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6 reasons to study a graduate degree in sustainability transformation

By Chloe Lane

Updated December 2, 2021 Updated December 2, 2021

Want to study a degree that will help you make a positive impact in the world? Discover what a graduate degree in sustainability transformation can do for you.

Sponsored by ESSEC Business School France  

If you’re looking for a graduate degree that will help you create change and play an active role in integrating sustainability in business, an MSc in Sustainability Transformation might be the programme for you. 

A graduate degree in sustainability transformation will equip you with the knowledge, tools and network to make a valuable sustainable impact towards the way business is done.  

At ESSEC Business School in France, students can study an MSc in Sustainability Transformation which places a focus on social, economic, and environmental transformation. This new programme fits in with ESSEC’s institution-wide focus on sustainability. 

ESSEC’s programme places a focus on education by experiences – combining knowledge with the development of useful professional and life skills, practised on various learning expeditions and hands-on projects. This prepares students to make a positive impact in the business world and immerses them in real-life examples of how sustainability innovations can impact the community. 

Here are six exciting reasons you should consider pursuing a degree in sustainability transformation. 

Learn useful management skills with a sustainability focus  

Management skills are essential in any business environment, and the MSc in Sustainability Transformation will help you develop these key skills with an added focus on sustainability. 

In ESSEC Business School’s one-year programme, students will start off their sustainability transformation graduate degree learning about the fundamentals of management through a sustainability perspective, while gaining a better understanding of today’s social and environmental issues. This provides students with a strong foundation for approaching sustainability transformation as a whole. 

Students will learn through experience, taking on team building and leadership activities and participating in ESSEC’s Climate Days. During Climate Days, students from different degrees work in groups to come up with creative and sustainable business solutions for participating partner companies. They will be introduced to data-related, decision and management practices, negotiation and will learn the principles of management in today’s global environment. 

Apply knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios 

In line with ESSEC’s learning-by-doing approach, throughout the MSc in Sustainability Transformation degree, there is a strong focus on learning through doing.  

At ESSEC Business School, each element of the course gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learnt through in real-world scenarios. This makes the course entirely immersive and will help students pick up additional skills, such as teamwork, leadership and problem-solving.  

Through business cases, projects, learning expeditions, internships and team-building competitions, students will work alongside corporations, entrepreneurs and their classmates to solve problems sustainably and apply the skills and knowledge they have learnt throughout the programme.  

An example of this is ESSEC Business School’s Digital Week Competition, where students will work as teams of consultants for real companies.  

Transform organisations towards a more sustainable world 

This increasing global focus on environmental issues means companies need graduates who can understand the complexity of these issues, act as a bridge between stakeholders, and enable the company to actively contribute towards the implementation of sustainable business practices. 

The MSc in Sustainability Transformation aims to train such graduates, equipping these future business leaders or “Sustainability Transformers” with the knowledge and skills needed to make a strong and positive impact in the organisations which they will join. Students will develop the creativity to imagine, promote and implement fresh solutions for today’s sustainability challenges. 

Alexis de La Tour du Pin, Executive Director of the programme at ESSEC Business School, said: “Sustainability is no longer an afterthought; it is moving to the core of every conversation, every political platform, every corporate plan strategy. 

“It’s the perfect time to reflect and dig deeper into the roots of issues, but also past solutions, frameworks, measurement tools, successes and failures, and to accelerate and imagine more transformative solutions that strive to remain compatible with our existing systems.” 

Sustainability is therefore becoming essential in every career path and will be something students should have a strong grounding in, regardless of their career aspirations.  

The programme aims to impart the right mix and depth of hard skills, e.g. on impact measurement, triple capital accounting, usage of data for good or sustainability communication frameworks. The objective is not to train future experts with absolute mastery of all these skills, but to inspire future sustainability transformers. 

Through the programme, students will also develop a specific set of sustainability soft skills: diplomacy, resilience and agility. Diplomacy in order to convince, resilience to persevere in the face of sustainability crisis and agility so as to adapt constantly to a changing social, environmental and economical context. 

Prepare for a wide range of careers  

The broad nature of the sustainability transformation programme means that it doesn’t prepare you for any one specific career, but instead equips students for a growing array of generalist, semi-technical roles on sustainability. 

A sustainability transformation degree can lead graduates to a range of exciting, dynamic career options, including: 

  • Consultant in specialised consultancies or within new sustainable practices of generalist strategy consultancies 

  • CSR manager within international or local businesses, NGOs, social enterprises or public administration 

  • Specialised project manager on topics such as carbon emissions, circular economy or the design or eco-products 

  • More traditional management roles, like marketing manager or financial analyst, with a focus on sustainability 

  • Social or green entrepreneurship 

At ESSEC Business School, career preparation plays a large part in the curriculum. 

In the final term of their Sustainability Transformation degree, students can choose to complete either a four-to-six-month internship or an academic thesis. Those who choose the internship will be able to apply what they’ve learnt throughout the programme in a professional setting. 

Students will receive ongoing personalised career support throughout the programme to help them find relevant careers and capitalise on their skills and experience.  This may include individual counselling, workshops, both general and sustainability-focused careers fairs, mock interviews, conferences and the opportunity to meet industry leaders. 

Explore your interests 

A sustainability transformation degree allows you to explore your interests around various aspects of sustainability.  

At ESSEC Business School, students can specialise in one of six majors, all exploring different aspects of sustainability. Within these majors, you will get to learn about your chosen subject in more detail, deepening your knowledge: 

  • Circular economy 

  • Food transition 

  • Inclusiveness and diversity 

  • Sustainable finance 

  • Climate and biodiversity 

  • Social innovation and impact entrepreneurship 

These majors are developed and managed in close collaboration with industry partners, and students will get access to an extensive network of industry professionals and recruiters, boosting career prospects and preparing students to make an impact in the world of business.  

This article was originally published in December 2021 .

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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