Even during tough economic times like the Cayman Islands has experienced in the last few years, people who are most likely to keep their jobs and often thrive in their careers are those who have earned bachelors or masters degrees from a strong college or university, according to research studies.
With a reputation for a strong academic programme in business, particularly in accounting and finance, graduates from the International College of the Cayman Islands are in high demand by local employers. Many students have received promotions and new job offers soon after they have completed their degrees.
Top tier employers with the International College graduates on staff include Deloitte, Ernst and Young, Maples Finance, KPMG, Cayman National, Butterfield Bank, Scotiabank, First Caribbean, Marsh, CUC and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.
“One of the skills that we focus on at the International College is critical thinking,” says President John Cummings, PhD. “While knowing the academic theory of economics, accounting, finance and other subjects are important, it is not enough. In today’s market, employers want staff who know how to analyse and apply what they are studying in the competitive world of business, regardless of whether they are working in banking, accounting, tourism, education, retail or some other industry.”
With the bulk of its courses offered at night, the International College caters to adults who can pursue their degree in the evening without taking time off from work. A high percentage of the students are also juggling families, a career as well as going to school.
A key strength of the International College is its international accreditation by the Accrediting Council of the Independent Colleges and Schools.
International accreditation is important, because an independent body provides assurance the International College has met a global standard of education.
Furthermore, the International College has to go through a rigorous accreditation review process every two-to-three years.
“We are the only internationally-accredited college in the Cayman Islands that offers degrees in business, human resources and office administration,” says Dean Scott Cummings. “And right now, we are preparing for the accreditation team to come to our campus in mid-February and they will be pouring over everything including the instructors’ qualifications, how they teach and their grading process.”
For working professionals, international accreditation is significant, because if their employers transfer them to London, New York, Toronto or some other jurisdiction, their bachelors degrees will be recognised, particularly, if they want to go back to university to pursue a masters degree.
The International College is also a sensible option for parents with children who recently graduated from high school. Some high school graduates may not be ready to leave home to study overseas. The International College enables recent high school graduates to stay home and continue their studies.
“Virtually all universities in the US, Canada and the UK accept our credits so young high school grads can do one or two years here in Cayman, stay at home and then go overseas to finish their degrees. Given the high cost of overseas education, students and their families have a chance to save thousands of dollars in tuition and board,” says the Dean.
Since the International College is a private, non-profit institution, the total cost of obtaining an associate degree is less than $12,000 while a bachelor degree is less than $22,000, which makes it a great value for budget-conscience students in a tough economy.
Besides the masters in business administration, other graduate degrees include human resources and education management. In addition to accounting and finance, bachelor programmes include human resources, social services and business administration. Associate degree offerings include business, IT and broadcast journalism.