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LUSEM claims top spot among most applied-for Master's Programmes

Photo of two students walking outside LUSEM
LUSEM offers 5 of Sweden's 8 most sought-after master's programmes. Photo: Johan Bävman

The international application period is over and we can conclude that once again, LUSEM has some of the most popular master's programmes both within Lund University and nationally. What do the programme managers themselves think about the two most popular programmes, and what do the present and former students say?

For many years, our Master's programme in International Marketing & Brand Management has been the most sought after, or at least in the top 2. This year, the programme once again secured the first place among first-choice applicants for master's programmes at Lund University and thus also at LUSEM. With only a two-student margin, the DABE programme took the second place among first-choice applicants and is also ranked first when it comes to the total number of applicants for all master's programmes at Lund University.

The Master's in Data Analytics and Business Economics (DABE) programme, despite its relatively recent inception three years ago, has consistently remained among the top-ranked programmes. Looking at the entire country, both the Marketing and DABE programmes, as well as the master's programme in finance, are among the top 6 in Sweden, closely followed by our programmes in management (MiM) and Strategic management. In summary, LUSEM thus offers 5 out of Sweden's 8 most sought-after master's programmes. 

A mix of theoretical aspects and practical elements

Programme director of the Master’s programme in International Marketing and Brand Management Ulf Elg, has often been asked about the appeal of his programme. Once again, he has the opportunity to reflect on the factors that contribute to the programme's popularity:

“It probably revolves a lot around the fact that the programme covers areas that students perceive as current and relevant. We also aim to have a mix of theoretical aspects and practical elements, such as guest lectures, live cases with companies, etc. Having a good reputation among previous satisfied students likely contributes as well,” says Ulf Elg.

Speaking of good reputation among previous satisfied students we managed to get hold of a former student at the Master’s programme in International Marketing and Brand Management, Felicia Sandberg, now in the role of Senior Data Martech Specialist at DFDS.

Why did you choose to apply for the marketing master's programme at LUSEM, and what factors influenced your decision?

“I discovered my passion for working with marketing after completing a bachelor's programme in international economics. Continuing this programme was a seamless approach to enhancing my knowledge of international business and gaining specialized marketing and brand management expertise,” says Felicia.

Photo of Felicia

“The programme also invites different types of marketing practitioners to give guest lectures and share real-life cases, industrial trends, or career insights,” says Felicia Sandberg when asked what makes the Master programme in International Marketing and Brand Management stand out. Photo: Private

In your opinion, what makes this master programme stand out or excel in comparison to others?

“The well-developed course content enables students to pursue various types of careers in marketing. Adopting the sociology-driven research methodology helps the students build a solid foundation to pursue a career in marketing analytics or academics. Completing assignments by group work develops the student's collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, which are essential for most marketing management roles. The programme also invites different types of marketing practitioners to give guest lectures and share real-life cases, industrial trends, or career insights. Practical knowledge-sharing no doubt broadens the students' horizons and makes them feel ready to take off.”

Hottest job titles in today's world of AI and Big Data

In today's tech-driven world with a rapidly evolving professional landscape dominated by artificial intelligence and big data, DABE stands out as a beacon of opportunity. According to the programme director Joakim Westerlund, the students can take a job as data analyst or data scientist, after graduating DABE which are among the hottest job titles in today's world of AI and Big Data. 

“This type of jobs has traditionally been available only to graduates with an engineering degree. These graduates have the required technical background, most importantly in programming and machine learning; however, they often lack knowledge of the business environment in which many firms operate and that is now becoming increasingly important. For business and economics graduates it is the other way around; they have the business but not the technical knowhow. DABE is intended to fill this educational 'gap' by providing rigorous technical training for business applications. And it does so without requiring an undergraduate degree in a particular subject area, provided only some basic technical course work. Hence, with a DABE degree data analytics and science jobs come within reach to everyone,” says Joakim.

The Programme Director isn't alone in saying that a DABE degree paves the way for special job opportunities, especially for business and economics students. This holds true, as confirmed by statements from past cohorts of DABE graduates.

Insights from current students at the DABE programme

Magnus Behling and Christoph Wagner are currently enrolled in the DABE programme, and conversing with them provides a vivid illustration of the programme. It is for example future-oriented, has an an excellent reputation and promotes inclusivity. 

Photo of DABE-students

Current students at the Master's in Data Analytics and Business Economics, Magnus Behling and Christoph Wagner, both highlight the programme's emphasis on welcoming students from diverse backgrounds as a pivotal factor motivating their applications. Photos: Private

Magnus, why did you choose to apply for DABE, and what factors influenced your decision?

“Choosing the master's program was a decision driven by the programme's distinctive emphasis on data analytics and artificial intelligence – central domains that are undeniably likely to shape the future landscape in various areas of life. Recognizing the increasing importance of knowledge in these areas, I found this program combining theoretical foundations and practical application. This holistic approach, I believed, would therefore be the perfect opportunity for me to acquire in-depth knowledge in order to increase my chances of success on the job market and to learn how to handle and integrate AI tools appropriately in my private life.

Another reason for choosing this particular degree programme is LUSEM's excellent international reputation. With triple accreditation, LUSEM belongs to a group of less than one percent of all business schools. LUSEM also occupies top positions in various international rankings (e.g. QS Ranking, U.S. News Best Global Universities Rankings). This already made it clear to me when I applied that the study conditions at LUSEM are excellent and are likely to support my learning progress in the best possible way. I can now say that this expectation has been fulfilled.

Ultimately, I sought admission to this degree program due to its commitment to "democratizing education", a central aspect that greatly appealed to me. This idea is all about the inclusive admission criteria that facilitate access for students from different backgrounds and disciplines. Notably, the program doesn't necessitate a profound knowledge of programming as a prerequisite; instead, those skills are taught through various lectures. Moreover, the program's planned one-year duration accommodates individuals seeking a swift completion of their degree, providing a valuable opportunity for those aiming to accelerate their academic journey,” Magnus explains.

In your opinion, what makes DABE stand out or excel in comparison to others?

“A key distinguishing factor of the program is its pronounced diversity. As the admission requirements allow access for students from a large number of different disciplines, the current cohort includes students from economics, marketing and engineering, to name just a few. In addition, the programme is highly international. This diverse environment not only enriches the overall learning experience but also fosters an exchange of ideas and perspectives. Students benefit from exposure to various approaches and methodologies, enhancing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, collaboration among individuals with diverse backgrounds cultivates a global mindset. Additionally, networking opportunities within such a varied community opens doors to a wide range of industries and career paths. Moreover, I am convinced that employers increasingly value graduates with cross-disciplinary skills and cultural competence, making our program graduates well-positioned for success in today's professional landscape.

Another point that makes the master's program stand out is its mixture of teaching theoretical principles as part of the lectures and its practical orientation. The latter is particularly manifested in practice-oriented case studies in several subjects, numerous guest lectures with lecturers from industrial practice and the opportunity to work on a master's thesis in a company or based on a case study from a company. This blend bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. Graduates of the program, thus, emerge with a holistic skill set, combining theoretical expertise with practical know-how, making them highly sought after by employers in various industries.”

The essential role of data analytics and artificial intelligence

Christoph Wagner says that important factors that made him apply for the DABE programme were mainly the topic, the international focus and the quality of education and duration:

“I applied for the DABE programme because it focuses on the current megatrend of Big Data that is impacting various industries. The programme recognizes the importance of Big Data and the essential role of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in uncovering patterns and structures in data for decision-making at all levels of business, from the shop floor to the executive level. The curriculum provides a comprehensive understanding that ranges from statistical theory to practical programming and allows for self-selected specialization, such as analytics-based strategic management.

The international orientation of the programme is another compelling factor that offers the opportunity to gain valuable experience abroad in a diverse and very international environment. The group of students from all over the world enables the exchange of different views, new approaches to problem solving, and a rich pool of knowledge. This diversity not only fosters collaborative projects but also provides a holistic learning experience that allows students to learn from both excellent professors and their fellow students.

Considering my existing Master's degree in Industrial Engineering, the one-year duration of the programme fits perfectly with my goal to specialize in data analytics without being forced to invest another two years. Furthermore, the programme is part of Lund University, a globally recognized institution ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by QS, and is based at LUSEM, which has Triple Crown accreditation, placing it in the top one percent of business schools worldwide. This ensures a first-class education and makes the programme both challenging and inspiring for ambitious students who want to play a central role in shaping the industries of the future.”

Courses seamlessly integrate theoretical knowledge with practical tasks

When Christoph is asked about what makes this master's programme stand out or excel in comparison to others he emphasizes the blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application and also the programme requirements.

“What sets this master's programme apart is its unique blend of hands-on application and solid theoretical foundation. Courses seamlessly integrate theoretical knowledge with practical tasks, ranging from setting up machine learning models to working on strategic case studies. This approach enhances the learning process and uniquely prepares students for real-world challenges.

Additionally, the programme's inclusivity stands out, as it welcomes students with diverse backgrounds, including those without a prior degree in computer science or data analytics. This flexibility allows individuals like myself, with a background in industrial engineering, to pivot into this field and specialize. Such inclusivity not only broadens accessibility but also enriches the overall learning environment.”

According to the students: Highlights of the programmes

International Marketing & Brand Management

  • Specialized marketing and brand management expertise
  • For various types of careers
  • Sociology-driven research methodology
  • Develops the student's collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills
  • Practitioners give guest lectures and share real-life cases

Source: Felicia Sandberg

Data Analytics and Business Economics (DABE)

  • Distinctive emphasis on data analytics and artificial intelligence
  • Combines theoretical foundations and practical application
  • Access for students from different backgrounds and disciplines
  • Cultivates a global mindset
  • International orientated
  • Hands-on application and solid theoretical foundation

Source: Magnus Behling and Christoph Wagner