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

Commencing in semester one 2021, the new program gives 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.

As 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.

Program Director of the Master of Commerce, 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, Davis said the coronavirus outbreak and its devastating impact on many in the workforce highlights the importance of learning core skills to navigate industry-wide disruption, which can be adapted to different business contexts.

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

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 programs.

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

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

The new program will also offer several in-kind fast-tracked short work/industry placement opportunities to select students with key industry partners.

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 wholly online placements and industry-linked group based business practicums.

Director of the Work-Integrated Learning Hub, 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 for our graduates along with the work experience they’ll need to thrive for their career pathways, while delivering tangible benefits to our partner organisations and communities.”

Greg Whitwell, Dean of the University of Sydney Business School said 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,” Whitwell said.

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