How to Pick a Post-Grad Program that Will Help You Land Your Dream Job

About the author: Nancy Tag is Creative Director, Writer, Professor of Advertising, BIC Program Director at City College of New York. Follow her on LinkedIn.

While it’s crucial to hustle hard in your current job or internship, it’s equally important to periodically take a step back and consider your long-term career goals.

When you examine those, do you see yourself advancing your professional skills and making exciting new connections in a Masters or continuing ed program?

If so, it’s never too early to start preparing and becoming better informed about how different programs can add value to your long-term plan!

When considering a graduate program for professional advancement, many seek out an obvious choice: the Master of Business Administration or MBA. But there’s another option that’s a bit less known: the Master of Professional Studies or MPS.  

Since both focus on business careers, what’s the difference?

A typical MBA requires 60 credits (600 class hours) of graduate work and prepares graduates for such jobs as business analyst or strategist, management consultant, project manager, and operations analyst.

An MPS is also an industry-related degree which is more application than research driven. It requires fewer credits for completion, usually between 30-40 credits, and can take anywhere from one to two years to complete. Like the MBA, an MPS is a terminal degree, often used for interdisciplinary studies.

The MPS equivalent among professional degrees includes the Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Master of Social Work (MSW), the Master of Business Administration (MBA), and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA), among many others.

Other universities in the New York City area that offer the MPS are Cornell, St. John’s, NYU, FIT and the School of Visual Arts. While less common than an MBA, it is a nationally recognized degree.

The only CUNY college to offer an MPS is The City College of New York (CCNY). Its Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) MPS is a 36-credit, portfolio-driven program that combines theory and practice in an interdisciplinary, multi-tracked curriculum.

BIC students at a networking and mentorship mixer at Y&R headquarters. 

BIC alumni leave with all the tools to tackle the needs of marketing communications industries of both private and not-for-profit organizations.

The program also shows students how to address and shape the new cross-disciplinary challenges of creating and managing brand identity at a time when global, digital and more immersive–even tactile–communications are rapidly evolving and technology is constantly changing.

What have BIC grads done with their MPS, you ask? Here are just a few of our alumni success stories:

  • Chris Villanueva’s journey from Copywriter at TBWA/Chiat/Day then DigitasLBi got him on the 4A’s Advertising100 List.
  • Amber Jackson went from Account Executive at Grey to Account Supervisor at 360i.
  • Marika Bailey snagged a job as Digital Media & Graphic Arts Manager at the NAACP.
  • Vera Golikova Keiter is copywriting at BBDO.
  • Castro Desroches is Art Director at Droga5.
  • Megan Fullagar is Marketing Communications Manager at NBCUniversal.
  • Donna Dei-Baning is Creative Insights Strategist at The New York Times TBrand Studio.

Other titles and companies include: Digital Marketing Manager American Girl, Associate Procurement Business Partner at Nestle, Art Director at Y&R, Senior Art Director at DDB, Research Associate of Branding and Insights Group at Cohn & Wolfe, Account Manager at Vox Media, Art Director at True North, Senior Project Manager for Y&R, and Industry Value Advisor at SAP. 

So, do you dream of working at one of these top companies?

You can learn more about BIC and it’s career-changing curriculum at ccny.cuny.edu/bic.  

Have an MPS or BIC success story? Share it in the comments!

The Master’s in Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) is a 36 credit, portfolio driven graduate program at the City College of New York. It’s a laboratory. A think tank. An executive training ground. BIC is a place to roll up your sleeves and figure out how communication creates meaning and adds value: To a company. For the consumer. In society.

Meet the author, Nancy Tag, in person and learn more about BIC at our epic networking night, Hustle Summit in NYC January 19th and swing by their table to get a waiver for their application fee and apply for free.

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