Understanding the Difference between MS and MBA Degrees
It is extremely important before investing your time and energy to know which postgraduate degree would align with your long term goals. Both MS (Masters of Science) and MBA (Masters of Business Administration) are useful degrees for business graduates but both focus on different areas of business education. MBA gives a holistic overview of all the departments of business operation whereas an MS degree would just focus on a certain area of business- like marketing, ethics, etc. MBA is more suited for people who have already worked for some years and gained some experience but you do not need this if you are going for an MS degree. Understanding the long-term benefits of an MS or MBA degree for your career will help you make the right choice.
Career Goals: How to Determine Which Degree to Choose
Based on your career goals, you should choose the degree that teaches you the most about your future job. In order to know this in depth, you should see the curriculum and modules of both degrees. An MBA equips students with an education that would equip them for a leadership or managerial role. At an executive level job position, you will be taking care of multiple departments at the same time so having a strong knowledge of all these areas is essential. Sometimes, you need an MBA to get a promotion at your workplace and a higher salary and for this, there are many part-time MBA degrees available. Another great advantage of going for an MBA is making useful connections and making a network of business professionals who can help you with your career or even entrepreneurial ventures.
As an MS degree focuses upon one specialised area of business, it is a good idea for people who are planning to switch their career and join a completely new department. It is also useful for business graduates who want to study a certain business topic in depth and gain specialisation in it.
Skill Sets: Comparing the Skills Taught in MS and MBA Programs
The skills taught in an MBA degree include managerial economics, analysis of business, fulfilling leadership roles, value chain management and financial management.
A Masters in Management Sciences would teach a business graduate about process management, data communication, finance, strategic business management, etc. If studying a certain concentration of business would give you a competitive edge in your job, then an MS degree would be a really good investment to develop theoretical, technical and research skills.
Curriculum: Understanding the Differences between MS and MBA Programs
A typical MBA degree key focuses are:
- Finance: Investments and risk dynamics of assets in an uncertain environment
- Marketing: This includes product strategy, pricing and promotion keeping in mind how to respond to customer needs
- Accounting: Making sophisticated reports around the profitability of products and adjusting costs accordingly
- Leadership and organisational behaviour: Learning leadership styles and managing the Human Resources of an organisation
- Economic statistics: Basic statistics (linear regression, multiple regression,etc.) for analysis of economic data
- Business ethics: Responsibilities of corporations and leaders regarding the legal and economic ethics
An MS degree for a business graduate commonly focuses on the following topics:
- Business analytics: Analysing data by extrapolating it for business decision making
- Business communication: Learning to engage audience and convey the business narrative
- Operations management: Streamlining processes for quality control of the products
- Business law: Understanding of key legal subjects in order to steer the business in the right direction
Admission Requirements: What You Need to Apply to MS and MBA Programs
Admission requirements for MS and MBA programs- what you need to know is summarised below
In order to apply for an MBA program, you need to fulfil the following requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree is any subject
- Work experience of 2 to 5 years
- GMAT or GRE scores
- Your updated resume
- Recommendation letters from managers, colleagues, or clients
- English proficiency test
- Admission essay
- Passing the interview for admission process
To apply for an MS degree, you need to fulfil this eligibility criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant business field and with a good GPA
- Fulfil the English proficiency requirements
- GRE or GMAT scores
- Letter of recommendation
- Current resume
Tuition Fees and Return on Investment (ROI): Comparing the Costs of MS and MBA Programs
The average fee of a 2-year MBA program is $50,000 to $60,000 and that of an MS degree is $45,000. MBA is a relatively expensive degree so it makes you wonder whether the ROI is worth it. There is a high demand for MBA graduates and 86% of them get employed immediately after finishing their degrees. The type of business connections you make in an MBA is much more useful and an MBA also gives you a career trajectory for more success.
Career Opportunities: What Are Your Job Prospects with an MS or MBA Degree?
Most MBAs get hired at management consulting companies, tech companies, accounting firms, retail or healthcare. The average salary of an MBA graduate according to Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) was $115,000 per year in 2022. MBA graduates definitely get a salary increase after finishing their degree, no matter which sector they work in.
On the other hand, MS graduates have salaries ranging from $55,000 to $75,000. The sectors where they usually get employed are data analytics and accounting and management. They deal with the scientific side of business.
Which Degree is Right for You?
Master of Science vs. Master of Business Administration: how to choose between the two? Both degrees are just different in the aspects of business they focus on but your choice depends on what you want from your career. If you want to improve your leadership skills at work and increase your business calibre, then MBA would be a better option for you. You need to also consider your finances and the amount of time you are ready to invest in the degree.
MBA degrees also come with specialisations but you should choose MS over MBA if you are really passionate about the subject you want to study, so an MBA with specialisation in Human Resources will not benefit you as much as a Master’s in Human Resources Management would. Ultimately the choice is yours and once you decide the program, you will need to choose the right university for your needs. Book a session now with our mentors to help you make the right choice.