The job market may have been a depressing place in recent years, but it has handed out a new option to fresh graduates: stay on in college for an additional degree. Many fresh graduates who are unable to find full-time employment with only a bachelor’s degree are going in for the Master in Management (MiM) program.
But time and opportunity to enroll for a master’s course in business is not the only factor in play. Traditionally, graduate students aspiring for a degree in business management have flocked to MBA schools. However, since many find the admission criteria and program fees at good MBA schools difficult to manage, they are welcoming the alternative: MiM.
Not all MiM programs lead to the awarding of an “MiM” degree, although many b-schools have started using this generic abbreviation for their degrees. There is also the Master of Science in Management program (for students who have undergraduate degrees in business or economics) and the Master of Arts in Management program (for students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than business or economics).
The main reason for the popularity of the MiM program is that the program fee is only about 50 percent of the fee for a traditional MBA from a reputed b-school. Another reason is that many schools offering the MiM degree do not insist on any minimum work experience as an admission criterion, compared with the traditional MBA course, where work experience is essential.
These pluses, along with young job-candidates’ need to differentiate themselves as “knowledgeable” about business management, have made the MiM course attractive. However, the MiM degree and the MBA are two very different things. Please see our blog on “MBA or master’s in management: Which is better?”. For a quick look at the main differences between the courses, please see the accompanying table.
|Average age of candidates||23 years||27 to 32 years|
|Professional experience||Fresh graduates or graduates with 1-3 years’ experience||3 to 12 years|
|Course eligibility||Fewer eligibility criteria. But bachelor’s degree, good academic record, and language skills essential. Some schools require GMAT/GRE.||GMAT, minimum 3-year work experience mandatory.|
|Tuition fee||About 50 percent of fee for traditional MBA program||US – $100,000 to $111,000
Europe – $37,000 to $80,000
|Program duration||18 months on average||US – 2 years; Europe – 1 year|
|Curriculum||Fundamentals of management, general concepts||Practical applications of general management concepts, analysis and application of concepts|
|Program reputation||Mainly accepted in Europe and India||Worldwide acceptance|
|Career path after graduation||Entry level posts such as Management Trainee||Lateral management slots such as Senior Manager, General Manager, Vice President, etc.|
|Career path, lifetime||MBAs usually preferred for top jobs||MBA is the accepted degree for top management positions|
Sources: payscale.com, mim-compass.com, oneyearmba.co.in
The main admission criterion is the candidate’s academic record, according to a survey resulted published by “MIM Compass” in September 2015. The next most important qualification is the GMAT score, with 600 being the minimum score that is usually the norm.
However, less than 50 percent of schools insist on an analytical test such as the GMAT. Only 6 percent actually use GMAT scores and 26 percent accept scores from either GMAT or GRE. About 65 percent of schools conduct admission interviews. Of these schools, only about 35 percent assign a weight of 50 percent to the interview score.
How useful is the MiM degree? What are the career options? Like an MBA, the MiM degree prepares the graduate for a leadership role in a wide range of industries. The fresh MiM graduate is usually offered the title of Management Trainee. Among titles that an MiM degree holder can hope to achieve, with experience, are Advertising Manager, Development Manager, General Operations, Human Resources Manager, Public Relations Manager, Sales Manager, and Training Manager. Skills acquired as part of the MiM course can help managers emerge to more responsible positions, and some even make the grade for elevation as President or CEO.
Many MiM programs include personality development courses, too. Case studies teach students how a manager in a decision-making role can make a difference to a business situation, and how, by using well-developed interpersonal skills, he or she can ensure effective teamwork.
An MiM degree also makes sense to those who want to work in supervisory positions and those who are already working in these positions, as fundamental principles are included as part of the program. The knowledge and skills acquired through the program teach managers how to resolve organizational conflicts, how to improve team building, and how to participate in ethical decision-making processes, for example.
The MiM program essentially remains more popular in Europe than in the rest of the world, including US, where the MBA is seen as more valuable. Little wonder then that the top-ten list of b-schools offering MiM are all in Europe.
According to the FT’s Master in Management Rankings 2015, the top ten schools for MiM are
The top US b-schools offering MiM are Kellogg, Ross, Fuqua, and Tuck. The Indian Institutes of Management in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Bangalore received FT world rankings of 15, 16, and 26, respectively, for their MiM programs (PGPM).
Consulting (37 percent) and finance (24 percent) are the two main sectors that employ MiM degree holders, according to an employment statistics study from 2014 quoted on the HEC’s website. The next big sectors are high technology (8 percent), consumer goods and food (7 percent), industries and utilities (6 percent), and media, leisure, and tourism (5 percent).
Employers see MiM and MBA job-seekers as different talent pools. While companies recruit MiM graduates for a host of roles—analysts, project leaders, managers—they look for MBAs to fill specific mid-level to senior positions. MiM graduates are popular among recruiters as they are younger and therefore more “moldable,” and can embrace corporate values of specific companies faster. They also learn fast and can take risks, and are more internationally mobile. Being younger, they can also adapt to diverse cultures more quickly.
The weighted annual starting salaries of students from the world’s top ten schools ranged between $68,000 (CEMS) and $98,000 (WHU Beisheim). Between 88 and 100 percent students were in employment three months after the course. However, according to the FT list, students from IIM-A, B, and C received between $92,000 and $99,000, and all students were employed three months after their courses.
According to Payscale, the salaries of MiM degree holders in the US are around $61,000 for those with less than a year’s experience, $68,000 for those with five to nine years of experience, around $86,000 for those with ten to 19 years of experience, and over $101,000 for those with more than 20 years of experience.
MiM degrees are valuable especially after a bachelor’s degree in engineering or physical science. Top companies offer internships to students. The workplace experience is invaluable as it adds practical knowledge to the theory that students learn in b-schools.
Andrea Castronovo, Vice President, BMW group and one of the first graduates of CEMS (Bocconi and HEC Paris) in 1990, recalls that the CEMS MiM offered a unique curriculum and study experience through internships. He told FT that he also gained intercultural awareness and an ability to work with people with varying backgrounds.
In his previous job as President of the BMW’s Central and Eastern European Divisions, he recruited graduates for 12 BMW units from Poland to Malta, looking for agility and adaptability in candidates. The need was for management graduates to enter totally diverse environments, learn and understand the cultures, and figure out a way for the company to do business there, the FT quoted Castronovo as saying.
The recession and the difficult job market have made MiM graduates look at entrepreneurship seriously. Andreas Pinkwart, Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, says his school asks MiM students to present business ideas to their class. One student came up with an idea for a premium online sports shop—it is now one of the best in Europe.
The job market may be a bit of a quagmire for now. However, instead of waiting for the skies to clear, many young and ambitious students are putting their time to the best use. The MiM may not be as posh as an MBA, but what’s the harm in equipping oneself to become a better job candidate?