McKinsey opens free Forward learning program for Middle East youth

30 November 2021 3 min. read

After a successful pilot phase, strategy consulting giant McKinsey & Company has formally launched a virtual education platform in the Middle East. Called ‘Forward,’ the program offers a unique learning experience for young professionals in the first years of their career.

Speaking on the news, Viktor Hediger, Senior Partner at McKinsey, said, “Forward offers a transformational experience for young leaders at a very critical point in their career, their first or second job, where they need the most guidance. In this fast-changing world of work, these young people have the power to shape the future for themselves and others around them.”

Hediger added that McKinsey & Company has been developed its new learning journey according to what it believes is “relevant for every young professional.” The new course will help them to develop skills complementing their technical knowledge, while “inspiring a mindset of life-long learning even beyond the programme itself.”

McKinsey opens free Forward learning program for Middle East youth

The free, six-month learning journey will be offered to participants across the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, with Forward being designed and delivered by McKinsey experts. The cohort of students will join a global network of ambitious young professionals – and diversify the future of Middle Eastern business.

Last year’s participants of the Forward pilot programme show how this will occur. Half of the participants who joined last year’s pilot programmes were women. Meanwhile, 80% worked in small and medium-sized organisations or were entrepreneurs. Of those participants, 99% shared that they would recommend Forward to others.

One of the pilot scheme’s alumni, named Rakan, said: “Forward teaches you simple things, but they’re so effective, and when you learn them, you just think: ‘Why hasn’t anyone taught me this before? Why didn’t I learn them in school or university? They’re such crucial skills.”

Another young leader in the programme, named Nwabisa, meanwhile stated the programme has “opened me up to various possibilities. It’s like stepping into the unknown and you start to see another dimension of yourself. I'd encourage everyone to take that step.”

At a practical level, the scheme teaches young professionals how to think creatively; communicate clearly; apply agile ways of working; and build resilience and emotional awareness to work successfully – both independently and in teams. Participants who complete the Foundation and Advanced level requirements will receive a certificate confirming their completion of the Forward programme – though as McKinsey is not an accredited education body, this will not represent an accredited qualification or credential.

Forward is open to young professionals who are currently residing in one of the countries where Forward is available; have at least one and no more than five years of formal work experience; are a post-secondary education graduate; and have a good command of the English language, as the programme is conducted in English.

Applications for Forward are open via McKinsey’s website until December 12, 2021.