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Free with HRM Issue 11.4

annual guide to

executive education 2011 Featuring: + Asian MBAs on the rise + Corporate sponsored MBAs

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HR Degree at UniSIM

“War for talent” back on

Come July 2011, individuals who seek specialised training in human capital management will be able to upgrade their skills and qualification through a new Master of Human Capital Management Degree offered by SIM University (UniSIM). This is currently the only programme of its kind offered by a local university. The UniSIM Masters programme is offered in line with the nation’s call to train and develop valuable human capital. The underlying theme of this programme is proper alignment: the need to align human capital with business strategy. Thus, it is the first Master of Human Capital Management that truly integrates human capital with business strategy. This is the also the first Master of Human Capital Management (MHCM) programme in

Singapore that has the inputs and support from Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute, the Singapore National Employers Federation as well as leading HR practitioners and academics. The programme aims to produce human capital professionals who have acquired the necessary knowledge and understanding in human capital management and key people management skills. They will also be equipped with broad-based competencies in critical thinking, business partnership, policy analysis, as well as programme evaluation. Interested students can apply for professional certification under stand-alone modules.


Better career opportunities motivate MBA students Motivations for going to business school remain steady across economic cycles, according to a new research by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner of the GMAT exam. Students still mostly join business schools with a desire to develop new skills and abilities, gain access to better career opportunities and find more interesting and challenging work. People place less emphasis on other motivating factors, such as gaining recognition or respect, learning to effectively influence others or strengthening their credentials, the two-year study of nearly 40,000 candidates interested in applying for How prospective students expect to pay for Graduate Management Education Grants / fellowships / scholarships Loans Personal earnings/savings Spouse / partner earnings Employer support parental support Other source







Estimated Percentage Global Total, Overall


MBAs or other graduate management education programmes found. Meanwhile, respondents to GMAC’s Prospective Students Survey said they focus more on whether they can sustain the commitment of time and energy needed to succeed in business school—when weighing the potential risks and rewards of investing in management education. The motivations behind people’s interest in management education tend to play a key role in determining the types of programmes they consider. Full-time MBA programmes particularly appeal to people who want to maximise networking opportunities, whereas individuals driven by a desire to maintain their competitiveness in the job market gravitate more to part-time, distancelearning and executive MBA programmes, GMAC researchers discovered. Meanwhile, master’s programmes that specialise in areas such as accounting or finance click with people who want to sharpen their ability to control situations.

MBAs are wanted in finance and consulting. The QS TopMBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2010/11 findings indicate that the finance sector hired 22% more MBAs in 2010, and predicts a further increase of 11% in the coming year. MBA graduate hiring in the consulting sector also increased by 19% during 2010, and is set to increase by a further 37% during 2011. Experts predict MBA hiring in both sectors will return to pre-recession highs in the next two years. Nunzio Quacquarelli, director of the QS World MBA Tour says, “In 2008 and 2009, the finance sector suffered a recruiting downturn, but last year saw a rebound and hiring is expected to return to pre-crisis levels in the next two years.” Top business schools, which saw demand for their MBA graduates dip in recent years, also began to see improvements at the end of 2010. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other global financial firms had cut MBA hiring by up to 80% in some offices. Diane Morgan, director of London Business School’s Career Service believes that banks are changing their hiring patterns and are now “taking a longer-term view of their MBA hiring. So from 2011, the “war for talent” is back on. With hiring levels on the rise, MBA graduates of 2012 to 2014 are likely to benefit most from this future hiring spree.

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MBAs on the rise Do MBA graduates from overseas schools have a competitive advantage over graduates in Asia? HRM finds that though overseas business schools enjoy the spotlight, business schools in Asia are steadily gaining recognition By Priya de Langen


issue 11.4




he Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is the most popular business education qualification and it is fast becoming a pre-requisite to acquire a management position. MBAs are offered by numerous schools around the globe and potential students looking to find an institution that fits their needs can refer to yearly rankings by magazines and newspapers (most notably Financial Times) to help them choose. Understandably, students planning to undertake the degree would at first take into account the top ranking schools. Names such as the London Business School (LBS), Harvard Business School and Insead frequently appear in the yearly top-ten of business school rankings. Prestige, a well-connected alumni network and a promise of a good starting salary are some of the essentials that these institutions are offering. However, business schools in Asia such as the Hong Kong UST Business School and the Indian School of Business (ISB) are inching towards global top rankings while others like the NUS School of Business and Nanyang Business School are gaining recognition.

“The growing Asian influence on global economy is pointing to the fact that Asian MBAs would have a distinct advantage over top-tier schools” Nicanor Lazaro Soriano, Director, Marketing & Admissions, Nanyang Business School

Focus on Asia is a plus point

A 2010 McKinsey Global Survey highlighted that executives worldwide believe that in the next five years there will be a shift in global economic activity from developed to developing economies due to a growing number of consumers in the emerging markets. The survey also highlighted that the region will become a major provider for “capital, talent and innovation.” This growing influence of Asian economies is proving advantageous for the graduates, say business schools. Nicanor Lazaro Soriano, Director of Marketing and Admissions at Nanyang Business School states: “The growing Asian influence on global economy is pointing to the fact that MBAs from the region would have a distinct advantage over top-tier schools.” Soriano explains that with more global businesses expanding in this region, they would need leaders who have an ‘Asian understanding’ of businesses; and graduates from Asian MBAs will be able to provide this. “In certain positions that require an understanding of how businesses work in the region, our graduates will have a clear advantage over Europeans or Americans. The preference will be more towards those who attended Nanyang MBA,” adds Soriano. Joan Tay, Director of Career Services, Corporate Relations and Communications at NUS Business School says that increasing numbers of MNCs are “looking for talents who can steer their global businesses to succeed in Asia” and are approaching NUS Business School as a source for such talent. issue 11.4




Growth of employment opportunities

Growing economic activity in Asia has boosted job markets in several countries, especially in India and China. The Employment Outlook Survey for 2011 (conducted on 64,000 HR and recruitment managers) by global recruitment company, Manpower Inc. highlighted that companies around Asia are looking to increase their headcount. About 51% of employers surveyed in India are planning to increase headcount while 36% of executives in China and 45% in Taiwan said that they will also increase their workforce numbers. MBA graduates will be able to take advantage of the wave of employment opportunities in the region. In fact, Tay says that MBA graduates from the NUS Business School have enjoyed a good employment rate compared to other schools in the top 10 The average MBA graduates from rankings (Refer to side box). Indian Institute of Management “In the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2011, NUS Business School scored high in terms of employability with 93% of our graduates finding employment within three months of graduation. However, the average of the 22 higher-ranked schools was only 88%,” Tay says. The Financial Times MBA Ranking 2011 highlighted that MBA students from business schools in Asia show a high percentage of being hired within three months after graduation. ISB, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Nanyang all registered high employment percentages of 98, 97 and 82, respectively. These figures are on par and even higher than employment percentages of top-tier schools outside of Asia. London Business School, Wharton and Harvard show employment percentages of 91, 84 and 90, respectively. Employment opportunities abound in Asia but employers say that only the right MBA candidate for the right role will be picked, despite school rankings. Jacinta Low, Head of HR Planning & Employee Communications at OCBC Bank says that the bank “is an equal opportunities employer and it recruits MBA graduates from reputable universities worldwide.” “Regardless of their qualification, the selection process is the same for candidates for a particular role. What counts most is the right job fit between the MBA holder, the job position and the organisation,” adds Low. In fact, OCBC provides a Management Associate Programme for which it trains MBA and Masters graduates with at least two years of work experience for leadership roles in the company.


Low salary divide

It is a no-brainer but one of the tangible results of an MBA qualification is an increased salary. In fact, a Financial Times


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Top 7 MBA schools in Asia School Name


Rank in 2011 4

Salaries Today Employment (US$) Rate 147,974 82

survey of over 9,000 alumni of the top Insead France/ MBA programmes from 2007 found that Singapore graduates ranked higher salaries as the main Hong Kong UST Business School China 6 133,334 69 reason for undertaking an MBA. The Indian Institute of Management, India 11 174,440 97 education and networking came in as the Ahmedabad second and third priorities for graduates. 132,352 98 India 13 Indian School of Business Tay says that students from NUS Ceibs China 17 118,514 92 Business School have seen an increase in NUS School of Business Singapore 23 100,456 93 salaries post-graduation. “The post-MBA Nanyang Business School Singapore 33 104,952 82 salary increase (measured three years after graduation) of graduates was registered at *Note: 140%, compared to the average of 125% for Salaries today: The average alumni salary three years after graduation. For the 2011 MBA ranking, FT the 22 higher-ranked schools.” surveyed the MBA class that graduated in 2007. This figure includes alumni salary data for the current Moreover, the gap between actual year and the one or two preceding years, where available. (This figure does not affect the ranking) salaries of top US and European MBA Employment rate: The percentage of the most recent graduating class that has found employment graduates is not wide compared to their within three months of graduation. counterparts in Asia. At the highest point of Extracted from Financial Times MBA Ranking 2011 the salary scale, MBA graduates in Asia earn about US$174,000 (Indian Institute of Management) and at the lowest end, about $100,000 per year (NUS Business). MBA graduates outside of Asia earn around $183,000 (Stanford) as the highest salary and about $133,000 (Iese Business School) at the lowest.

Networking counts

Whether it is an email introduction or a meeting over coffee, graduates set much in store by networking. Alumni who work for particular organisations could provide contacts to help students or graduates with a new job or business opportunities. In fact, long-established business schools enjoy bigger networking opportunities compared to their younger counterparts. Generally, less than 50% (some even low as 1%) of alumni from each of the top ten business institutions stated that they received work placements through their schools, revealing networking was essential in gaining jobs. Business schools such as NUS and Nanyang are building their networking circle for MBA students and graduates through their career services offices. Regular networking sessions, industry forums, and even internships are some of the tools that these schools use to help with job placements. “Though not mandatory, internships are also available for those who wish to pursue one. Otherwise, there are other experiential choices to make while at Nanyang Business,” states Soriano. “Pro-active profiling of our NUS MBA candidates to the right employers, regular networking sessions and industry forums are just some of many initiatives we have to enhance the employability of our graduates,” explains Tay. issue 11.4



profile NUS Business School

NUS Business School

Executive Education S

ince 1981, NUS Business School has been offering a comprehensive portfolio of public and customised executive education programmes to more than 20,000 senior leaders and managers from around the world. Our range of open Executive Education programmes, conducted in both English and Mandarin, are designed for high potential leaders and senior managers.

Some of our Programme Directors include: Dr Prem Shamdasani Associate Dean, Executive Education Director – Stanford-NUS Executive Programme in International Management & Advanced Management Programme PhD, University of Southern California Dr Nitin Pangarkar Director – Strategic Management Programme PhD, University of Michigan Dr Sum Chee Chuong Director – General Management Programme PhD, University of Minnesota Dr Ishtiaq Mahmood Director – Business Strategies for Asia PhD, Harvard University

Dr Audrey Chia Director – Leadership Development Programme PhD, University of Texas at Austin Dr Ruth Tan Director – Accounting & Finance for NonFinancial Managers PhD, University of Washington Mr Lowe Joo Yong Director – Strategic Human Resource Management Programme MBA, National University of Singapore Dr Chia Ho Beng Director – Negotiation & Influence PhD, University of British Columbia Dr Jayanth Narayanan Director – New Manager’s Programme PhD, London Business School

Our classroom diversity ensures that participants don’t only learn from the faculty but also through sharing, discussions and networking sessions


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We also design, develop and deliver English and Mandarin customised programmes targeted at the development needs of client organisations. Our programmes have been delivered in cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Colombo, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney and Wellington.

Our Learning Philosophy

NUS Business School is known for its world-class international faculty, high impact research, spirit of enterprise and innovative teaching. As Asia’s Global Business School, we focus on helping our Executive Education participants gain conceptual understanding and practical knowledge of global and Asian businesses. Our faculty has vast experience in researching and consulting with organisations across Asia and the world, and has helped leaders and senior managers enhance skills, develop strategies and create innovative solutions. Our Executive Education programmes are carefully designed to stay ahead of the curve. Through an integration of classroom teaching, case studies, small group discussions and networking sessions, our participants get the most out of their lessons from interacting with the faculty as well as peers from different countries and industries.

International Faculty – Best of East and West

NUS Business School has a 120-strong faculty with members from more than 25 countries. Our faculty members are of the highest caliber, and are actively engaged in research and teaching, as well as consulting to businesses and governments worldwide. + Executive Education NUS Business School National University of Singapore Mochtar Riady Building, Level 5 15 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119245 + Email: + Tel: +65 6516 7872 + Website:

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Leadership Development for a Resurgent Asia

Jacqueline Gillespie Managing Principal Tel: +65 6231 6140

Leadership Development for a Resurgent Asia

Korn/Ferry International The Leadership Development Experts Ranked number one in leadership development for two consecutive years – Leadership Excellence Magazine

Leadership Development for a Resurgent Asia

Leadership Development for a Resurgent Asia



on us

Executive education costs can only go one way, up. While it is a necessary evil for many people around the world, businesses are increasingly stepping in and saying, “It’s on us.” HRM finds out what sponsoring MBAs and EMBAs entails By Shalini Shukla-Pandey


full-time master’s degree programme in business administration (MBA) at a top-tier school is not cheap — a year at Insead in Fontainebleau, France, will set students back by about €74,000, (US$100,000) for 10 months. Costs at a top American business school can exceed US$160,000 in tuition and living expenses for two years. In India, students can expect to chuck Rs2,700,000 (US$60,000) out of their pockets for a good MBA from the Indian Institute of Management while an executive MBA (EMBA) from National University of Singapore (NUS) will cost at least S$95,000 (US$75,000).


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It’s no wonder that sponsorship of executive education is a rather popular method of taking an MBA or EMBA course. While companies do have to spend a significant amount of money on each staff attending an MBA or EMBA course, they benefit from this partnership with employees as well. MBAs are highly regarded at ANZ as they are recognised globally and provide a strong expertise in executive management. “Sponsoring such executive education contributes to an employee’s skills while also generating goodwill among staff by helping them to achieve their professional potential,” Rodney Hanratty, the bank’s Group


Head of Learning & Development says. “This is a long-term focus on the future and an investment for us to help staff grow and develop to their full potential and build a strong pipeline of talented leaders.” A survey by Business and Legal Reports, a compliance information company, shows that 85% of US companies had a tuition-funding programme in 2010. In the UK, 50% of MBA students have all fees paid by their employers, and only 16% report no financial assistance, according to the Salary Survey by the Association of MBAs. This is also true for Singapore. According to the National University of Singapore (NUS), about 50% of executive education course participants receive sponsorship from their employers. Another 25% are partially sponsored by the company, while the rest pay for their own fees. NUS says candidates are strongly encouraged to obtain sponsorship where the employer agrees to relieve the candidate from normal duties during residential segments. Financial support from the employer, though preferred, is not mandatory.

Terms & Conditions

When an HR department selects a business school to sponsor an employee on an MBA programme, the decision will often be the result of an intensive research exercise, evaluating the strength of faculty, the facilities and the relevance of the

course to the employee and the company’s needs. Company sponsorship varies significantly by the industry, company revenue and the region. GMAC’s Corporate Recruiter Survey found that the majority of US employers that sponsor MBA programmes indicated that students pay for the cost of attendance and are then reimbursed with conditions (69%). The primary condition for reimbursement was that the candidate had to maintain a certain MBA school performance/grade point average (72%). Obligation to work for a certain number of years was a distant second (31%). In Singapore, the reverse seems to be true. Most organisations such as ANZ require employees who have been sponsored to commit to a certain service period during and post their studies to leverage the return on investment. “ANZ has such arrangements in place which is common practice in many organisations,” Hanratty says. The percentage of sponsorship also differs from country to country. In Japan, the GMAC survey found that a good 90% of students in any MBA programme are fully company-sponsored. In Singapore, however, full sponsorship isn’t very common and companies pay about one-third the cost whereas in the UK or US, they pay the whole amount.


In general, employers are more willing to pay for part-time programmes than full-time because the employee must leave the company for the duration of the full-time degree. In a part-time programme, the biggest benefit for employers is that they’re not losing an employee so that particular person is not only earning an additional professional qualification, but he/she can also apply what they learn almost immediately in the work environment. “EMBAs are commonly sponsored by employers whilst for full time MBAs, it is less common as people often leave their employer to study,” Jeanette Greenwood, Talent and issue 11.4




Why sponsor? So, what does it take to convince HR to sponsor staff? MBA360, an MBA education information website, says firms can reap the following benefits of giving MBA sponsorship to staff: + An MBA sponsorship will provide employers/managers with the tools of strategic analysis, thereby increasing the capacity within the organisation to have a long term perspective on specific MBA students + Since all MBA courses use illustrative examples from all sectors of the economy, MBA sponsorship can supply the employees/manager, and the whole organisation in turn, with the broadest base of knowledge + MBA sponsorship will provide students with the opportunity to become a part of an international alumni network, fostering valuable future contacts for the company + MBA programme is made up of a syllabus of learning materials that contain established theories and concepts and also the latest international cross-sector research; these will all, eventually, be fed back into the company + MBA programmes require students to present a dissertation. MBA sponsorship can often mean that the company sponsoring will have full rights to such a dissertation which may be implemented, undoubtedly causing the company to save sums that commissioning experts would cost, often exceeding the total cost of sponsoring the whole MBA study programme + MBA sponsorship of students may have a direct impact on the organisation when students carry out their work based on the sponsor’s realm of expertise as part of the optional courses offered in the MBA programme.

Development Manager at AstraZeneca, a global reseach-based biopharmaceutial company, says. She says an exception to this is when some large consultancies sponsor their staff to do their MBAs. This is because the organisations require their people to get MBAs after a certain time in the company. Greenwood, who runs an MBA Graduate Programme within the commercial arm of her company, says, “In my experience however, sponsorship of MBAs by companies tends to be limited (although more common in the US perhaps) and would tend to be restricted to those considered talents or high potentials,” Greenwood says. She suggests that one concern that can be raised when considering sponsoring staff is managing the expectations of employees as they tend to expect to change their careers on completion, often moving from for say a less commercial area into a more commercial area.


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“Of course this isn’t always desirable from the employers’ point of view, and so prior to agreeing to sponsor (time or money), it is sensible to discuss the likely/desired resultant career track to ensure there is some alignment,” Greenwood added.

When the going gets tough

You’d think that corporate sponsorship would have lost steam after the recent recession and reduced budgets. However, that’s not the case. GMAC’s Corporate Recruiter Survey revealed that despite the recession, most companies have not cut back on benefits for further education. Just 16% of US employers reported being less inclined to reimburse employees to attend part-time programmes during a recession, 25% were less inclined to sponsor attendance to executive programmes, and a little less than half neither agreed nor disagreed that they were more inclined to grant a leave of absence to attend an MBA programme. Employers even indicated that they are more inclined to grant employees tuition assistance to attend an MBA programme (44% strongly agree/agree) during tough times. These programmes can also be used for recruitment and retention, businesses said. “In talking with a lot of our members, Fortune 500 companies and Global 200 companies, what we’re hearing is that they are really ramping up tuition reimbursement programme because, as we come out of the recession, the war for talent is really going to heat up in earnest more than ever before,” Lorrie Lykins, the managing editor and director of research services of the Institute for Corporate Productivity, says. “This is really viewed as a key recruitment tool.” Also, MBA Sponsorship will provide staff with the opportunity to become a part of an international alumni network, fostering valuable contacts for the future. The interaction or networking with classmates and faculty may bring in new businesses to the company, a definite plus during bad times.

profile Ngee Ann-Adelaide

A new era in

business education B

usiness leaders of the 21st century can expect to be faced with constant challenges. The complexities of the global business world warrant a wide range of business qualifications that will confront these challenges and exploit the opportunities of today’s competitive marketplace. With the vision to ‘Educate Leaders of Tomorrow’ the longstanding partners, Ngee Ann Kongsi and the University of Adelaide established Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre [NAA] in 1998 to offer the MBA and a spectrum of specialist Master degrees in Business. More than 2,000 graduates have graduated from the centre in Singapore with an impressive record of high profile alumnus in leadership positions from the private and public sectors. “Delivering world-class, relevant programmes in the undergraduate, postgraduate, and post-experience arenas, the University of Adelaide is consistently ranked top 1% of the universities in the world based on Times Higher Education, QS and Jiao Tong Rankings,” says Associate Professor Barry Burgan, Head, Business School. The Business School’s emphasis is on assisting students to develop problemsolving and communication skills, leadership and team building skills, critical and analytical abilities which enable students to better understand and deal with

the complex issues of management in a changing business environment. “While practical in orientation, the learning experience provides graduates with a solid theoretical grounding in management. Students and graduates get an opportunity to apply what they learn through workplace-based projects,” Burgan adds. Through a dynamic classroom experience of intellectual capital and high quality teaching, an exceptional student body is fostered to create the dynamism of business in the new era. + Visit for listing of Postgraduate and Undergraduate degree programmes offered at Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre, 97 Tank Road, Teochew Building, Level 4 Singapore 238066. + For programme enquiry please email: or call 6738 2910

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profile Human Capital Singapore

National Centre for

HR WSQ Training L

aunched in 2008, the Human Resource Workforce Skills Qualifications (HR WSQ) Framework sets out the national skills standards for HR professionals and provides greater access to HR training and attainment of nationally-recognised certifications. The full suite of HR WSQ training can be found at Human Capital Singapore (HCS), the national Continuing Education and Training (CET) centre for HR. Established in 2009, the centre has trained almost 4,000 HR professionals and people managers to-date, and offers over 40 HR Management and HR Development courses. HR professionals wanting to deepen their skills in their specific functional areas can choose from five certification programmes including Recruitment & Selection, Talent Management as well as Performance Management. HCS has also developed the Chief People Officer Post-graduate (CPOP) programme for top executives and corporate leaders. Based on the HR WSQ framework, the CPOP Programme leads to a WSQ Specialist Diploma in Human Capital Management and builds people management capabilities in leaders so that they can better leverage human capital in their businesses.


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(L-R): Andy Seah, Assistant Commissioner of IRAS receiving his CPOP certificate from Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Minister Of State, Ministry Of Community Development, Youth & Sports

Designed to facilitate extensive knowledgesharing on challenges, emerging trends and best practices in people management, HCS programmes have drawn many non-HR professionals as well. One of them, Andy Seah, Assistant Commissioner of IRAS explains, “The CPOP Programme and the HR WSQ framework provide a systematic and highly relevant way for the HR community and senior managers to raise our leadership and HR competencies as well as discuss and advance our thinking on HR matters. The networking opportunities and open sharing have also been invaluable in learning best practices that we can adopt in our organisations.� + For more information on Human Capital Singapore, please visit or contact us at or 6423 0388

HRM 11.04 Supplement  

Executive Education Guide 2011

HRM 11.04 Supplement  

Executive Education Guide 2011