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Future consulting economists to be educated in Denmark

How many parking spaces will Copenhagen need in 2012? Should peasants in Bangladesh be subsidised directly or simply be guaranteed a minimum price for their crops? Questions such as these are difficult to answer. It takes a very high level of analytical knowledge and methodical insight, which is in short supply among new graduates from universities worldwide.

With a new MSc in International Economic Consulting, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus in Denmark now wants to make it easier for the business community to find the right candidates to tackle these issues. The programme, which starts in the autumn, focuses on the targeted education of graduates who will be able to take on jobs as economic analysts and consultants in international consultancy firms.

This is no less than world news as no other university in the world offers a study programme with this particular focus. The graduates are in strong demand at institutions such as the OECD and the World Bank and consultancy firms such as Rambøll and Grontmij-Carl Bro, which have also helped develop the study programme.

- Worldwide, several study programmes are available within the field of international economics, but none of these focus on the consulting sector. Our study programme is clearly targeted and thereby meets a recruitment need strongly felt by many companies and organisations today. The vision is to educate consultants who can then go straight out and solve very complex tasks as consultants and analysts. Intensifying globalisation and a generally increasing level of complexity in the world will only further stimulate the need for such jobs, says Professor Philipp Schröder, who has spearheaded the development of the programme.

Job opportunities for the graduates will be found within the large organisations and companies such as the OECD, the World Bank, the EU, the WTO, Rambøll and Niras, where the demand for such graduates is very high at the moment. So far, the various organisations and companies have recruited economists or mathematicians who have subsequently been provided with specialist training. However, thanks to the new study programme, Aarhus School of Business expects to be able to provide graduates who are far more geared to undertaking the jobs which the large companies need to fill.

The MSc in International Economic Consulting, which will be taught exclusively in English, has among other things been developed on the basis of several discussions with the sector on the types of qualifications needed by such consultants. This is an entirely new way of designing study programmes. Normally, study programmes are developed by the universities in the hope that employers will welcome the end product. With the new study programme, Aarhus School of Business has launched a completely new way of developing study programmes which will contribute to strengthening collaboration and interaction between the institutions of higher education and society at large.

Professor Philipp Schröder | alfa
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