Need a career change? Consider these unique master’s programmes

Fancy a master's in perfumery? Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, create a perfume as they visit the Parfumerie Fragonard laboratory plant in southern France.

By U2B Staff 

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A mid-career change can seem daunting, especially for professionals who may have spent many years making their mark in a particular specialisation or industry. However, many professionals across the globe view a career change as an opportunity to open avenues for entrepreneurship opportunities or even allowing them to monetise passion projects.

If you are considering making a change in your career path, either to slow down somewhat to pursue a different passion, or ramp up your entrepreneurial opportunities, there are several unique postgraduate specialisations that may help you to balance your hobbies, passion, and career.

Postgraduate qualifications for professionals who are considering a career in the flavour and fragrance industry

IHS Markit, the leading source of information and insight in critical areas published a report on the global flavour and fragrance industry revealing that in 2018, the industry was worth US$ 27.9 billion. While not commonly known, the impact of this industry is far-reaching and is suitable for individuals seeking a career change, especially those seeking to add a more creative angle to their expertise.

The flavour and fragrance industry involves a complex value chain involving essential oils, natural extracts, aroma chemicals, and other compositions from plants, chemicals, and animal secretions. The industry has wide applications in manufacturing laundry detergents, cleaning products as well as personal care items.

The flavour and fragrance industry also has applications in the food and beverage industry, as well as in the production of pharmaceutical products.

The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 4% during 2019-2024, reaching a value of US$ 35.1 billion by 2024. The potential for growth is greater in China, other Asia and Oceania (especially India, the Philippines, and Thailand), and the Middle East than in the comparatively mature markets of North America, Western Europe, and Japan.


The growth of this industry can be attributed to increased interest in healthy eating and the demand for wholesome ingredients and reduced salt, fat, or sugar content in food products, where sophisticated flavour systems can help food manufacturers reduce the salt or calorie content of their products without sacrificing taste.

Consumers also report a preference for natural ingredients as opposed to synthetic food products as well as personal care, home care, and fabric care products. Additionally, the increased consumer interest in bold flavors and a willingness to experiment with novel and artisanal foods with nontraditional or exotic flavor profiles are also factors that drive this industry.

The growing influence of social media, consumer activists, advocacy groups, and retailers in framing the discussion about ingredients in food and personal care products have also helped drive consumer demand.

It is also estimated that GDP growth, urbanisation, the expansion of the middle class, and increased demand for natural flavour and fragrance in consumer products will drive consumption growth in developing countries.

Universities around the globe are offering postgraduate qualifications in this unique field, The Université Côte d’Azur is offering an MSc in Management of the Flavour and Fragrance Industry which is a two-year programme. The programme comprises minor fields that allow the discovery of further applications of flavors and fragrances and permits a comprehensive understanding of other perspectives in the flavour and fragrance industry.

Guerlain’s “Dame de Table” (Table Lady) Sylvie Romet works on a bottle of perfume at the Guerlain factory in Orphin, south of Paris on November 6, 2018. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Options for applicants to major in perfumery for a career change into the fashion and beauty industry

The flavour and fragrance industry specialisations also open up opportunities for graduates who are interested in a perfumery major to make that career change. The MSc in Fragrance Expertise is a programme offered by the ISIPCA is a prestigious higher education institution in the field of perfume, cosmetics, and flavouring.

The ISIPCA is a renowned name in the fragrance industry, as it was created in 1970 by Jean-Jacques Guerlain, a descendant of the founder of the iconic Guerlain House.

The MSc in Fragrance Expertise offered by this institution through a partnership with The Université Côte d’Azur provides industry professionals from around the globe with world-class expertise in perfumery.

The programme covers fragrance formulations and applications and focuses on global fragrance markets, key players and consumer trends and will suit those who are seeking a career in the fashion and beauty industry.

Graduates can expect to develop expertise in olfaction raw materials and fragrance composition, fragrance formulation as well as the master safety and quality processes.

The ISIPCA also offers a Master of Science in Scent Design and Creation in partnership with International Flavours & Fragrance, with the world’s premier perfumery school.


Master’s specialisations in wine and spirits to facilitate a career change

According to Market Research Future (MRFR), the Global Luxury Wines and Spirits Market was valued at US $ 812,108 million in 2015 and is expected to reach US $ 1,122,578 million by 2022. The industry growth is supported by a compound annual growth rate of 5.22% during the forecast period of 2018 to 2023.

The wine and spirits industry requires increasingly high levels of professionalism from its leaders as it faces new challenges.

These challenges include international competition, changes in wine and spirits consumption, new methods of distribution, and overproduction.

The KEDGE Business School offers MSc Wine & Spirits Management, a programme that provides applicants with looking for a career change with opportunities in sales, marketing, communication, consulting and purchasing in the wine and spirits industry.

The University of California – Davis Graduate School of Management – Department of Viticulture & Enology also offers a similar programme while Heriot-Watt University is also offering a MSc Brewing and Distilling programme to prepare candidates for entry into malting, brewing, or distilling industries.

The MSc Wine Management offered by Burgundy School of Business is geared towards recent graduates and students who wish to start a career in wine management but have no specific prior experience in the wine industry – which is ideal for prospective students who have no experience in the industry, and have undergraduate degrees focused on different areas.

A student of Burgundy School of Business attends an experience on wine buyers’ behaviour at the laboratory of the School of Wine and Spirits Business on November 13, 2018 in Dijon, central-eastern France.  Photo by ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP

Earn a master’s in aromatherapy, mindfulness and even yoga

The American College of Healthcare Sciences is offering a MS in Aromatherapy qualification for individuals who are interested in embarking on a career in the health and wellness industry. Upon graduation, students will gain a qualification as a registered aromatherapist that open a myriad of opportunities including, lifestyle coach or consultant, aromatherapy coach, and even as a perfumer.

Loyola Marymount University in the US is also offering a Master of Arts in Yogic Studies where students will deep dive into yoga tradition. The programme will see graduate students engaging in the deep study of yoga philosophy and history, Sanskrit, elements of physical practice, as well as comparative spirituality. Graduates from the programme have reportedly opened centres and studios teaching yoga, assumed leadership positions in yoga media companies and worked as instructors for yoga teachers.

Lesley University is also offering a Master of Arts (MA) in Mindfulness Studies. This master’s degree is the first of its kind in North America and is designed for prospective students who are interested in health and wellness, education, social action, leadership, or business.

This programme brings a varied and comprehensive expertise in mindfulness teaching and mindfulness-based stress reduction; Buddhist studies, including ethics; leadership and social change, contemplative neuroscience, mindfulness in education, qi gong, and more.

Graduates of this programme will thrive in various sectors, ranging from healthcare and education to business and as emergency responders.