2021 In-Demand Careers in International Affairs
Business Skills and Digital Global Mindset Open Career Doors
Even pre-pandemic, the world’s digital transformation made traditional MBA programs too generic to train the types of employees that companies needed, so the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University pivoted.
A new Master of Global Management offers core classes such as accounting (but with insight into blockchain) and also allows students to pick one or two specialties to build deep expertise. The choices: global entrepreneurship, data science, sustainable tourism, and more. Some of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)–oriented concentrations also qualify international students to work in the United States for an extra two years.
“They can tailor their program to their passion and to where the [job] market is,” says Sanjeev Khagram, CEO, director general, and dean of Thunderbird. “What they get from Thunderbird is a digital global mindset and a really strong understanding of these new technologies.”
Thunderbird graduates do well in the marketplace because of their training, a requirement that each student speak two languages, and a 94 percent rate of serving in internships, which often lead to permanent jobs. Students also participate in a Global Challenge Lab—a six-credit group consulting project with a faculty supervisor at clients such as Smucker’s and the Los Angeles city government. Instead of traveling to clients around the world, the program was virtual last summer because of the pandemic.
Thunderbird was set up for remote classes even before the pandemic, which eased the transition, Khagram says. Those classes and the virtual lab mean “employers know [students] can live, work, and be resilient in a digital, remote world professionally.” As consulting has boomed because companies are struggling during the pandemic, the lab also has been a training ground for consulting careers.
Thunderbird’s digital focus is appealing both to employers in traditional companies, which have learned from the pandemic about the need for digital-savvy workers, and to tech companies themselves, where there are many jobs. “Companies are looking for future-ready skill sets. We now call it present-ready,” Khagram says.
The school also has stepped up its connections between students and alumni, with an app/platform to connect them. “Every student gets an alumni mentor in their field,” notes Khagram. Students also can post résumés and videos in a digital book that is available to alumni.
Some popular domestic locations for graduates are New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and fast-growing Phoenix. Top foreign landing spots include China, Mexico, India, and Nigeria.
“Our students have a range of opportunities in terms of sector, industries, and region of the world,” Khagram says.
- 2021 In-Demand Careers in International Affairs
- Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
- University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
- Tufts University, The Fletcher School
- University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies
- Arizona State University, Thunderbird School of Global Management
- George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government
- Texas A&M University, The Bush School of Government & Public Service
- University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
- University of Notre Dame, Keough School of Global Affairs
- Northwestern University