How might AI affect your future career?

There’s been a lot in the media over the last few years about how robots are set to take our jobs. Creating a credible form of artificial intelligence (AI) has been the aim of many computer scientists for a long time, but there’s still a lot of speculation on whether it will replace human workers.

Two sides of the argument

The emerging consensus is that AI won’t spell the end of employment. There’s no doubt it will alter the careers market, but how specific jobs will change is less certain. AI has the potential to transform existing roles, but could also create new positions in a rapidly expanding sector.

By taking on the menial tasks, AI has the potential to revolutionise jobs by giving the gift of time. A recent survey by SmartSheet showed that information workers spend up to 25% of their week on recurring, manual tasks. Through AI and machine learning, these tasks could be automated, allowing more time to work on other things.

The legal sector is already using this tactic to great effect. Automation means many lawyers and associates no longer have to sift through thousands of documents to find relevant information for cases. Specialist platforms have been developed to use big data and machine learning to compare contracts and point out discrepancies or areas that require attention. It makes firms much more efficient and allows them to take on more work.

Even if AI does entirely replace some positions, the number of jobs needed to create, implement and maintain the technology will far outweigh the losses. However, this creates issues, leaving many unskilled workers unemployed and widening the computer science skills gap.

The need for AI specialists

Research by ManpowerGroup shows that 95% of UK employers believe staffing levels will remain the same or even increase because of automation. Companies are already using AI to make jobs easier, but it’s going to require a range of data and computer science skills to implement it all effectively. These particular skillsets are likely to become highly valuable.

As the number of businesses using automation and machine learning increases, the skills gap increases further. That’s why courses like the University of York’s Masters programmes in Computer Science are ideal for those who want to move into the field and take their career in a new and exciting direction.

The 100% online degrees offer ambitious career changers the chance to retrain in an extremely in-demand field. The programme, which also offers the opportunity to specialise in Cyber Security or Data Science, is delivered fully online so you can study in your own time in your own place, fitting it around other commitments. There is a pay-per-module option, removing the need for large, up-front payments. There are also six start dates throughout the year, which means you can start within weeks and makes obtaining a prestigious Russell Group Masters degree highly achievable.

Find out more and begin your application.

Perfecting the art of timing in financial strategy

All businesses need a strategy and all strategies need to be carefully timed. Heads of Finance have always been critical in determining when to execute strategies to give their company the greatest chance of success. Well-timed financial strategy is key to growing the company and negating problematic issues so that the business can make the most of its current position.

The timing of strategy execution has always been critically important. Changes that affect the whole company or represent a significant shift in process have the potential to damage the business. If you implement large changes without proper consideration and planning, unexpected issues can derail any potential success. But wait too long and you could miss the boat: the opportunity passes or the problem you were aiming to solve has affected your business already.

Getting the timing right

While technology has been an incredible boost to companies over the last 30 years, it’s made it very difficult to ascertain when the right time to roll out a new financial strategy is. Change is happening at a much faster rate than ever before. However, technology has also created direct links between finance departments and almost every other section of the business, meaning that shifts in financial strategy can have instant impacts.

CFOs are now much more closely linked to other departments, which can provide them with a huge amount of information and a deeper understanding of how shifts in procedure or strategic thinking will affect the business as a whole, allowing potential problems to be mitigated. The digitisation of services means that it’s now possible to assess and implement changes much more quickly than before. Updating strategies doesn’t need to take months.

Start the process

There are no rules as to when the time is right to launch large, companywide updates to strategy or process. The likelihood of success has usually rested on the Finance Officer being able to spot the potential benefits or problems in advance and take the appropriate action. Factors such as geographical, political or financial forces external to the company can all affect the timing. Understanding them requires an in-depth understanding of the entire market.

This is one of the reasons why the University of York now provides a 100% online Masters degree in Finance, Leadership and Management, giving students financial and leadership skills to implement shifts in strategy. As all learning materials are delivered online, you have the option to study whenever it suits you, keeping your current role and applying what you learn straight away. There are also options to pay-per-module and begin on one of six start dates throughout the year, giving you a flexible way to gain a prestigious Russell Group university MSc.

It’s never 100% guaranteed that finance leaders will know the perfect time to execute any strategic shift, but the knowledge you gain from this Masters degree about the world of finance and wider business markets, in addition to leadership skills, give you the best chance to make the best choice.

Find out more and begin your application.

There’s no such thing as a ‘natural leader’

One of the discussions that has surrounded the concept of leadership for many years essentially boils down to a ‘nature vs nurture’ debate. Some believe leaders are born charismatic and able to convince others to do what they want. Others believe leadership is a complex and interwoven skillset of learned behaviours that give the individual the ability to eventually lead others.

Whilst some see leaders as simply charismatic, confident speakers, the truth is that strong leadership requires a vast array of skills to get the best out of people. Abilities that intertwine, such as negotiation, compromise, communication and problem solving are some of the most key capabilities. What’s fascinating is that you can see these skills being learned at any nursery or primary school by children discovering how best to work and play together. Children naturally experiment with how to get what they want from their peers, essentially using trial and error to develop what eventually become leadership skills.

A vast array of styles

The usual list of names given as examples of great leaders often includes Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The more the list expands, the clearer it becomes that no two leaders are the same, which means there’s no ‘one trait’ a baby is born with that predicts them being a leader.

Some young people may more easily identify the skills that translate into strong leadership, therefore making it more likely they’ll naturally transition into a leadership role, however it does mean that these abilities are learned. Furthermore, if they’re learned, they can therefore be taught.

The skills you need

Leadership isn’t all ‘smooth talking charisma’ but in leadership terms, these are actually important and are examples of a number of different skills needed. Firstly, effective communication is required – a leader must be able to explain what they want. It is also likely they’ll need to overcome objections, which means they’ll need strong listening skills. Overcoming objections isn’t a matter of simply repeating yourself, it relies on the capability to negotiate, compromise and, in some cases, develop innovative solutions to problems.

Just as no two leaders are identical, no two employees are identical, so leaders must also learn how to adapt their style to get the most out of everybody, as a one-size-fits-all approach is not a part of strong leadership.

Learning to lead

Whilst it’s clear that it is possible to learn to lead a group, taking positive steps to improve those requisite skills may not seem quite so straightforward. This is why the University of York offers a 100% online MSc in Innovation, Leadership and Management programme, to teach you the skills you need in order to be effective in a more senior role.

As all learning materials are delivered online, you have the flexibility to study in your spare time, so don’t require an extended study break away from work. As you can stay in your current job, you can keep your position and salary and get to apply what you learn to your role as you progress. There’s also the option to pay-per-module, avoiding the need for large, upfront payments and giving you the chance to obtain a prestigious Russell Group university Masters degree in a manner that suits you.

Leadership is a learned capability that doesn’t require being blessed at birth with one particular trait, and there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders – but there’s no reason why you can’t take a jump up the career ladder by learning how to harness your own power as a leader!

Find out more and begin your application.

Innovation isn’t just thinking outside the box, it’s creating a new box!

No matter how small the industry, businesses have always faced challenges. Issues with supply, sales, competitors and technological advancement have been around for hundreds of years and only seem to be getting more acute in the digital age.

The growth of the UK manufacturing sector has been slowing for several years and lots of different factors have been named as contributing to the problem. A strong pound, expensive British labour costs, competition from developing nations and cheaper imports have all played their part, leading to concerns about the future of manufacturing in the UK.

A long history

Great Britain has long been identified as a place that knows how to make things, at the forefront of many inventions that have literally changed the world. The television, telephone and even the World Wide Web were invented by British people, while cars like the Mini Cooper and Jaguar E-Type have become world famous icons of style and quality.

While many people believe that those days are over, Britain is still a country with a desire to design and produce world-changing inventions which enhance modern living. The key to reinvigorating the UK manufacturing sector, however, could lie more in solving the problems facing industry than in creating new products.

Leading the way forward

Good leadership is vitally important to the UK manufacturing sector. Leaders who can create innovative solutions to problems in operations, supply chain, technology, efficiency and process could make a huge difference, not only to their business, but to the industry as a whole.

Recent reports of the death of the high street claimed that brick and mortar retail was on the decline. The leadership shown in the retail sector not only managed to slow the decline, but in some cases has turned around the business and saved entire groups of companies. High-quality leadership has the potential to do the same for manufacturing.

Innovation as a way of thinking

While many think of innovation as a lightning flash “Eureka!” moment of inspiration, having an innovative mindset is actually a teachable skill. With this in mind, the University of York has created a 100% online MSc in Innovation, Leadership and Management to enable people to learn and develop their leadership skills with an innovative and inventive outlook. Core skills such as critical approaches to problem solving and effective communication not only help you to lead and manage a team but can also pave the way to becoming an influential figure in your chosen sector.

As all teaching is delivered online, you have the flexibility to study when it suits you, without taking a career break and sacrificing your current salary. There are six start dates throughout the year, so you can begin as soon as you’re ready and apply what you learn in your current role. The University of York runs online MSc programmes on a pay-per-module basis, removing the burden of large, up-front payments. Gaining a Masters degree from a prestigious Russell Group university while maintaining your career trajectory and being able to show employers an ability to lead, manage, think critically and conceive radical answers to widespread problems could be a real boost to your prospects.

Online learning – what you need to know

The majority of people make a fairly seamless transition from school to college and on to university, going through full-time education with a structured timetable of lectures, seminars and personal study time. Once you leave this environment, the idea of going back can be a little intimidating; even when you know that it could do wonders for your career, the prospect of leaving work and going back to study is a big step.

Thankfully, you can now study for postgraduate qualifications online, including Masters degrees in Leadership and Management from the University of York! This however has its own set of considerations. The benefits are clear – you can study in your own time as well as keeping your current role and salary, but what do you need to do to prepare for an online degree?

Meeting the challenge of an MSc

Obtaining a Masters degree is a challenge, whether it’s online or in person. Although distance or online learning gives an incredible amount of flexibility for when and where you can study; if you’re continuing to work full-time, it will mean you’ll need to work during the evenings or at weekends. Undertaking distance learning online isn’t ‘easier’ than attending an on-campus course, it just allows you to choose when it’s suitable for you to work.

You must also make time for learning. While not having a rigid timetable that demands you attend a particular lecture theatre at a specific time is liberating, making time to study means you get the most out of your investment. Self-control and regular, focussed sessions tend to work better than either dipping in and out or leaving it too long and trying to do too much at once. Online study takes a lot of motivation and a feeling of achievement thanks to successfully completed study sessions can be key to keeping your momentum up.

Keeping your work separate

Many people also find it useful to have a ‘study computer’ that they use for all their learning materials. Although you can study anywhere with an internet connection, it’s possible to lose track of your progress if you were to split your time studying online between your work computer, a tablet and a laptop that you keep at home.

It’s also a good idea to over-estimate how much time you think you’ll need to study, read, watch videos and write. One of the big benefits of distance learning over attending live lectures is that you can revisit the material again and again, picking up on concepts and ideas that you may have previously missed. This not only improves your understanding and therefore your chances of obtaining a better grade, but makes your time and investment worthwhile.

Although the University of York uses the exact same academics and resources to provide online Masters degrees as you would get by working on campus, when you’re distance learning it can feel like you’re on your own. This isn’t the case, but it does mean that you need to use all of the communication channels open to you. Receiving regular feedback is an important part of the experience, despite not being face-to-face.

Getting your Masters degree online gives you the knowledge, skills and qualifications that you need to boost your career, but it’s an entirely different way of working to what many people will be used to. However, with a bit of prior planning and understanding a few practicalities, it can be your springboard to future success.

Modern business relies on ethics and transparency

Businesses have always relied on customers; whether it’s a local convenience shop dealing in household essentials or a multi-national service company, without customers there is no business. It’s been known for years that the relationship between consumer and company is a two-way street that goes beyond ‘vendor-purchaser’ – as well as a product, people want added value. Loyalty is no longer based on ‘getting what you paid for’ and companies know they need to do more.

The shift in the psychology of purchasing decisions is almost entirely down to the internet. Market dominance or high visibility no longer guarantee a sale; customers go online and have almost unlimited options from anywhere in the world, creating a much savvier consumer. People are focussed on ethical options and green credentials and don’t want to reward unsustainable or harmful businesses with their money.

The peril of not following the customer desire

Ethical and environmental scandals have cost companies and even charities dearly, with recent high-profile events such as the Oxfam scandal and even plastic packaging on cauliflower steaks causing huge problems. The days of suppressing negative stories have almost entirely disappeared, as social media can send a story worldwide, literally in seconds. Social media, however, is the very technology that gives companies the ability to set themselves apart from their competitors by engaging their audience, giving greater insight into company values and demonstrating how they’re achieving their mission statement.

Modern consumers are far more knowledgeable and want to deal with companies that they believe represent them. Increasing business transparency, dealing with openness and honesty and sharing concerns about sustainability, responsibility, fair trade, ethics, the environment and even international aid are all excellent ways to cater to the switched-on, forward-thinking customer and earn their loyalty.

Businesses need leadership and guidance

Businesses must ensure these measures are authentic and fully followed through. Today’s customer is too clever to fall for insincere pledges; these ideals must be part of the company culture and it takes strong leadership to guide every level of the business. Leaders must understand the principles of ethical practice, corporate social responsibility and environmental impact whilst simultaneously communicating their importance company-wide and representing these values to customers.

These concerns are not a consumer fad and the companies that can increase their transparency, bring the global focus on ethics into their industry and take charge to show customers that they not only understand the concerns but are acting upon them are the ones that will gain a competitive advantage for the future.

Here and now is where action is needed

The problem for businesses is that they need this kind of leadership quickly, with the right candidate hitting the ground running. This is one of the reasons that we created a 100% online MSc in Leadership and Management for International Business, helping you to prepare for a career dealing with these issues and affecting real change, and as all modules are delivered online, you can study wherever and whenever you like.

We’ve also removed the need for large, up-front payments, as all courses are pay-per-module and we have six start dates throughout the year, meaning you can begin when you’re ready. The ability to keep your current job and salary, whilst applying what you learn to your current role is incredibly attractive, but for employers, the ability to prove leadership credentials with a prestigious Russell Group Masters degree could make you an even more attractive candidate!

Modern business needs people who not only have the knowledge, but the desire and understanding to steer the company to a sustainable future, and an MSc in Leadership and Management from the University of York could be the very thing needed to do that.

For more information and to begin your application, click here.

The flexible way to step up the career ladder: an online Masters

It’s been a turbulent decade for businesses – not only in the UK, but worldwide. Starting with a sub-prime mortgage crisis, we’ve seen recession, political unrest and any number of events that have affected businesses long after the news stopped reporting them.

Many businesses still struggle today with lower than expected salaries, squeezed profits and a difficult sales environment.

Businesses need strong leadership now more than ever and there have been thousands of articles exploring how workplaces, businesses and the C-Suite have changed through the years of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and now Generation Z coming into the workplace.

While traditionally, promotions came from within and leadership skills were augmented with training, companies are searching for the right candidates with the right skillsets to hit the ground running.

A new kind of Masters degree

This is why we have introduced three dedicated Masters programmes in Leadership and Management, giving you access to the world-class knowledge of our academics and allowing those who want a career boost the opportunity to progress.

The major difference with our MSc courses is that we deliver all areas of the programme online and design them to fit in around your current career – so there’s no need to take time off to study. Learning in your spare time and at your convenience removes a lot of the strain of studying for a Masters degree in the traditional sense, making it the perfect choice if you’re a working professional or looking to make an ambitious career change.

Earning and learning: flexibility built in

Flexibility is at the heart of our online MSc programmes, and the ability to keep working in your current job role while studying makes a big difference in terms of committing to the time that a Masters degree needs. Another major benefit of exclusively online learning resources is that it doesn’t tie you into a traditional school timetable; you can choose to begin your course on one of six start dates.

We’ve also reduced the financial commitment required to study for a Masters degree; not only can you keep your current salary grade, but our online MSc courses are pay-per-module, removing the need to make significant, up-front payments.

You can also choose one of three individual specialities – Innovation, Finance or International Business – giving you in-depth, high quality expertise in your chosen field, no matter where you want your career to take you.

An MSc without the stress

While many people would love to add a Masters degree to their CV, you may have concerns about commitments regarding time and money. These new courses ease those pressures and allow you to gain a top-class MSc from a Russell Group university without needing to leave home.

As companies struggle to thrive in what is still quite a difficult business environment, you’ll be giving your future career the best chance of blooming. Your demonstrable leadership skills, gained through a prestigious university, will put you one step closer to your dream career and allow you to steer your new company to even greater success.

Find out more and begin your application

Getting to grips with modern, online learning

No matter who you are, it’s very likely that you have a particular learning style that works for you. You could work best by creating visual representations of concepts or ideas, such as a mind-map; you may prefer to listen to lectures or podcasts several times to take in all the details. You might work best as the proverbial early bird or night-owl, choosing bite-sized chunks or mammoth study sessions.

Understanding your learning style is key when undertaking an online course, such as the University of York’s 100% online MSc program in Leadership and Management, as it allows you to tailor your learning approaches accordingly.

How online learning works

York’s online MSc programmes deliver all course materials via the internet, meaning you’re free to study any time, anywhere. As you are not on campus, it can take a lot of discipline to make sure that you keep up to date with study materials and devote time to planning.

Undertaking a Masters degree is an investment in your future and studying online is by no means the ‘easy option’. That said, earning an advanced qualification without having to take time away from work, meaning you can earn while you learn is a very tempting proposition.

Firstly, think about how you prefer to learn. Some people are very methodical and will happily spend a few hours reading, absorbing and really getting to grips with an idea or concept. If this sounds like you, it could be that making a block of time once or twice a week to devote to studying yields the best results.

Other people, however, find long sessions daunting as attention wanders or they get bored spending too long on a single activity. If this sounds like you, then daily studying time, possibly during your lunch break or on the commute to and from work could work best.

Self-management

Most people with undergraduate degrees remember when it was a struggle to attend an early lecture or when they kept putting off a deadline. When attendance is compulsory, simply having that requirement is enough to motivate you but with self-reliant study, it can feel a little tougher. It’s best to think of it as an extension of your work role; you may have a number of projects competing for your time and attention, but managing them and not allowing work to pile up for too long is by far the best option.

Saving up too much work towards the end of modules is also not advisable. Although a little pressure can be very motivating, leaving too much work for a short time span when looking at a deadline can soon become an overwhelming prospect, particularly if work or family life suddenly becomes a little busier, leaving your studies to suffer.

The rewards

The good news is that the freedom offered by online learning can pay dividends not only for your success in your current role but also in your future career. Earning an advanced degree from a prestigious Russell Group university could provide you with valuable skills that make you extremely desirable in the employment market. By devoting a little time, attention and discipline to it, you could improve your career prospects by using your evenings as you would for any other hobby. Like learning another language or playing an instrument, you’d be improving yourself, but with a much greater chance of getting a great return on that time investment.

Find out more and begin your application

Taking the first step – preparing yourself for leadership

Most people head to work each morning hoping to learn something new, make a difference or at least achieve some sort of progress. The desire to do a good job, learn and improve is the basis of professional pride and it’s one of the chief things that drives our need for career progression.

Your career may be in its early days or you may have been working hard and learning across a variety of roles for several years, but it’s likely that at some point you’ll want to make that transition into a more senior role, with more responsibilities and a higher salary. One thing that few people consider, however, is “Am I prepared to be a leader?”

A leadership mindset and skills to match

A startling figure estimates that around 50-60% of high level executives leave their position within the first 18 months of accepting the role and even a 25-year successful career can fail to prepare people for taking on top roles. Gil Amelio, CEO of Apple Computers was replaced by Steve Jobs in less than a year and Jack Griffin of Time Inc. lasted less than five months. There are many reasons why they had short-lived tenures, but successful leaders need a wide variety of skills to fulfil the role.

Experience is often assumed to be key to successfully taking on a senior management role, but experience alone is not enough to make a leader. It’s not just industry knowledge that leaders require, but also skills such as effective communication, the ability to negotiate, manage people and resources and think critically and objectively to solve unexpected problems.

Leadership is a teachable skillset

As a first step into leadership, it’s important for executives to have a good understanding of their company and be mentally prepared to support its needs. Other essential leadership capabilities need to be learned.

The University of York has created three 100% online MSc degree courses in Leadership and Management, to help fill the skills gap of the estimated 1.9m extra managers and directors that will be needed by 2024. As all teaching is delivered online, you have the flexibility to study when it suits you, meaning you can keep your current role and salary and learn in your spare time. The ability to earn-as-you-learn is also supported by a pay-per-module structure for all online courses, removing the need for large, up-front payments – you may also be entitled to a UK government backed postgraduate loan which covers the full cost of the course. What’s more, York alumni will receive a reduction in fees.

Gaining a Masters degree from a prestigious Russell Group university without having to take a career break and being able to apply what you learn in your current role will help equip you with the knowledge and skills required of a company leader. It will help you to demonstrate, when the time comes, your ability to take the reins in your new leadership role.

Find out more and begin your application

How leadership impacts the customer experience

Of all the business trends to come into focus over the last few years, customer experience is one that has really taken hold. It started as a way for companies to view themselves differently through the eyes of their customers, to go beyond a rigid structure and respond to their needs.

The arena of customer experience now has various terms, such as ‘consumer journey’ and ‘user experience’, but often the effect of high quality leadership on cx is ignored. Leadership is usually thought of as the CEO or Board of Directors, but modern companies have lots of layers of leadership with differing responsibilities. While upper management can create business strategies, define the company culture and chart the ideal customer experience, unless this is also communicated to the lower levels of management, it won’t become a company-wide process.

Leaders also affect customers, not just staff

This makes high-quality leadership absolutely critical to business in a whole new way. Leadership doesn’t just have internal impacts or affect how you deal with employees, but also how those employees represent your business and ultimately how the public perceives your company. The C-suite can define a customer experience, but if the customer doesn’t get the quality of service they expect, they simply take away a bad customer experience.

Effective communication is at the very top of the list for desirable business skills for this very reason. “Big Picture” ideas start on the boardroom table, but unless the aims, reasons and execution are passed through the management chain, the message could be misapplied or even entirely lost. It’s at this point that new ideas and plans from the board are tested to their limits – simply because customers have a habit of making unforeseen requests that take a little creative thinking or a critical approach to solve.

Good customer service is much more than a smile

Every business has always claimed to pride itself on high service standards, but now the customer journey is a key business differentiator. Technology has effectively removed barriers in almost every industry and loyal patrons make a huge difference to companies. If key leaders aren’t supported – or don’t provide support and feedback – then it’s entirely possible that plans won’t reach full potential.

Businesses need candidates and leaders with the necessary skills to communicate, support, problem-solve and feed back to create the difference in the customer journey and therefore to the business as a whole. University of York has three 100% online Masters degrees in Leadership and Management to give you the skills to make the difference to your company.

By taking advantage of the world-class teaching available at the University of York, coupled with the flexibility of learning online when it suits you, you can gain a top-quality Russell Group degree without the need to take a career or study break. We also offer a pay-per-module option to remove the burden of large, up-front payments and we run six start dates throughout the year, letting you begin as soon as you’re ready.

Creating positive customer experiences is one of the key aims for any business looking to ensure its future success, but those that seize the leadership opportunities and the impact they have could be the big players in future.

Aligning innovation with useful business strategy

Ever since the USA and USSR began the Space Race in the 1950’s, it’s felt like the future has been hurtling towards us, but most predictions of life in the future have been very wrong! For every 1980’s kid still waiting for their predicted hoverboard, there’s another corresponding underestimation – such as IBM saying the world only needs a maximum of five computers, or that future computers could weigh as little as 1.5 tons.

This doesn’t mean businesses should simply wait for the future to arrive. The incredible pace at which computing, processing power and data compression have progressed has created opportunities for thousands of businesses to build, evolve and innovate products of their own. Innovation is now its own highly prized and sought after discipline.

Finding the next ‘big thing’

Businesses always want to be first to market, but nobody predicted mobile phones, let alone the iPhone – which was once branded ‘pointless’ as it had no physical QWERTY keyboard. Research and development is a way of predicting the future for companies; an integral part with the potential to create incredible success.

R&D isn’t interchangeable with innovation, however. Innovation is an individual discipline and a key business differentiator, supported by recent research that the companies who are the most innovative aren’t the ones that spend the greatest sums on R&D. Innovation is more about fresh and exciting thinking as opposed to incremental technical improvement – put simply, it’s an iPhone when compared to a slightly faster Blackberry emailer.

Innovation as a mindset

Companies that seek to be innovative need creativity. The ability to not only identify a problem that isn’t widely recognised, overcome physical or technical barriers with fresh thinking and critically evaluate potential solutions is exactly the kind of capability that can make a small company a world-beater. This isn’t to say that R&D isn’t valuable, but it takes an innovative mindset to apply their principles and what’s technically possible in a unique, new and disruptive manner.

The companies who score highly as ‘innovative’ whilst not giving over large percentages of turnover to R&D all share a few capabilities; taking a big picture approach to solving the problem is key and through collaboration, fresh design thinking, creative problem solving and even instilling ‘innovation’ as part of the company culture all make for an agile company.

The University of York and its world-class academics have created a 100% online MSc in Innovation, Leadership and Management to directly address the challenges faced by modern businesses today and to help meet their requirements. It covers key competencies such as effective communication and a critical approach to problem solving and enables you to study in your spare time, anywhere you like – meaning you don’t need to take a costly career break and can apply what you learn to your current role, proving your value to your employer. We’ve also made every section pay-per-module to remove the burden of large, up-front payments.

Businesses greatly value the ability to be innovative and are treating it as one of the basics of company culture; technology firms in particular don’t just want minor progress, they’re looking for something new, fresh, exciting and radical. Making changes and having innovation as a mindset proves that it’s a teachable skill that can be honed and perfected. The ability to demonstrate these very skills through a prestigious Russell Group Masters degree could be the very thing to boost your career!

To find out more and begin your application, simply click here.

A midlife career change can be exciting, but must be done sensibly

Very few people can look back on their teens and not, in some way, ask “What was I thinking?”

There are lots of cases where a decision made in youth does have far-reaching effects, and the most common is a career. Most people start their first ‘proper job’ at university leaving age. Some take roles directly related to their degree, others go into a field that seems interesting and some choose careers based on salary. In all these cases, after 15 or 20 years in the same field – or even the same role – the desire to break out to something new can be overwhelming.

Before you begin to make the change

Drastically changing career can be tricky, but with a little planning and foresight, it can be very rewarding. Firstly, consider why you want to change; is it to improve your chances of moving into management or would you like to set up your own company and be the boss? Is there a new and unrelated field you want to try?

Understanding why you want to change helps you assess the extent to which you actually do want to. Getting itchy feet isn’t uncommon, but with big life changes such as resetting your career path, you need passion to take you through. A strong desire is necessary to give you the solid work ethic you’ll need to succeed; when you’re effectively starting your career over, dedication and lots of energy will be needed.

You’ll also need to consider finances. Taking a pay cut is one thing, but you may need a career break, pay to retrain or even fork out for professional accreditations, which can soon add up. Finally, you should objectively assess how successful your new career could be – are your current training courses applicable or do you need new qualifications? There’s little point in leaving one career to find your new dream role hampered due to inapplicable credentials.

A different way to progress

We at the University of York fully understand the implications of taking a leap into a new career, and we have a range of MSc Leadership and Management degrees, delivered 100% online, that allow you to study and prepare for your new career anywhere and anytime it suits you. Thanks to a flexible timetable, you can learn in your spare time and gain a top-class Masters degree from a Russell Group University without having to take extended time of work to study. Our pay-per-module structure removes the need for large, up-front expenses and we run six start dates each year, so you don’t have to wait for a new school year to begin!

By taking advantage of our resources and world class academics at the University of York, you can study online to get a highly regarded MSc and give your leap into a new career the greatest chance of success!

Find out more and begin your application