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Best Business Administration Degrees

If you’re looking for an international post-graduate degree, you may be surprised and perhaps confused to find a wide array of choices available. Zeroing in based on a specific area of interest may help you them narrow down. In this post, we’ll discuss the various options for a post-graduation degree in business administration.

A lot is written and discussed about the MBA degree though not many would be familiar with the MIM and MEM degrees. You’d need to do a thorough research and know what each of these degrees has in store for you so that you choose the one best suited to meet your career goals.

Best Business Administration Degrees


MIM (Master in Management or MSc in Management)

The schools across Europe and UK have been leaders in offering the MIM programs, however the US schools have been fast catching up on this front. As the MIM programs in the US are relatively new, we hardly see them figuring in the FT rankings.

Read here to know more about the top MIM programs.


This program is most suited for the younger applicant pool and for those with very less or no work experience. The average age of the incoming batch is around 23 years. The tuition fee is much lower than that of an MBA program. The duration may be as less as ten months as offered by Duke Fuqua or Michigan Ross, so it suits those who’ve just completed their undergraduate studies and are keen on acquiring business knowledge before taking the plunge into work life.

Along with these short duration MIM programs, there are also those going longer (ESCP Europe) and taking up to two years to complete.

Here are some more insights on whether the MIM program is the right choice for you.

Let us get both sides of the story so that you have a clearer perspective. The MIM program would have a slightly more theoretical focus compared to an MBA which would involve more of practical application of various business concepts.

With an experienced cohort, MBA students derive a lot more learning from peers’ professional experiences. It is obvious that MBA graduates would receive fatter pay checks compared to their MIM counterparts as they’re able to get into mid-level positions whereas MIM graduates may get jobs at entry level positions. The starting salary may be around US: $70,000 in the US and $68,000 to $98,000 in Europe for MIM graduates. (

By knowing the difference between an MIM and MBA degree, you’d be in a better position to make up your mind.

Admission requirements

The top brand schools would look for candidates with an impressive academic record. Depending upon your chosen schools, you’d need to submit the SOP/essays, GRE/GMAT or any other test score, letters of recommendation, TOEFL/IELTS score for international applicants.

Check out this article for more information on what to expect from an MIM program.

MEM (Master of engineering management) or MSEM (MS in engineering management)

This professional degree is offered by an engineering college in collaboration with a business school, thus students get a chance to study under the faculty from both the schools. This course integrates graduate level engineering knowledge with business education. This perfect combination equips (engineering) managers with the required know-how and expertise to efficiently handle any engineering–related problem along with making important business-related decisions.

The pre-requisite for applying is that the undergraduate degree should be from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) background. The experience criteria varies with universities like Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins requiring no prior work experience while others may have a minimum experience requirement. For programs like MIT, a higher experience of 3-5 years is required.

This degree can be viewed as an alternative to an MBA for engineers. Such professionals are a good fit for managerial positions in the technology area as it gives them the desired combination of technical knowledge, strategic planning, team-leading ability, organisational behavioral and project management skills.

The application requirements may include the GRE/GMAT score (may be waived if the candidate has enough work experience), letters of recommendations, SOP (Statement of Purpose), transcripts, resume, IELTS or TOEFL scores.

Read this article to know how Shashank managed to get into the top MEM / MSEM programs with a low GMAT score.

The average salary for graduates may range from 78,000 to $110,000 depending upon the level of experience. (

The duration would vary greatly from 9 months up to two years for a full-time program or can take close to 3 years if the program is taken part-time.

Read how MEM programs differ from MBA programs. The biggest difference is that with an MEM degree, you’ll have to continue working in the technology sector whereas with an MBA, you can choose to pursue a career in the field of your choice.

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

When it comes to MBA programs, you’ll be spoilt for choice. In addition to the full-time programs, there are the ones which are part-time, distance MBA, online MBA, executive MBA.

The US based two year full-time MBA programs are the most popular. It is recommended that you have at least three years of pre-MBA work experience in order to apply. With a slightly greater experience, you can also target the one year full-time MBA programs, which are more common in Europe and the UK.

Doing an international MBA is a huge investment of time and money. In addition to the exorbitant fees charged by the top programs, you’ll have to take into account the living expenses and the opportunity cost (salary lost during the 1-2 years of the program). So, it is necessary to choose a program wisely so that it serves the purpose of facilitating the desired career advancement or change. Various things to look out for include the geography, school brand, placement statistics, ROI (Return on investment), alumni feedback, specialisations offered.

Read this article to find a lot of useful information about MBA programs.

The tuition cost may vary ranging from $100,000 – $150,000 or higher for the two year US MBA program depending upon the program brand. Make it a point to check for all the scholarships and other funding options available. The average starting salary would be around $100,000. (

In addition to a high GMAT score, you’d need to come up with well-crafted concise essays highlighting your academic and professional achievements as well as recommendations, transcripts, resume, TOEFL / IELTS score as part of the application process.
According to GMAC 2017 survey report, based on data gathered from more than 11,000 prospective business school students, more than 3 out of 4 i.e. 77% reported that they had an MBA program in mind. Surprisingly, the percentage was high at 49% for those who were considering a non-MBA business master’s programs. The percentage of those having only an MBA program in mind has slightly decreased from 52 percent in2009 to 49 percent in 2016, over the same period, those considering a non-MBA business master’s has gone up from 15 percent to 23 percent.

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About Swati
After working for over a decade in technical and managerial roles in the corporate world, Swati now works as a freelancer and writes on a variety of topics including education, career guidance and self-improvement.

6 thoughts on “Best Business Administration Degrees”

  1. Hi,

    my name is seema,i have done me last year and now i’m working with CA firm handling the GST. I want to apply for MBA Abroad so whether my this job in CA firm will be counted for the MBA application or not or shall i search for another job of managerial work which will help me in MBA experience eligibility.please help me sir

  2. Is it necessary to have work experience in canada only for seeking admission there. I have completed bcom n have work experience of 1.5 years, please suggest some good colleges on the basis of my profile. Thanks in advance

  3. Hey there . Read all your posts . First of all thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    I work for Accenture, Bengaluru and have almost 15 months of experience . I completed my Graduation(B.E) in Information Technology,MAY-2016 from Gujarat.
    I read many articles about getting into top universities like MIT, Harvard etc. Is it really important to have done something extra apart from having performed extremely good in GRE in order to get into these colleges ? If yes, what a computer undergrad student (like me) should do, alongside job, to show my qualifications ? I really love doing math and solving logical problems using programming language which i do when i am free. So should i write about all these in my SOP ?

    Any suggestions or guidance will be highly appreciated

    Thanks in advance

  4. HI sameer
    I am Sharon. Currently in 3rd year Btech .
    Since I am not into technical field I wanted to take up MBA .
    It would be great id you could share some knowledge about the universities and how to apply .

    Thank you

  5. I have completed MSc and have one experience in clinical data management in cognizant . I wanted to know if i will complete Corresspondance MBA than will i get the job in same organization ?

  6. @Seema: Yes, the experience will be counted. And any managerial experience will enhance the profile.

    @Alina: Yes, work experience is required for the top MBA programs in Canada. Here’s a list to get you started:

    @Bhardwaj: HBS looks for well-rounder profiles. Folks who’ve excelled in multiple areas. Here’s how to get into harvard:

    @Joseph/Sharon: Start here:

    @Ambareen: Your HR department at Cognizant will be in a better position to answer that. Reach out to them and check if there are other certiifications that they value for the career progression you see in the same organization.


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