There’s an allure to MBA degrees; they’re well-recognised across the globe. But, MBAs aren’t the only option for graduate-level business degrees. There is an array of choices. Another business degree, such as a Masters in Management (MiM) may be a better fit for you.
At the very least, it’s worth taking a look at the pros and cons of a MiM before you rule it out of your career plan.
Previously, Masters in Management degrees were offered primarily in European universities and business schools. As such, it’s easy to equate the development of this Masters degree with the growth in one-year MBAs seen on the European continent. And, similarly, the popularity of both degrees is on the rise. It’s a worldwide trend – and hardly limited to regionally prominent European schools.
Today, schools topping the MBA lists, such as London Business School and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, offer Masters in Management programmes too.
So why would you choose an MIM programme over an MBA? It all boils down to the differences – and the similarities.
There are plenty of similarities between MBA and MiM degrees. They’re both graduate-level courses in business. They both offer career growth, the opportunity for international experience, develop business networks, and the content significantly overlaps.
Within the differences between the degrees, it’s easier to spot the pros and cons.
Age –Masters in Management candidates tend to be younger than MBA students. Generally speaking, MBAs tend to be closer to 30 than 20, though it’s not a rule. The average age of MiM students is around 23 years of age. If you’re older than 26 or 27, you might want to start thinking about the MBA rather than the MiM.
Work experience –As you would guess from the average age of MiMs, work experience is less important for these programmes. MBAs typically call for several years in a job (or jobs, as the case may be) and the MBA curriculum relies heavily on students’ career experiences, whereas MiMs often complete their undergraduate degree and move straight onto grad school. If you’re already at a mid-point in your career, an MBA or another Masters degree may be more suitable given your experience.
Goals and expectations– Age and work experiences go hand-in-hand with post-graduate goals. The MiM degree is seen as a way to kick-start a business career. Grads often take entry-level positions while MBAs, who tend to have more experience beforehand, are usually recruited into mid-level positions. Either way, companies are excited to hire talented candidates from the pool of MiM and MBA graduates.
Admissions process– If you were waiting for good news – you may not need to take the GMAT. Top schools will require it, as competition is fierce; but there are still plenty of programmes that don’t require it. But no matter what graduate-level programme you apply to, you’ll need to put together a stellar application; there’s no skirting the work there.
Curriculum – The Masters in Management degree is technically a Masters of Science degree as opposed to the MBA which is a professional business degree. Since MBA students have longer work experience, MBA programmes are more geared towards practical experience.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the MBA and the MiM – at least from the university’s perspective – is the cost of attendance. Whether it’s because the MiM attracts younger students (without much in the way of savings) or because the degree is still growing in popularity, these programmes are often significantly cheaper than an MBA.
Of course, tuition is hardly the only factor in the total cost of attendance, but it would be tough for the other variables to cost significantly more than they do for MBAs.
Imagine for a moment that all other costs are equal between post-grad business degrees, that £45,200 educational price tag difference for a London Business School education might just sway you towards that MiM.
The cost of education is a huge factor when considering an international education, but it’s not the only one.
Everything from age to career goals should play a role in the degree you choose. If you’re working on your undergraduate degree, your options are wide open. You can consider whether you want to head back to school or get into the work game first. You’ll need to weigh those pros and cons yourself – and the easiest way to do that is to work through the return on investment (ROI) across several different paths. (The calculators and formulas here will help immensely.)
Just to make things a little more complicated, however, you should probably not limit yourself to thinking about the differences between MBA and MiM degrees. There are plenty of other options available at schools across Europe and North America. There are also Masters in Finance, Masters in Business Analytics, and similar programmes to consider.
What are the top questions that you should ask yourself to determine if it is the right degree for you?
There are pros and cons to each one of these degrees. Finding the right one for you requires you to look at every single option according to your priorities and your budget.
Author Bio: Rishabh Goel is an Associate Relationship Manager at Prodigy Finance. He studied Economics & Engineering at BITS and did his Masters in Management at London Business School. He has helped Indians excel at GMAT/GRE and mentored students to attend top schools globally.