Alumni want to be better managers

What exactly are CBS alumni on the lookout for when they embark on continuing education? The vice dean of CBS Management Programmes, Christian Tangkjær, decided to find the answer to this question. The answer was mixed, but it was clear that alumni were especially interested in continuing education in management.


Picture: Bjarke McCarthy

By: Jakob Vesterager

Do you live in Zealand? Are you between 31 and 50 years of age? And do you work in a private company? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you’re close to being a typical CBS alumna/alumnus.

The vice dean of CBS Management Programmes Christian Tangkjær, initiated a study last year on the continuing education needs of CBS alumni that involved developing a survey disseminated by CBS Alumni. Over 700 replied, far more than the number anticipated.

Their responses provided a picture of the average CBS alumna/alumnus as someone who lives in Zealand (84% of respondents), is 31-40 years old (39%) or 41-50 (28%) and works in a private company (67%). The picture becomes more balanced for the positions alumni fill, with 46% indicating they work in management and 46% that they are an employee.

The survey indicated that alumni mainly see gaining management knowledge as the most relevant for continuing education. The six highest rated areas for continuing education were management (59%), strategic management (42%), project management (42%), economics and financial management (26%), communication (23%) and innovation and entrepreneurship (20%). Tangkjær thinks that the greater interest in management is quite natural because almost half of the respondents are employed in management positions.

A natural choice
The survey also showed that alumni pursue continuing education on a large scale, with 60% having completed continuing education internally and 60% having received it from a commercial provider. Slightly less than 15% had pursued continuing education at CBS.

A large number of alumni (70 %) think that CBS is a natural choice for continuing education. At the same time, however, 23% think that CBS, to a lesser extent or not at all, has attractive opportunities for continuing education that fit their needs and expectations. 28% are unfamiliar with the continuing education CBS offers.

- This is of course something we must be and are aware of at CBS because we can do even better. It’s more than just a question of perhaps having more and different continuing education programmes. We also have to talk about what CBS offers, especially because CBS’ subject knowledge and various continuing education products suit our alumni well, explained Tangkjær.

Flexibility and cost
The survey also asked about the expectations alumni had concerning the relevance and attractiveness of continuing education. Parameters in the top six included flexibility (88%), cost (88%), network (85%), internationally based (79%), facilities (67%) and research based (65%).

Tangkjær was not surprised that the cost of continuing education was an important factor when companies have had tight budgets for several years.

- But it also shows that alumni pursue continuing education to expand their professional network, preferably in an international context. The fact that a research-based approach is a chief consideration is interesting and significant for CBS, but it may also indicate that our alumni received a research-based education at CBS, which is why they demand that aspect, clarified Tangkjær.

The results of the survey are part of CBS’ continuing effort to improve continuing education and Tangkjær is highly grateful that so many people responded.

- This survey has given us incredibly valuable input from CBS alumni that provides an understanding of what they demand from continuing education and that indicates where we can become even better at tailoring programmes targeting them. In particular our survey has led to, for example, an adjustment in our graduate diploma programmes so our alumni can better see them as a concrete option, said Tangkjær, continuing:

- Now we’re enhancing the option of taking individual subjects and not necessarily an entire graduate diploma. We have graduate diploma programmes that are extremely vocationally oriented, each with interesting classes covering areas such as management, value chains, marketing, finance, accounting, financial management and innovation. We expect many of our alumni to find, to a large degree, interesting opportunities for continuing education, be it an individual subject or a complete programme, which will complement their professional practice.

Do you agree with the results of our study or would you like to see additional continuing education options? Give us your opinion in CBS Alumni’s LinkedIn group

Read more about continuing education options at CBS

Read more about graduate diplomas (Danish)

The page was last edited by: Alumni // 12/17/2017