Is MBA Better for You or MS? How Should You Decide?

MBA or MS, what the next step will be after graduation, is the dilemma that many students face during their academic life. Although these two degrees have their own pros and cons, they both are indeed highly demanded because of their own unique reasons. If you’re planning to enroll in a graduate program, you must understand your options clearly and choose the one which aligns with your goal most. The degree you decide to pursue will ultimately decide what type of job you are going to have, what range of salary you will be getting or what kind of environment you will be working within. You should check out the details below to understand which degree will be most suitable for you.

What is an M.S degree?

M.S degree or Master of Science degree is typically a full-time 2-year long degree program that is offered by the universities to the students who have completed their bachelor’s in the field of science, statistics, engineering, or medicine. However, it actually depends upon the conventions that the universities follow. Some universities offer M.S even for the subjects which fall under the field of Humanities or Social science. M.S degrees usually include writing a thesis or a research component. Generally, work experience is not a prerequisite for enrolling in this program.

If you want to deepen your knowledge in a specific subject or field this is the degree for you to attain. This degree program offers an opportunity to advance your study in depth. If you’re a business graduate, doing an M.S will make you specialize in one chosen area of business, which can be,

  • Finance
  • Data analytics
  • Accounting
  • International management
  • Marketing
  • Project management

This degree program can also be a way for you to shift your career or level up in a particular sector. However, it can sometimes work as a double-edged sword. Since you concentrate on a particular subject in an M.S degree program, you may lack the flexibility to pursue other paths which are unrelated to your specific field of study.

What is an MBA degree?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is a postgraduate professional degree awarded for studies in the area of business and management. This degree originated in the USA during the era of industrialization when companies were looking for scientific approaches to adopt for their enterprises. The MBA program covers areas of business like accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, ethics, business law, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, and operations. There are several types of MBA programs such as full-time MBA, part-time MBA, or Executive MBA. Each of these programs is targeted to professionals who are at different stages in their career and depending on the program it can take one to three years to complete. So, the requirements for enrolling in each of these programs are different. Unlike the MS program, the MBA actually offers a handful of knowledge on the whole area of business, increasing a student’s technical, managerial, and leadership skills. 

So, how to decide between MS and MBA?

Basically, it depends upon what suits you best for your future career goal. Just think about what you would want to learn from your post-graduate degree and what type of knowledge you need to reach your goal. An MBA could be particularly beneficial for you if you’re not from a business background, but want to start your career in this field. Since an MBA program covers a range of topics across all business sectors, giving students a more general overview. But, if you’re already in a highly technical business field and want to gain further skill within the discipline, enrolling in an MS program would make more sense for you. Starting salaries after completing an MBA degree are usually higher than those of an MS degree. Although the reason behind that may be due to the fact that most MBA recipients have prior work experiences while the MS recipients generally seek the degree right after completing their undergraduate program. However, the starting salary after completing an MBA degree can be roughly $115,000 and for an MS degree, it is between $75,000 and $85,000, depending on the concentration. Apart from the salary discrepancies, both degrees offer a path to better career prospects. If you envision yourself rising to the top of your team within an organization you might want to consider an MS degree that aligns with the industry you’re planning to work in. MS degree holders also have an option to build their careers in teaching and research. As the nature of the degree is technical and academic, many students are found to enroll themselves in Ph.D. programs afterward. On the other hand, an MBA degree builds a solid foundation for your career in business. If you see yourself as a future leader of an organization at large, nothing can beat having an MBA degree. 

To sum up, both degrees are exponentially prominent in their own ways. Whether it’s MBA or MS, it all comes down to what you want your future to look like. After measuring each of the options carefully, you’re recommended to choose the one which suits your prospective career the best.

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