Everything You Should Know Before Starting a Master’s in Business Management | Top Universities

Everything You Should Know Before Starting a Master’s in Business Management

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated August 19, 2019 Updated August 19, 2019

Sponsored by IE Business School

If you’re drawn to the worlds of consulting, finance and entrepreneurship, a degree in business management will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to thrive in business. Here’s a closer look at what you should expect.

What you’ll learn

Business management courses are usually aimed at recent graduates with little to no work experience who are looking to move into managerial roles. They explore the nuts and bolts of small and large public and private organisations: how departments work together, what they do and an arsenal of management strategies at their disposal.

There is a wide range of courses available, with varying degrees of specialization and international experience, but all management degrees have something in common. They cover the fundamentals of business: finance, technology, human resources, organizational behavior and marketing.

Some degrees offer students the possibility to specialize in a field of their choice. For example, at IE Business School, students are asked in their third semester to choose up to two specializations such as international business, sales and marketing, or digital business. Whatever you choose, this should enable you to deepen your expertise in an important business area, based on your career aspirations.

Skills you’ll pick up along the way

Studying for a business management degree gives you subject-specific knowledge in customer service, finance, operations and marketing, to name just a few, but you will also gain transferable skills. These include:

  • International awareness
  • Problem-solving
  • Negotiation
  • Team work
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Analytical thinking
  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Research
  • Data interpretation

How you’ll learn

No two business degrees are the same. Some degrees rely heavily on group projects, workshops and seminars to help students develop their consulting, leadership and teamwork skills. Other degrees place the onus on you to get through the reading list and build up your knowledge of vital business areas before you’re asked to produce an end-of-year project with other students.

Some universities have good links with industry, which means visiting executives and entrepreneurs often take part in workshops, lectures and networking events with students. This is the case at IE Business School, for example, where industry leaders are often meeting students on campus.

To cater to growing demands for business graduates with international awareness, some universities offer travel and study abroad opportunities. For example, IE Business School organises international trips with relevant activities related to the understanding of the global business world in cities such as Shanghai, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Tel-Aviv, and Accra.

IE Business School students can also choose to extend their degrees by a few months to spend three months at a partner institution abroad, via the Beyond Borders Experience scheme.

You might get to start a business before you graduate

Some universities offer management students the support and tools they need to develop a business plan and obtain seed funding from investors for their idea. Venture Lab at IE Business School, for example, is a place where students can bring their business ideas and make it a reality by attending a boot camp designed to train to make their projects ready for investment.

The bootcamp features 10 intensive coaching sessions with professionals, industry experts, entrepreneurs and investors. Each project is assigned a mentor, who will often be an investor or entrepreneur with industry-specific experience.

Jobs and salaries

The practical transferable skills and experience gained on a business course such as the one offered by IE Business School will mean you’re well placed to land a top job at a financial firm or a Fortune 500 company.

Job options with a degree in business management include:

  • Management consultant (with an average salary of $86,222)
  • Production manager (with an average salary of $67,157)
  • Risk manager (with an average salary of $83,763)


Situated in sunny Madrid, IE Business School offers a range of bachelor’s programs, master’s degrees, PhDs and executive courses. Their full-time Master in Management is a challenging 10-month program taught in English or Spanish with five amazing specializations and the possibility to spend three months at a university abroad.  

This article was originally published in May 2018 . It was last updated in August 2019

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