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Five ways to transform your career in 2022

For many, the rapidly evolving events of the last two years have meant that they have been given the opportunity to pause, reflect and decide where they want their career to go next.

Five ways to transform your career in 2022
Start your journey towards success with HEC Paris. Photo: MadeToShow Photography

The journey of self-discovery, particularly within a business context, is never straightforward. 

Together with French business school HEC Paris, we highlight some key areas to consider in taking your career forward in 2022. 

Centre Yourself 

Two years of working from home and disrupted business conditions mean that many are considering what brings fulfillment to their careers. Importantly, they are learning what they could do without. It’s a great opportunity to take stock and evaluate where they are in their career.

You might ask yourself, ‘What could I lose from my daily work and not miss? What is unnecessary and drains me?’ This kind of exercise can identify what could be holding you back, and lead to a more productive self. 

Taking the time to articulate the areas in which you could be upskilling, and closing knowledge gaps, is another good exercise for ‘centring yourself’. It can also lead to realisations that can not only take your career forward, but can help develop innovative solutions which can be spun into new ventures. 

An Executive MBA (EMBA), such as the one offered at HEC Paris, can be a good way of highlighting and closing knowledge gaps. They offer a number of specialised subjects that suit almost every industry and area of business, and are constantly updated to reflect the latest practice. 

For a perspective on how this kind of reflection can provide lasting benefit, Julie Allison, VP of Sustainability and Transformation at ACCOR and HEC Paris EMBA alumni, recently spoke about how ‘asking the right questions is vital. 

Learn more about how you can take the next step in your career at HEC Paris

Get updated 

If nothing else, the events of the last two years and the global pandemic led to a wealth of new research, innovations and ways of doing business. Changes to working conditions, delivery infrastructures and app-based services are examples of how the way business is done has fundamentally changed. 

That is why understanding the latest in business acumen and innovation is vital to taking your career forward. The world is moving faster than ever and the next generation of business giants will be those that understand that constant education is key.

Those pursuing an EMBA will be exposed to the latest business trends, in an environment where they will meet business leaders and fellow executives from across the world. Programmes, such as HEC Paris, also regularly feature some of the world’s most exciting business innovators, who will share their stories and ways of working. 

Change your scenery

No matter how old you are, nothing spurs new understanding and a greater appreciation for things than a change of scenery. Not only will you be placed into an environment where you are required to pay attention and focus on detail, but you will be exposed to new ways of doing things and different cultural sensibilities. 

Studying in a world capital can make all the difference. These places not only have a proud history of business and industry, but are centres of learning, attracting innovators from around the globe. Paris, for example, is not only the birthplace of some of the world’s most recognisable brands and cultural movements, but is a constant magnet for those wanting to make their mark – where better to learn? 

Transform your career in one of the world’s business and culture capitals. HEC Paris EMBA courses begin each March and November in Paris

A change of scenery is one of the best ways in which we learn. Photo: Getty Images

Connect with others

To quote the poet and playwright John Donne, ‘No man is an island’. We are only able to grow and develop when we are exposed to the ideas of those around us. Our preconceptions are challenged, our ideas are tested and we are able to use each other as a sounding board for the messaging we want from our endeavours. Therefore, anybody seeking to refocus their career in 2022 should consider their personal network. 

An EMBA is an ideal way of fostering growth, thanks to sprawling networks of alumni. These networks ensure that connecting with other EMBA participants promotes lifelong growth and learning.

HEC Paris EMBA alumni Bola Bardet credits the breadth of the alumni network she found at the school as an integral part of her success as founder of Susu, a digital health service for the African diaspora

Hone your leadership skills

You may have had leadership positions before, but leadership in business does not consist of a static set of qualities. New trends in business mean that different skills and knowledge are required to lead effectively over the course of time. What worked pre-pandemic may not necessarily be the best way of leading now.

EMBA participants, through the course of their subjects and projects, are brought into contact with a variety of business leaders and leadership styles. Many HEC Paris EMBA alumni, such as 37-year-old Christofle CEO Émilie Viargues Metge, have spoken about how some of the most useful and long-lasting insights she gained were from interactions with thought leaders who both taught at and visited the school. 

Deciding on one’s future career path is never easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and time. That is why when embarking on such a journey, it’s important to have the tools you need to make up your mind. For some, such tools can be found in the course of an EMBA at HEC Paris. 

Ready to revitalise your professional career, or venture down a new and exciting path? Discover how HEC Paris offers a world-class experience for mid-career executives. New intakes begin in Paris in March, September and November

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EDUCATION

English-language programmes at Danish universities face cuts

Denmark's government has agreed on a plan to significantly reduce the number of courses offered in English in the country's universities.

English-language programmes at Danish universities face cuts
Life sciences faculty hold an open house at Copenhagen University. The university is now expected to reduce admissions as part of a plan to decentralise higher education in Denmark. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt / Ritzau Scanpix

At the end of June, the plan aims to reduce the number of English-language higher education programmes while also expanding educational opportunities outside of Denmark’s major cities.

The exact number of courses to be cut – and where they will be cut – depends on the future employment of graduates.

Cuts to English-language programmes

The reduction of English-language programmes at institutions of higher education is rooted in an effort to reduce rising costs of state educational grants (SU) in Denmark. Despite attempts to reduce SU expenses, the cost is expected to rise to 570 million kroner by 2025, far above the cap of 449 million kroner set in 2013. 

There are a number of cases in which non-Danish citizens are entitled to SU, from moving to Denmark with one’s parents, marrying a Danish citizen, residing in Denmark for more than 5 years, status as a worker in Denmark, and more.

The reduction is targeted at English-language programmes where few English-speaking students find employment in Denmark after graduation, according to Denmark’s Ministry of Education and Research. 

Among the targeted programmes are business academies and professional bachelor programmes, where 72 percent of students are English-speaking and only 21 percent find work in Denmark after completing their education. 

However, programmes where higher proportions of English students enter the Danish workforce, and those that have a unique significance on the regional labour market, will be exempt from the reduction. This amounts to 650 education institutions around the country. 

In 2016, students demonstrated against cuts in SU. Photo: Emil Hougaard / Ritzau Scanpix

The agreement also establishes a financial incentive for institutions that graduate English-speaking students who remain to work in Denmark.

According to a June 10 analysis from consulting firm Deloitte, EU students who receive higher education in Denmark contribute an average of nearly 650,000 kroner to Denmark’s public coffers over a lifetime. 

However, the report notes, a student’s positive or negative contribution depends on how long they stay in Denmark. Although students who leave Denmark shortly after graduating constitute a cost to the Danish state, the analysis found that the contribution of students who stay in Denmark to work offsets the cost of those who leave.

The analysis expressed concern that reducing opportunities for English-language higher education could “have a number of unintended negative consequences,” including deterring students who might stay in Denmark to work from moving in the first place. There’s also the risk that it will become more difficult to recruit foreign researchers to Danish universities, which could impact education quality, the analysis claims.

The UCN professional school in Thisted is expected to open one new training program as a result of the decentralisation plan. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Decentralisation of Danish education

The plan to decentralise higher education in Denmark not only expands educational opportunities outside of Denmark’s major cities, but it also aims to reduce enrollment in higher education within major cities by 10 percent by 2030 (but not more than 20 percent).

For example, a law programme will be established in Esbjerg, a medical programme in Køge and a veterinary programme in Foulum.

Minister of Education and Research Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen said the goal was to offer students educational opportunities regardless of where they live within Denmark and strengthen the economy outside of major cities. 

However, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, Dansk Erhverv, expressed concern that the decentralisation plan doesn’t factor in labour demands within Denmark’s major cities.

Mads Eriksen, head of education and research policy at Dansk Erhverv, said it was “unwise” for programmes to reduce acceptance rates to in-demand fields in that particular city. 

“They are trying to solve a problem with labour in the countryside, but at the same time they are creating labour problems in the cities,” Eriksen said. “The English-language programme cuts are far more aligned with the demands of the labour market.”

Denmark has utilised unemployment-based admission for higher education since 2015. Programmes whose graduates experience unemployment consistently 2 percent higher than average are subject to a 30 percent admission cut.

Eriksen thinks it shouldn’t be a matter of reducing admissions across several universities by

“For example, we have five philosophy education programmes in Denmark, each of which have high unemployment rates among graduates,” Eriksen said, referencing a recent Dansk Erhverv analysis

He would prefer to see resources concentrated into making a couple of those programmes the best they can be and closing the rest, versus reducing admissions in all five programmes. “We have to be ready to close programmes that continue to have high unemployment, not just reduce them.”

In 2018, the University of Southern Denmark closed one English-language program and converted two from English to Danish. Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen / Ritzau Scanpix

Opposite impacts on provincial institutions

Gitte Sommer Harrits, vice chancellor at VIA University College, shared concern that although the decentralised education aspect of the plan aims to increase the number of students at provincial universities, the reduction of English-language programmes is likely to have the opposite effect.

A report from the organisation Akademikerne in early June found that international students have played a significant role filling educational institutions outside of Danish cities. Nine of the 10 educational institutions with the largest proportion of English-speaking students are outside the country’s largest cities. 

The University of Southern Denmark in Sønderborg has the highest proportion of international students; 40 percent of its 628 students are not affiliated with Denmark or other Nordic countries. 

While significantly larger with nearly 37,000 students, Copenhagen University has 5.2 percent international students.

Already in 2018, the University of Southern Denmark closed one English-language programme and converted two others from English to Danish after the Danish government ordered universities to reduce the number of international students.

Harrits said she found the possible closure of English-language programmes drawing international students to provincial areas to be puzzling when paired with the intention to decentralise education.

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