A sound academic background is often crucial to secure a sought-after job position, and even to earn a pay increase or promotion in today's competitive employment market.
"Considering the high number of bachelor's degree holders in the workforce and the increasingly stricter requirements set by employers, employees in most sectors now tend to study for at least one postgraduate qualification," says Amy Lau, assistant manager, course consultation and recruitment, Kaplan Higher Education.
"A bachelor's degree is a basic qualification and people are coming to terms with the fact that they need a master's or even a doctorate to move up the career ladder," she adds.
Kaplan Higher Education, formerly known as APMI Kaplan, is a major regional private education organisation, offering postgraduate programmes designed to fit the busy schedules of people that are working full time.
Leaders in education
Kaplan Higher Education has specialised in business management programmes since 1989 and now offers a wide range of programmes, from diplomas to doctorate to people from a variety of educational backgrounds, catering to Hong Kong's knowledge-based economy through collaboration and partnerships with prestigious overseas universities.
One of the most popular programmes is the Executive Master of Business Administration offered by the UK-based University of Hull (Hull EMBA). "Both the university and the programme itself are highly regarded in the business world," Ms Lau notes.
With a heritage spanning eight decades, the Hull University Business School is involved in business and management research, offering executive programmes and consultancy services that have earned the institution endorsement from both EQUIS (the European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs), two leading global accreditation systems.
Already in its 19th year in Hong Kong, the Hull EMBA is a general management programme delivering an array of entrepreneurship skills and business know-how. It consists of 13 modules of classroom teaching, offered by lecturers and professors who travel to Hong Kong from the UK for face-to-face interaction with students.
"The Hull EMBA is a prestigious programme targeting senior and middle managers. Participants are expected to share their own business experience, learn from each other and develop a network," says Ms Lau. "To ensure a balanced class, we have strict criteria for screening applicants."
She adds, "We don't want our students to waste money and time on something that is not relevant to them. This is why we make a point of understanding individual applicants' aspirations before matching them to appropriate programmes. In many cases, I will recommend our Master of Science (Finance) programme to applicants who need to strengthen their finance knowledge and skills and do not have a relevant undergraduate degree."
The MSc (Finance) programme is another partnership, this time between Kaplan Higher Education and the University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin, which is one the oldest business schools in the world. It was also one of the first elite schools to attain three prestigious world-class accreditations: EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).
Participants in the MSc programme are immersed in at least 20 hours of seminars and workshops per module. The seminars are run by visiting lecturers from the University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin, and their international associates, providing local students with a global learning experience.
Kaplan Higher Education provides all its classes with a dedicated programme manager to help students deal with administrative matters to smooth the learning process. This unique support mechanism, not offered by any other Hong Kong institutions, allows participants to concentrate on their studies in the limited time they have free from work, Ms Lau points out.
"The extra investment is well worth it, since the student success rate is relatively high. With our significant track record, we have a good understanding of our students' needs. Through the years we have also built up a large pool of alumni, providing great networking opportunities for graduates," she remarks.
All Kaplan Higher Education's master's degree programmes have three characteristics in common: they culminate in qualifications from renowned universities, provide theoretical and practical skills that help graduates excel in their careers, and offer a strong people network for future development.
Ms Lau emphasises, "For these reasons, the programmes are highly regarded by both employers and employees. We have found that half of Kaplan Higher Education's new students are recommended to us through word-of-mouth."
- Postgraduate qualifications help employees stand out
- International EMBA programme targets senior and middle managers
- Prestigious finance programme provides global learning experience
- Strict criteria for screening applicants ensure balanced classes