I Enrolled in an MBA program

In my Annual Review for 2021, I briefly mentioned plans of continuing my studies in the near future. After publishing the post, I went browsing the degree selection online and ended up submitting an application during the January joint application period. In late April, I received a message with a promising title in my email inbox. The message came with good news and informed me that I have been accepted to a master’s degree program (MBA) in the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The subject of the studies will be… (drum roll here please) data analytics and project management.

It’s now been two years since I graduated from the Kajaani UAS with a BBA in Game Development. What has happened since my graduation? Most important of all, I have gathered work experience in software development, first one year as a Quality Assurance Manager and now another year as a Scrum Master. While I have also completed study modules on software development while working, real-life work experience has been the best teacher. Now that I fill the required work experience criteria to continue my studies further on the UAS path, I’m eager to do just that.

How does the UAS system in Finland work and how is it different from a university? First, you complete a three and a half year bachelor’s degree, such as BBA in my case, in a University of Applied Sciences. A bachelor’s degree from a UAS in Finland is equal to a bachelor’s degree from a university. With a bachelor’s degree from a UAS, you can apply for a master’s degree program in a UAS, which is separate from a master’s degree in a university. However, you need a minimum of two years of relevant work experience after graduation to be eligible for a master’s program in a UAS.

Of course, you can also apply to a master’s program in a university with a bachelor’s degree from a UAS, although you likely need to complete so-called bridge studies. Personally, I prefer the UAS way because of its practical approach and a working life connection, which can prove immensely valuable if one takes advantage of the opportunities it offers. For example, bachelor’s studies in a UAS include a mandatory five month internship, while master’s degree studies can be completed while working and include a master’s thesis that can be combined with your own work.

So why data analytics and project management? Studying data analytics and project management will allow me to tie together my experience of working with projects on the one hand, and my interest of using and visualising data to make better decisions on the other hand. The work experience that I have gained in software development has taught me the importance of maintaining good internal processes. Indeed, my personal niche interest at the moment lies in development projects where data is used to improve the quality of internal processes.

In any case, my studies will begin next August. Right now, I’m looking forward to seeing the sun as the spring here in Kajaani seems to be somewhat delayed!