Emerging fields of study, innovative formats and disruptive changes: what is the next big news in postgraduate education?

Postgraduate training is an exciting field to follow: its changes and trends are a natural extension of the preferences of students, faculty, employers and everyone else involved. With technological advances and the emergence of new fields of work, schools around the world have the opportunity to reflect these trends in their programs by designing interesting master’s degrees and innovative formats.

Emerging fields and technology-related postgraduate degrees

Our current way of life has led us to previously unknown professional disciplines. The differences in the way we work are further nuanced if we also take into account regional and global specificities. One thing is clear: people who fuel their curiosity and desire to learn have more study options to choose from than ever before.

In an article for Masterstudies.com,Alyssa Walker, who is a writer, educator and nonprofit consultant, gives several examples of emerging graduate fields of study. Over the past two years, master’s majors such as biostatistics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and urban studies have become extremely relevant to today’s workforce. What all these disciplines have in common is their focus on making the world a better place to live, while providing excellent working conditions for professionals. According to Fortune Magazine, a graduate degree in biostatistics can result in an average salary of about $113,400 and has an expected job growth of 20% by 2022.


Of course, some of these fields are still very new and are not among the most requested graduate studies, especially compared to those in Business and Management or Finance. However, there is a spectrum of subjects that has seen the interest of future students and professionals increase: STEM, short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Statistics collected by the Washington Center for Education Research and Data show that the number of students enrolling in STEM graduate programs in the United States is growing tremendously. In 2016-17, according to the website gmac.com students who majored in Computer Science tripled; participants in Chemical Engineering programs increased by 77%; Electrical Engineering rose by 101% and Mechanical Engineering by 132%.

The rise of online Postgraduate Degree programs

Along with the diversity of careers and specializations, more and more international master’s programs are now exploring untapped markets and different formats. In July 2018, the prestigious University of Pennsylvania (USA) announced that its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is partnering with the online learning platform Coursera. The joint project offers the first fully online master’s degree in Computer Science and Information Technology, reads the official announcement. The program introduces another interesting concept by targeting future students who do not necessarily fit into the traditional applicant pool. According to the news, working adults with no previous experience in technology will be the main target group of the online master’s degree.

Online Trainings

It’s not the first online degree to make headlines, nor will it be the last. Business magazine Fast Company notes that Coursera alone offers another 10 graduate degrees in areas ranging from business to public health. In addition to designing online programs, universities and business schools are serving other niches. Applicants who prefer the on-campus experience but cannot commit to studying full-time may seek part-time or coeducational programs that combine the digital element with the established face-to-face teaching approach.

For some fields of study, there are even pre- and post-experience study options. Prospective students interested in continuing their finance training can take a look at The Financial Times’ ranking of master’s degrees in finance. Applicants with little or no work experience in this area can consult pre-experience programmes, while those who have already worked may be more suitable for post-experience degrees.

New ways to attract talented candidates

Another North American university has taken innovative steps not only in the field of study and the format of the programs offered, but in the admissions process as a whole. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) began accepting applications for its new master’s degree in Data, Economics and Development Policy (DEDP) in 2017. Applicants who want to be admitted do not have to worry about the usual admission criteria, such as exam scores or letters of recommendation, but have to follow the so-called MicroMasters program. It is a set of online courses that, when successfully completed, give students the opportunity to apply for mit’s new master’s degree on campus.

“Performance in the online Micromasters at DEDP will be a key selection criterion for those students who complete this program and then apply for the MIT Master’s degree. […] Through this unique ‘inverted’ admission process, the mixed master’s program opens new doors for those who wish to be trained at MIT,” the school’s blog explains as outlined by the website. businessbecause.com

In addition, the results of the first year of micromasters have been very positive. One of the professors who taught at two of the program’s campuses (Spain and Malaysia) highlighted the excellent quality of the blended class. Yossi Sheffi, director of MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics and director of the Master’s program in Supply Chain Management, also shares his enthusiasm for the future of education: “What’s amazing is that you get people who never dreamed of getting an MIT-level education,” as outlined by businessbecause.com.

5 new Postgraduate Degree programs in a changing world

Universities are observers of the world in which we live, as evidenced by their efforts to offer new solutions to students.

The world of higher education responds quickly to new trends and developments. It is therefore not surprising that new master’s degree programmes are constantly emerging to respond to the needs of students in a changing world.

We live in a time of constant change. The advances in technology and medicine are amazing. In fact, some say that technology is now advancing too fast for people to keep up. At the same time, statistics show that the current era has more financial crises than the previous ones. The consequences of the last great crisis, the collapse of 2007-2008, are still being felt.

Universities are keen observers of the world in which we live, as evidenced by their efforts to adapt and offer new solutions to students. Here are five master’s programs that reflect today’s changing times.

In this regard, the masterstudies.com page refers to the most innovative and most demanded master’s degrees in recent years.

Master in Systemic Risk

Yale School of Management (USA)
Course description

The global financial crisis began more than 10 years ago, but its memories remain vivid. Credit crunches and bank failures led to the deepest global recession in a generation, followed by a decade of slow growth and efforts to fix the system. This new master’s program offered by the Yale School of Management is a response to the global financial crisis and builds on the school’s experience developed after the crisis.

This program is aimed at finance professionals looking to better explore and understand financial crises and risks. Particular emphasis is placed on the global financial crisis, regulators and banks.

The school’s finance faculty has a deep understanding of capital markets and has produced influential scholarly work on the origins of the crisis. However, all of this comes at a high price. Students must provide a budget of $93,900 if they are admitted to the program.


Applicants must submit a letter of nomination from a qualified institution. The letter will include a statement verifying the employment status of the future student at the qualified institution; a comment on their qualifications for the programme; and a guarantee that you will be able to return to the institution upon completion of the program. In addition, you must conduct a video interview, require a GRE or GMAT score and a declaration of interest. Candidates must also have a college degree in economics, finance, statistics or a related field.

Micromasters in Data, Economics and Development Policy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA)
Course description

This MicroMasters degree program has the potential to change how graduate students are admitted and how much they pay. Students who successfully complete the five MicroMasters courses and their corresponding face-to-face exams can apply for access to MIT’s new joint master’s program in Data, Economics and Development Policy. Those who access the in-person master’s program will earn MIT credits for MicroMasters courses.

The courses are designed for those interested in addressing, through the use of data, some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. The MicroMasters degree program consists of a series of five online courses and face-to-face exams. Students will delve into microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, and participate in cutting-edge research in this field. The program is designed and jointly led by mit’s Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Laboratory (J-PAL), which specializes in improving the effectiveness of poverty reduction programs.

The cost of courses in this program varies depending on the students’ ability to pay. Learn more about the pricing of custom courses.


All MITx MicroMasters courses are taught in edX. To enroll in a MITx MicroMasters program you need an edX account.

Master in machine learning for visual data analysis

Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom)
Course description

“How can we design smartphones that perceive your mood by reading your facial expressions or that recognize hand gestures to make a call? How can we develop systems that quickly and reliably analyze medical examinations to aid in the diagnosis of cancerous tumors or improve the safety of self-driving cars with on-board technology capable of detecting and modifying the behavior of the vehicle in any environment?”

These are some of the questions that participants in this program are trying to answer.

The aim of this programme is to address the growing shortage of skills in research and industry of engineers capable of analysing and interpreting images and videos. In addition to low-level image processing, the program also covers high-level interpretation using the latest and most sophisticated machine learning methodologies.

Tuition fees for national and EU students for the 2018/19 academic year are £9,250. Fees for international students total GBP 19,500.


Applicants must have a higher second-class degree, usually in electronic engineering, computer science, mathematics, or a related discipline. Those with a good lower second class degree can be considered individually. Applicants with unrelated degrees will be considered if there is evidence of equivalent industrial experience. International students must present an IELTS score of at least 6.5 or a TOEFL iBT score of at least 92.

Master in Biofabrication M.Sc.

University of Bayreuth (Germany)
Course description

A couple of years ago, the peculiar news broke that liquefied spider silk turned into gel using a three-dimensional printer could soon regenerate the heart muscle and damaged human nerve cells. This breakthrough was achieved by biomaterial experts from the German universities of Bayreuth and Wuerzburg. They mixed spider silk with mouse fibroblast cells to generate a “biological ink” or gel.

The University of Bayreuth has launched a master’s degree in biomanufacture, stating that things like 3D-printed ears based on spider silk are not science fiction. Researchers at the university are fascinated with the properties of spider silk, which has a tensile strength five times higher than that of steel, but is as elastic as rubber. It is also biocompatible, hypoallergenic and has been shown to help heal wounds.

The master’s program in Biofabrication aims to prepare students for a successful and ethically responsible career as engineers, working at the intersection of medicine and technology.


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Engineering Sciences, or an equivalent degree. A B2 level of English and a basic A1 level of German are required. Applicants must also complete a 13-week internship and pass the skills assessment process.

Master in Artificial Intelligence

University of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Course description

I’m sure you’ve noticed the current boom in all things AI. Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest, if least understood, topics of our time.

Will algorithms take away all jobs from us? Can machines take over the world? The Manchester Master of Science programme offers answers to these questions. It allows students to choose from a wide range of units that not only cover the basics of computer science, but are based on the strengths of the university’s interdisciplinary research in areas such as medical and health sciences, life sciences and humanities.

Students can count on numerous lectures and seminars supported by practical exercises.

The programme costs £10,500 a year for students from the UK and eu and £22,000 a year for students from outside the EU.


Applicants must have a first- or second-class higher-class degree, or its equivalent abroad, in computer science, or in a joint degree with at least 50% computer science content. Applicants with extensive industrial experience in computer science and a good bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent abroad, may also be considered for admission.

The world is changing, and it is destined to change even faster. You can bet that universities and business schools will propose increasingly interesting programs to respond to the latest creative destruction caused by technology or by a new crisis. Prepare for the exciting times ahead and the new master’s opportunities.

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Bibliographic references

Master’s degree in new trends and innovation processes in communication. In: https://www.masterstudies.com/Masters-Degree-In-New-Trends-And-Innovation-Processes-In-Communication/Spain/Jaume-I-University-(Universitat-Jaume-I)/

9 Trends That Will Shape Business Education In 2020, According To Deans. In: https://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-degree/6623/9-trends-that-will-shape-business-education-in-2020-deans

Demand for MBA and Business Master’s Programs: Insights on Candidate Decision Making. In: https://www.gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/admissions-and-application-trends/demand-for-mba-and-business-masters-programsinsights-on-candidate-decision-making-summary-reportmbac.pdf

Best And Worst Graduate Degrees For Jobs https://fortune.com/2016/03/21/best-worst-graduate-degrees-jobs-2016/

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