I’m studying for an MSc but still holding down a busy finance job. Here’s how
Flexibility, quality and diversity. These are the key attributes of the online, part-time MSc in Global Finance at the highly regarded Cass Business School.
Taking a long period of time out from work to study can be costly – both in terms of finances and career development. That’s where an online course can be so beneficial. The MSc in Global Finance can be completed by students anywhere in the world, from home, at work or on the go, and they don’t have to miss a day of their jobs.
“I work as a commercial analyst at The Health Counter, a pharmaceutical company, from 9.00 to 18.00. As soon as I finish, I can then immediately log in to the course webinar from my mobile, laptop or tablet. It’s really easy and convenient,” says Abdul-Salem Lamptey, who is in the final stage of his online master’s.
There are no visa requirements or relocation costs involved, and students have access to the same resources, materials and support as those on campus. This includes the library, with many of the texts available as e-books.
There is also a thriving online community for the MSc students with a forum where they can ask questions, share thoughts and experiences, and communicate with the professors and lecturers. “They always ask each week if there are any areas in the module or a particular subject that need further explanation, and, if so, they get brought up in that week’s webinar,” explains Lamptey.
The forum is also a great place to network with fellow students, who come from all over the world and work in a variety of finance and commercial fields. Students impart knowledge and experience of different markets – from real estate in Qatar to insurance in Germany – which can help with the course work. “You get a wider perspective, rather than just sitting in a lecture hall where it’s hard to talk to other students,” adds Lamptey.
The degree takes two years to complete and is designed by top Cass faculty who are leaders in their field. Each module is broken down into convenient weekly topics. The first module gives you a good grounding in all you need to know about key financial matters, such as equity and fund analysis.
The second module goes into more detail, examining the capital structures of companies. “You look in-depth at things like investment strategy and analysis, financial statements, derivatives, and risk management – all the key financial analysis tools,” says Lamptey.
For the third stage, things focus on specific industries. This is where you can apply the analysis you’ve learned to sectors such as real estate, insurance, and banking. By the fourth and final module, where Abdul is now, you master how to do an investment appraisal for a company or project and adapt it to each sector.
Students dedicate about 20 hours each week to the course, split between lectures, webinars, studying and course work. Each topic features video lectures, as well as online materials, class discussions, activities where you test and apply your new knowledge, and webinars where you can get feedback on your work.
Each module is assessed by course work, which you receive and submit online, so there’s no need to travel for exams. And there’s a dedicated course officer on hand to help with any practical support.
Many of the Cass professors have worked in industry before teaching, so they bring practical experience to the table, and know what is required to achieve career success in finance. “They set challenges that we will face in the work environment,” says Lamptey.
The degree itself is also tailored to meet market needs and developments. “I started my master’s just after Brexit kicked off, and the module now looks at its impact on market developments,” adds Lamptey.
He also points to the great flexibility of the course, which he can accommodate around his own work requirements. “During the MSc I have been based in China, Spain and Canada for my work gaining incredible experiences. That is the really attractive side of the course. You can just carry on globally without losing anything.”
Lamptey says you get out of the course what you put in. He has been actively involved with a number of the business school’s societies and activities. “I joined the mentor scheme and got to interact with the director of the alumni. For a period of six months if there was an industry I wanted to get more information on, he’d connect me with one of the Cass alumni working in that field. This allowed me to ask them questions and go through my career aspirations.”
“Every other week there’s an event, whether it’s the equity society or corporate finance society. There are experts and senior figures coming in all the time from the largest financial institutions for discussion panels to explain their sector – what you need to do and what you can expect. These are great supplements to the course,” adds Lamptey.
After he graduates Lamptey is looking to use his new-found skills in a variety of finance areas to further his career at The Health Counter as the company continues to grow rapidly. “I feel confident to expand my role and get involved in more diverse projects. I’m excited about my future,” he says.
To find out more about the online MSc in Global Finance, please visit: www.cass.city.ac.uk/msc-global-finance