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MBA vs Masters in Management: Which is better?
Written by Sameer Kamat
The big MBA versus Masters in Management fight always gets its fair share of viewers. It is one of the common topics you’d see on MBA discussion forums where fresh graduates preparing for CAT (and GMAT simultaneously) hang out. After reading 20-30 responses you end up more confused than ever. So here’s a simple way to look at the two.
The primary difference is in the timing, that is, when you can start the program. Masters in management can be targeted by students who have just completed their graduation and are looking at continuing their education in the management area.
The regular 2 year MBA programs in India have traditionally targeted the same (age and qualification) demographic pool. Many of our impatient desi kids set their eyes on international degrees and don’t want to wait for several years. For them the Masters in management degree can be a good option to pursue. Financing a Masters program is relatively easier than a top MBA course.
MBA programs abroad, in contrast, expect students to have some professional experience before they are eligible to apply. We’ve already written a lot on this degree, including why Admission committees insist on work experience. So we’ll just focus on the differences.
Primary reasons for taking up a Masters option would include a change of geography (Bye bye India, hello USA), a better appreciation of management topics (with zero experience, it can be tough to understand and relate to the nuances) and an edge in the race to bag competitive fresher roles in various industries (you only have an undergrad degree? Poor you!). As a bonus, as a younger candidate with an impressionable and flexible, it’s easier to assimilate in the new culture and, er, reproduce a foreign accent more naturally.
The difference starts off with the kind of folks who get in and then continues in the manner in which education is imparted, the content of the course and the jobs that grads get. There’s a greater emphasis on theoretical lecture-based teaching and lesser reliance on pedagogies that rely on experience sharing (case studies, for instance). Masters in Management grads will not compete for the same roles as MBAs, mainly due to the experience levels. At some point in time, MiM grads might contemplate taking up an MBA degree for all the wonderful reasons that we are all aware of – promotion, career change, working in a different country, a bigger debt etc.
Of course, colleges that figure high on the Masters in Management rankings rake in bigger salaries than the other lower ranked universities. However, the average salaries for Masters in Management students are generally lesser than the international MBA compensation packages. Read about average MBA Salaries and what they mean. The main reason being top MBA graduates bring in more experience and can shoulder bigger and tougher responsibilities. In contrast, MiM students would need to go through the learning curve for a longer duration
So don’t consider one as an alternative of the other. Usually your background and your post-graduate plans would make the choice pretty clear.
Any Masters in Management aspirants out here? What are your reasons for choosing this over other degrees?
If you are interested in non-MBA degrees, check out the discussion here –>
MS, MFE, Mfin, MPhil, PhD, other degrees