of Online Masters; their potential contribution to the programme and the fellow students. While no one factor can be a sole deciding factor, however all the aspects put together constitutes a successful application. Therefore, you can impress the admission officers with one, all or a mix of these following aspects:

  1. Academic excellence: This is the basic, first and foremost factor that all the universities would look at. Your previous qualification forms a basis for your Master’s degree and to a great extent an admission criteria. Many universities consider this as an elimination factor, to select the qualifying applicants. For RKC Online Programmes, minimum qualification is an honours degree at 2:2 or above. **                                                            
  2. The chosen subject – Your interest and passion towards the course: You must demonstrate your background in line to the chose Masters subject and your passion towards it that goes above and beyond what is required in the classroom. Perseverance is the key quality that that will get the attention of the admission committee.
  3. Work Experience: The Online Masters’ with its flexibility has become increasingly accessible to the working professionals. The working professionals bring a lot of real life experience on the table and enrich the programme value with their contributions. Hence, the number of years of experience of your resume will have a positive impact on your application. RKC has a minimum requirement of 2 years of work experience.

    RKC Alumni and MeetVibe founders – Mircea Baldean and Carol Aebi, joined by co-founder Gabriel Paun (left) at Web Summit 2017

  4. Ability to think, work independently and time management: While the Online programme offers flexibility and ease to study from anywhere in the world; it can be quite challenging to manage the study, assignments, work life and personal life. It could be quite a juggle. The university expects you, as a Masters student, to be able to efficiently manage the requirements of the programme.
  5. References: References are an important part of your application process. A reference could be your academic or professional references. Though professional (most recent) are considered to be the most favourable. A reference can tell a lot about the applicant :  maturity, character, leadership, self-confidence, warmth of personality, concern for others, and grace under pressure.
  6. Ability to work in groups: Ability to teamwork is important as well. Most of the course through RKC is conducted online with independent assignments to be submitted online itself. Some part of the modules taught in residency week require group discussions and assignments to be submitted on the basis of such group work. This ability will be reflected in your previous qualification or work experience (as team player or manager) or extra curricular activities. 
  7. English Language Ability: Since the course is fully taught in English, you will be evaluated for your English language skills, through various aspects – how well your resume is penned; formulation of the statement of purpose; verbal communication skills evaluated by education advisor. For admission with RKC, minimum requirement is: English language at IELTS 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component). (This requirement could be waived, depending your previous qualification or experience in English speaking work environment- reference required –speak to our education advisor today for more information).
  8. Statement of Purpose: SOPs have increasingly become one of the most important deciding factors when evaluating an admission application. Its the summary of your past achievements and an insight of how motivated are you going forward. (more details on the next blog.. watch this space :))

 

Now that you have the insiders view of the application requirements, do not delay any further! Apply for your online Masters’ MBA and LLM and Online MSc programmes today and get started for the next intake.

 

 

**Applications are considered from candidates who do not meet the formal entry requirements but can provide evidence of equivalence. Examples of equivalence are:

  • A wide range of professional qualifications and/or work experience.
  • Working or studying in English or an English-speaking environment.

Applications will be considered from candidates who do not meet the formal entry requirements but who can demonstrate by interview the commitment to complete the programme successfully.