Top-notch programs from first-rate graduate schools

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To achieve professional satisfaction and distinction, people are turning more and more to graduate schools. But the fact that one has a postgraduate degree does not always ensure that one will realize his or her career ambitions. The quality of an advanced academic degree matters so much, so does the quality of the educational institution where it is earned.

Here are several of the Philippines’ most prestigious graduate schools and some of the programs they offer.

Ateneo Graduate School of Business

Established in 1948, Ateneo Graduate School of Business aims to be a leading management educational institution in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly for a business practitioner seeking to become a professional and ethical business leader committed to nation-building. It offers an array of Master of Business Administration programs, including the Standard MBA program and the Middle Managers MBA program.

The standard version, offered on a part-time basis, is meant for early-career professionals who do not want to put their careers on hold and like to prepare themselves for taking greater responsibilities and assuming leadership roles. To qualify for this program, one has to have a meaningful employment or professional experience at least two years after college graduation. Students of this program embark on a journey of self-awareness to clarify their personal value frameworks while acquiring the skills and the mind-sets that will help them address management issues and become lifelong learners.

The MBA program for middle managers, as its name suggests, is designed especially for those who have supervisory and/or managerial positions within their organizations. It is also designed in a way that enables students to make immediate, high-quality decisions for maximum impact. At least five years of supervisory and/or managerial experience is a requirement for this program.

University of Asia and the Pacific Professional Schools

The graduate programs offered by the Professional Schools of the University of Asia and the Pacific, which was founded in 1967 as a think tank, seek to equip professionals and practitioners that knowledge that will reinforce their experience and expertise.

One of those programs is the Master in Applied Business Analytics, for professionals who want to seize the power of data and analytics. This program is delivered in collaboration with Analytics Association of the Philippines to help students work on real problems of real clients with actual data for their analytics course project.

There’s also the Master in Applied Business Economics. This program can be taken by those who assist top executives in corporate planning and research who would like to build strong theoretical foundations in planning. They will be provided with the awareness and sensitivity to issues and problems confronting the nation, and opportunities to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills.

Asian Institute of Management

Asian Institute of Management is renowned for being a pioneer in management education in Asia. It has the mission to sustain the growth of Asian businesses and societies by developing leaders and managers who are entrepreneurial and socially responsible.

For middle- and senior-level executives, AIM, as it is also called, offers a part-time graduate degree program called the Executive Master in Business Administration, which allows the executives to balance career commitments and higher education goals. This executive program takes students through a rigorous curriculum of management fundamentals and strategy and rebuilds the students’ knowledge of general management concepts while connecting these ideas to discussions of real-life business cases. Program coursework lasts 20 months, followed by a three-month independent study period in which students work on their capstone project. Each class has an average of 10 to 12 years’ worth of work experience.

Another part-time advanced degree offering of AIM is the Master in Entrepreneurship. The program does not only impart theoretical knowledge but also build the capacity of the students and their business. Entrepreneurs — even presidents, general managers and heads of strategic business units — spend 18 months to complete the program and are assigned a primary mentor from the school’s faculty.

University of the Philippines Virata School of Business

The Virata School of Business of the leading public research university in the country was originally established as a school within the institution in 1916. Since then, it has become a management education leader.

The MBA program of the school strives to help managers gain advantage in their profession. But the students the school is looking for are those with strong academic background and professional experience, as well as the interest and discipline to develop their managerial and leadership potential. The MBA’s broad-based curriculum, which is founded on current management theories and approaches, combines technical training and practical problem-solving, and is complemented by experiential learning methods.

The school’s master’s program in finance was partly a response to the growing size and complexity of the Philippine finance sector that has created the need for a specialized degree program in finance. It was conceptualized and designed in 1995 by members of the UP finance faculty, then refined with the help of the business community. Like in the standard MBA program, the courses taken by students of the Master of Science in Finance are offered on a trimestral basis.