Is an MBA Better Than A Master’s Degree?

Are you ready to pursue a Master’s degree but are unsure if MBA (Master in Business Administration) or a Master’s in another field is the best option for you? Look, it’s completely normal to be conflicted in this situation.

After all, this is undoubtedly one of the major steps you will take in your life, as it will shape the rest of your future. Whenever you are about to make a significant time and financial investment, it’s important to thoroughly understand your options and overall goals.

Make sure you go through this article and learn the differences between the popular business degrees to aid yourself with making the decision you won’t regret later in life. Let’s get to it.

Masters in Business Administration vs. Masters of Science

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science (MS) degree can give a thorough graduate-level business education, but an MBA will offer a broader look at how organizations work, while an MS will offer a detailed knowledge of one specific field of business.

In addition, one of the key distinctions between these types of programs comes down to who the program is targeted. An MS student often enters their program with little to no experience working in business environments, whereas an MBA applicant typically enters with a few years of job experience.

Let’s examine the differences and parallels between an MBA and an MS degree in more detail.

What is an MBA degree?

Source: tscfm.org

An MBA is a graduate degree that places a strong emphasis on well-defined managerial and leadership abilities in the corporate world.

What are MBA courses like?

While not every MBA program is the exact same, and it usually tends to vary from institution to institution, you will find that most of them usually combines core coursework with electives. In almost every institution, a variety of fundamental business issues will be covered by MBA schools’ core curriculum; they will consist of the following:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Strategy
  • Communications
  • Ethics

With optional courses and specializations, students frequently have the chance to delve further into certain areas of interest. Potential MBA specializations, also known as concentrations, could include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Analytics
  • Accounting
  • Health care management
  • Finance

What are the job prospects and salary to be expected from an MBA?

With this broad knowledge, obtaining an MBA can prepare you for senior and executive-level jobs across various industries of business. Similarly, you will be well prepared and competent for leadership roles that manage numerous departments.

After several years in their career, a lot of undergraduates go back to school to get their MBAs in order to further their careers.

There are both full-time and part-time MBA programs available, which allow students to keep their jobs but also, complete their education.

An MBA will normally take between one and five years to complete, depending on the sort of program structure as well as the institution offering the program.

Now, as for the salary, the estimated median base starting salary for an MBA graduate in the US for the class of 2024 would have been $115,000 (signing bonuses and perks excluded), but this estimate can also vary depending on the school you graduated from.

What is an MS degree?

Source: blogs.acu.edu

A Master of Science degree, or MSc as it is more often called, is a degree in the field of science. MS degrees usually concentrate on either a specific scientific field of study, such as medicine, engineering, or statistics or they may facilitate the application of science to the social sciences subjects, such as economics and psychology.

The second perspective is more likely to be supported by master’s degrees in business. These degrees often provide the opportunity to gain a depth of expertise in a single business field, for instance:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Data Analytics
  • Management
  • Accounting

What does the coursework look like for an MS Degree?

Similar to MBA programs, MS programs also tend to vary from one institution to another. Although some core knowledge relating to various business sectors may be included in business masters programs, a large percentage of the curriculum will focus on your selected field, which effectively makes the MS graduates become experts in that particular field.

It usually takes between one and two years to complete a program, and full-time and part-time enrollment opportunities may also be available.

MS salary and employment prospects

Source: mastersprogramsguide.com

Students who choose this program are qualified for specialized professions within their field of interest. It can be used as a stepping stone for a change in a job or career or to climb the ladder in a particular industry.

In contrast to an MBA, it’s not mandatory for students who want to pursue MS to have prior business-related employment experience, and many programs are intended for students with less than two years worth of work experience.

As one would expect, the earning potential and salary of an MS graduate will depend on the specific field in which they specialize. But to get a general idea, an MS graduate in 2024 averaged a salary in the US ranging from $55,000 (Management & Accounting) to $78,000 (Data Analytics).

MBA/MS dual degrees

Many students fall into the misconception that they need a dual degree in MS/MBA in order to enter certain professions.

However, that is not the case, and in fact, any business sector can be entered without having a dual degree; yet, some students still prefer to jointly pursue their MBA and MS.

They could do this to make their credentials stand out from others or because they simply enjoy the subject and want to learn more.

Based on the particular degrees you’re interested in, institutions that offer dual programs will suggest different timetables; some will start with MBA sessions, while others may begin with MS coursework. To find out the course your institution recommends, you’d have to confirm with them.

Since completing a dual degree typically entails additional expenses, the majority of students seeking a master’s degree in business will choose an MBA degree or an MS degree rather than both.


When it comes to deciding between an MBA degree and a Masters’ program, you should consider the amount and type of business experience you’ve already gained while also thinking about your future career goals.

If being the leader of any organization is what you’re after, then it makes more sense to pursue an MBA degree. On the other hand, if you aim to rise to the top of a team within a specific organization, then you’ll be better off pursuing an MS degree.

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