Sydney transforms Commerce stream future of work

Sydney transforms Commerce stream future of work

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Sydney, April 28, 2020

Professor Greg Whitwell, Dean, Business School University of Sydney (Picture from Website)

The University of Sydney Business School has transformed its Master of Commerce qualification  with a greater focus on core skills that will be in-demand in future workplaces.

Commencing with the first semester in 2021, the new Programme will give students access to eight specialisations to build their skills in areas such as global logistics, data analytics and digital transformation underpinned by the core principles of responsible management and innovation.

Professor Greg Whitwell, Dean of the Business School, said: “Our students come from over 130 countries around the world and bring with them significant experiences and perspectives that add to the rich academic and cultural life at the University of Sydney Business School. From our work-integrated learning to specialised streams of study, our students graduate with skills in responsible management that will benefit them in their future careers no matter where in the world they work.”

Consultation with industry

As a part of the Program redesign, the University conducted a survey of over 300 industry practitioners, including those who work at some of the world’s biggest brands, to identify what skills they value in graduates entering the workforce.

Programme Director of Master of Commerce, Associate Professor Teresa Davis, said, “It was clear that employers need graduates to not only have the technical know-how, but also the creative and innovative agility needed for solving complex problems in rapidly shifting contexts.”

While the comprehensive review of the Master of Commerce was conducted last year, Associate Professor Davis said that the Coronavirus outbreak and its devastating impact on many in the workforce highlights the importance of learning core skills to navigate industry wide disruption.

“In an increasingly volatile world, graduates will need to be adaptable and dynamic across many aspects of business. It is these core skills that will help cushion our graduates against major market shocks,” she said.

Choice of specialisation

Students enrolled in the new 18-month Master of Commerce will have the opportunity to choose one specialisation while those studying the two-year Master of Commerce (Extension) can choose two from eight different specialisations. Scholarships will also be awarded to eligible applicants in both Programmes.

Work and industry experience

The emphasis on work-integrated learning units in the Programme was guided by input from current Master of Commerce students and alumni from the 70,000-strong global network.

Jessie Huang came to study the Master of Commerce at Sydney from Canada in 2016 and completed an industry placement program with a cosmetics company in Sydney.

“The Programme provided opportunities for me to not only gain practical experience in my area of study, but also to network and build relationships with business contacts within the company and industry. It helped my gain first-hand experience in applying my learning to real-life projects and helped me to secure a position at the company after graduation,” she said.

Both postgraduate courses allow eligible applicants to complete an industry placement Programme. These include self-sourced and local placements as well as international options in China and the United States, once travel restrictions lift.

With digital ways of working set to be critical in a post-coronavirus environment, students participating in work-integrated learning units will develop highly valued skills through online placements and industry-linked group based business practicums.

Employability skills

Director of the Work-Integrated Learning Hub, Associate Professor Rachael Hains-Wesson, said: “Our bespoke work-integrated learning units, which are a key part of the new Master of Commerce, are designed to develop and master key employability skills in our graduates and give them the work experience they’ll need to thrive in their careers, while delivering tangible benefits to our partner organisations and communities.”

Professor Whitwell said that the redesign of the program demonstrates the School’s commitment to equipping students with real-world industry experiences underpinned by an excellent academic offering.

“Our aim is always to deliver a truly transformational education. We are proud of the way our world-class teachers and researchers bring exceptionally designed courses to life, embedding creative and analytics skills in our responsible business graduates as they enter the workforce,” Professor Whitwell said.

This year, the QS Graduate Employability Rankings named University of Sydney graduates the most employable in Australia.

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