MS vs MBA — wondering what’s the difference between the two? Wondering which is better than the other? Which will benefit you and so on? Through this article, we will answer all these questions that are on your mind. So, read on!

MS or MBA post-graduation degrees are a choice that early graduates and professionals like you are often presented with. Due to the different career progressions that both MS and MBA degrees have to offer, you might often find yourself in a dilemma to choose between the two. Hence, here are six key differentiators we have listed down to help you decide which postgraduate degree suits your career goals and interests.

What’s the Difference Between an MS and an MBA?

To understand which post-graduation degree suits your career needs, it is essential to understand what differentiates an MS and an MBA program. So, let’s dive into the differentiating factors.

Scope of Study

The key difference between an MS and an MBA is the scope of each of these programs. Although an MS was believed as an option reserved only for medical and engineering graduates, the scope of this degree has increased to areas of business administration as well. However, unlike an MBA, an MS is focused on one particular subject within a field of business or technology. Hence, anyone intending to specialize in a particular field will find an MS program more valuable than an MBA. This does not negate the fact that MBAs are not specialized, they are! However, most courses in an MBA only touch upon a subject from a management perspective. An MS, on the other hand, covers a lot more aspects of the subject. 

Flexibility in Career Opportunities 

Since MBA is multifaceted, it covers almost every core business function in its curriculum, it opens doors to various job roles in your career path. Due to this, as a professional with an MBA degree, you might enjoy a greater deal of flexibility in switching careers and taking up different kinds of job roles. However, this is something an MS degree might not offer and restricts you to the field of study you choose. Therefore, an MBA program offers a lot more flexibility than an MS. So, if you’re looking for a career change then an MBA is a better option than an MS degree. 

Cost of Earning an MS or MBA Degree

An MBA generally costs more than an MS degree. MBA courses are often taught at business schools — generally, those that have a high reputation and are glamourized in the corporate world. Moreover, since MBAs offer a lot more scope to scale your career towards the managerial side of a business, they are more sought after by professionals. Hence, this demand increases the cost of MBA programs worldwide. Having said that, MS degrees also offer career progression within a respective field and are also taught by prestigious universities, however, it is the demand for an MBA degree globally that makes it costlier. Therefore, you might want to evaluate your options further based on the funding required for both master degrees.  

Teaching Approach 

MS degrees are offered at universities that take an academic approach to enhance your knowledge within a particular discipline. For example, MS in computer science or MS in Supply chain management focuses on the respective field. MBA degrees, on the other hand, are taught at business schools that take a practical approach rather than a theoretical one by focusing more on case studies and real-life scenarios. Besides, business schools can offer MBA programs that are shorter in duration. This is not the case with an MS degree, two years of education are the requirements of completing this course.

Admission Requirements of an MS and an MBA

Although both MS and MBA degrees require standardised tests (GMAT or GRE), SOPs, letters of recommendation and a language test as part of their admissions requirements. Besides, an MS degree, however, does not necessarily require work experience like an MBA. Work experience is a mandatory requirement in most MBA programs taught at highly-ranked business schools or universities. So, if you’re looking to continue your academic journey, then an MS would suit your needs better than an MBA program.

Purpose of Both Master Degrees

While an MBA provides business knowledge that helps professionals like you to grow or diversify careers, an MS degree builds academic knowledge in a respective discipline. It helps you develop professional expertise within that particular field. Hence, if concentrated knowledge is the key aspect of your career goals, then an MS is a better option than an MBA degree. 

To summarise, both MS or MBA degrees offer a great deal of expertise and career growth. While one builds knowledge in a particular field, the other improves your business acumen. Based on the criteria we have discussed, you can make an informed choice on which suits your career needs best and what offers the most career satisfaction. So, choose wisely!


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