Geneva has become a world center of physical commodity trading in recent years. Overall, it is estimated that 40% of international commodity trading takes place in the Geneva area. No less than 200 businesses work in the Canton directly or indirectly for this sector, representing between 5,000 and 6,000 employees. All these businesses have one thing in common: the need for specialized and continual training for professionals in the sector in Geneva.
The Master of Science in Commodity Trading and the Diplomas of Advanced Studies in Commodity Trading were created with professionals through the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA). Both programs are run and the Diplomas are delivered by the University of Geneva, GSEM Faculty in order to address this need. Special attention is paid to the selection of the most renowned teachers and guest speakers. The aim is to provide students with the highest academic standards with the selection of professors known for their knowledge in a particular domain. To complete the learning experience, professionals from the industry are invited to expose participants to practical considerations and examples.
Recently, those programs have been subject to modifications that we summarize in this article.
Master of Science in Commodity Trading
Created in 2008, this unique academic program has been designed to respond to a need identified by Geneva’s commodity trading, commodity finance, and shipping community itself. Taught in English, this academic curriculum consisted traditionally of 24 modules structured into three complementary sections: components of trading, commodity hedging and price risk, and commodity finance and financial risk management. In order to be accepted into the Master’s program, prospective students had to secure a part-time traineeship in commodity trading or in a finance-related company before the beginning of the first semester.
The Master has seen several changes these past years. In 2016, the University decided to add an academic option to the Master. Prospective students had two options:
- Professional option: they secure part-time traineeship before the beginning of the first semester;
- Academic option: the internship is replaced by 30 ECTS of courses to choose from the ones offered by the GSEM master programs, subject to the agreement of the teacher and the Scientific Committee;
However, in November 2017, the Scientific Committee of the Master decided that as of September 2018, students will have to secure work of 80% in a company linked to the Commodity Trading industry, as was the case before 2017. The “academic path” will no longer exist and hence existed for only one year. The Master in Commodity Trading is an academic master and the format of the course will stay the same as in 2017. As always, there will be slight changes in order to better fit the constantly evolving commodity trading industry.
Moreover, as of September 2017, the master is called Master of Science in Commodity Trading.