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Designed for young professionals with one to five years of work experience, Forward’s three-level learning journey focuses on practical skills needed to thrive today and in the future. These include problem-solving, communication, digital, and emotional-intelligence skills. Forward is delivered through highly interactive digital content, immersive virtual learning events, and support from a global network of peers. It is free of charge for eligible participants.

Forward’s learning journey focuses on cross-cutting practical skills across leadership, business, and digital. The program’s digital courses include adaptability & resilience, problem-solving, communication and digital essentials.

In the Advanced Level, you will also have access to two virtual learning events to apply knowledge gained through the digital courses. The first learning event is focused on self- leadership skills and the second is focused on design thinking and agile ways of work. You will also complete a collaborative group assignment with your peers to practice applying problem-solving skills.

Participants who complete the Foundation and Advanced level requirements will receive a certificate confirming their completion of the Forward program. Please note that McKinsey is not an accredited education body, and thus participants of the Forward program will not receive an accredited qualification or credential.

Please note that participation in Forward as a learner does not constitute employment with McKinsey, nor is a pathway to employment by McKinsey.


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 (for example, diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree)

  • have a good command of the English language—the program will be conducted in English

Please note that participants will be required to verify their education and employment status.


The Forward program comprises three levels: Foundation, Advanced, and Network. Each level will have a series of requirements and specific deadlines which will be described at the beginning of the program. Once you complete one level, you will advance to the next.

You will go through the Foundation level for the first ten weeks. This level includes more than 18 hours of self-paced, interactive digital content accessible through an online learning platform. Only participants who meet all the requirements of this level by the set deadline will be invited to enroll in the Advanced level.

In the 12 weeks of the Advanced level, you will get access to more digital content in addition to two virtual learning events delivered by McKinsey’s expert facilitators. You will also work on a group assignment to apply the skills you built while in the program. This level has over 25 hours of learning.

After graduating from the first two levels, you can move into the Network level, joining the global Forward alumni community and getting access to further learning and networking events.

Forward is fully delivered in a digital and virtual format. You will need an internet-connected device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to access the online learning platform where all the content is housed, as well as the video conferencing platforms that will be used for virtual learning events.


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