Can the MiM Become a Global Brand?

Della Bradshaw

Business Education Editor, Financial Times, UK.

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Della Bradshaw looks at the widespread (if confusing) growth of the one-year MiM degree.

Ask any European business school dean to name his or her school’s flagship programme and almost all will give the same answer: the Masters in Management degree. The number of European business schools that list their MBA as their flagship degree can almost be counted on one hand.

It is a situation that completely baffles academics in the US, for whom there can be only one answer to that initial question: the MBA.

So back in 2009, many of us that watch the business education scene were intrigued by an emerging trend in the US. Promoted by two of the country’s most innovative business schools, MIT Sloan and the Fuqua School at Duke University, it was the emergence of the one-year masters degree in management.

For those of us who had been tracking the inexorable rise of the MBA degree outside its US homeland, this was initially welcome news. For the first time, here were US business schools adopting a format that had been created in Europe through the implementation of the Bologna reforms a decade earlier.

It was then that the confusion set in, however. What rapidly became apparent was that the degrees from Sloan and Fuqua were very different to each other. They had different names, a different structure and different target markets and admissions policies.

Both eschewed the Masters in Management (MiM) sobriquet that has become the branding of these masters degrees in Europe, adopting the name Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) in the case of Sloan and Masters of Management Studies (MMS) at Fuqua.

But while the Fuqua programme was aimed squarely at those straight out of undergraduate degrees, the Sloan MSMS was intended for more senior managers, specifically those that had already studied for an MBA at selected schools, such as HEC Paris.

The launch by more and more US business schools of one-year masters in management degrees only added to the muddle. Most, such as those at Kellogg (MSMS), Notre Dame (MSM) and Michigan Ross (Master of Management), were squarely aimed at the pre-experience market.

Then in 2012 Yale School of Management followed the MIT model and launched a masters degree for those who had already studied at its partner schools in the Yale Global Network. Initially dubbed a Masters in Management, Yale later decided to call the degree a Masters in Advanced Management to differentiate the programmes from traditional European MiM degrees.

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