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22.02.2021

Educating yourself in an Age of Tech

When it comes to business today, investment in technology is the game changer that will give companies a competitive edge. As such, graduates who have the IT skills as well as the management knowledge to understand and manage technology for new opportunities and existing business restructurings will be in high demand.

To cater to this need, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School launched a one-year full time or two-year part time MSc in Information Systems Management (MScISM) program, which curriculum combines technical knowledge with insightful business courses focused on technology management.

“Our aim is to nurture a new generation of leaders who can capitalise on the growing importance of a variety of technology-enabled innovations to expand the boundaries of business and gain competitive advantage in our increasingly interconnected global economy,” said Prof. Theodore Clark, the Academic Director of the HKUST MScISM program.

Indeed, students from around the world are drawn to the program for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the program is part of the prestigious HKUST Business School, which is rated the Asia’s No.1 by the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings in the last two years, as well as the World’s Top 20 by the University of Texas Dallas Business School Research Rankings from 2005-2020.

Another reason why students are drawn to the program is because of its cutting-edge curriculum. Aside from offering one of the most comprehensive and well-rounded IT management courses, the program is structured with a focus on two optional concentrations, valuable corporate project exposure, industry talks and company visits, as well as an optional overseas exchange opportunity.

“This is one of the best programs globally,” said Thomas Yim, class of 2019 (Full-time) who now works as a Data Analyst at HSBC Hong Kong. “I wanted to get into the tech industry but just having a BBA degree in Global Business and doing some self-learning of technological concepts is not sufficient. This program helped me remove many obstacles in achieving my tech career aspiration, and opened up a whole new world.”

Enhancing your expertise through optional concentrations

Through two concentrations: Financial Technology (FinTech) Concentration and the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Concentration, students are able to research, deep dive and become experts in these concentration areas.

“This is really a good proof that I have acquired proficient knowledge in these areas,” said Anna Lu (Class of 2020 Full-time), who just embarked on her career with Tencent.

The concentrations also ensure that students stay abreast of some of the latest trends.

“Through the FinTech concentration, I have realised the newest trends in FinTech such as blockchain and establish useful frames to analyse the market,” said Lingxin Xie (Class of 2020 Full-time) who now works for the ByteDance as a Product Manager.

Extensive corporate project exposure

Another aspect that students find incredibly attractive is that, the HKUST MScISM program provides students with great industry exposure and networks for later job opportunities through different corporate projects with renowned companies.

“It is very impressive that the program has put a lot of effort into enriching students’ industrial exposure and connection to the real business world,” Lingxin added.

Through a corporate project with PingAn OneConnect Bank, she gained the opportunity to work and develop an ERP system for the emerging virtual bank business. This experience allowed her to maximise and utilise her knowledge and skillsets to solve a real-world problem in actual business setting, which further developed her competencies to a higher level.

Expanding horizons through industry talks and overseas opportunities

Thanks to the program’s strong connections with the international community and the industry, students can tap into this network to gain insight into the latest market trends, opportunities and challenges that face companies and think of solutions that have practical applications.

Thomas had the opportunity to visit Tencent and WeBank’s operation centre in Shenzhen while he was attending the HKUST MScISM program. “I have gained a good understanding about the FinTech industry and it was really inspiring.”

Anna couldn’t agree more and said that the company visits allowed her to see how the actual research sites of company work. “I was grateful for the valuable opportunities to meet key researchers of Tencent, and have a thorough discussion with them about the development prospects of the current scientific and technological hot spots,” she said.

Aside from that, the program also boasts an impressive list of speakers who regularly visit and share insights to inspire and to stimulate more innovative thinking.

The MScISM program understands well the importance of international exposure in cultivating future leaders in technology management field. It has an impressive exchange program with the prestigious London Business School, ESSEC Business School and Aalto University School of Business to help students extend their global networks and enrich their cultural experiences.

For students who are thinking about the course, the graduates advised that applicants should think carefully about why they want to do this course, and where you want to be in the future. “No matter you want to be a director in an IT consulting firm or work in IT compliance, for example, you can customize your learning path at the MScISM program to gain relevant knowledge and experience towards that particular goal,” Thomas said.

In fact, in recognition of the importance of this degree to the economic development of Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government has recently rolled out a fellowship fund offering up to HK$ 120,000 tuition waiver for outstanding local applicants upon successful admission to the HKUST MScISM program.

Prof. Clark advised applicants not to miss out on such a valuable opportunity to take full advantage of a program that allow students to learn about technology management, especially in this digital age of social and economic transformation.