What is an MBA?
An MBA (which stands for Master of Business Administration) degree is a form of postgraduate degree which originates from the United States of America. As the title indicates, an MBA is geared towards students who have already carried out an undergraduate, business related degree, or simply for those who wish to pursue a career in business.
Although MBA programs vary according to institution, the vast majority will provide instruction in similar areas such as marketing, finance, accounting and human resources. MBA programs will usually take place over two years, although accelerated and part-time courses also exist. Part-time courses can be carried out while also in employment, although these may take three years and over to complete. MBA courses are generally not pursued immediately after graduation as the majority require pre-existing work experience.
What is an MSc?
An MSc is a postgraduate Masters degree that is carried out directly after undergraduate education. This degree is aimed towards those with an undergraduate degree in the sciences (including social sciences). 'Taught' MScs involve lectures, examinations and a short project. These usually last for one or two years. MSc research programmes are slightly different in that they involve a longer project (or set of projects) and can last for several years.
MScs are now awarded the classes; Distinction, Pass or Fail, with some universities offering an intermediate Merit level. An MSc is not restricted to traditional sciences such as Physics or Science, they are also applicable to the business sector, with MScs available in Accounting, Finance and Economics.
Which is Better?
The main difference between an MBA and MSc is that while an MSc can be carried out immediately after undergraduate study has been completed, MBAs require work experience in a junior or middle management position for at least three or four years after graduation. This may well determine which is better for you. If you have the relevant experience, an MBA will be more tailored to your needs. However, if you are lacking in practical experience but want to continue your studies, a taught MSc is generally the most realistic option available to you.
MScs also may be preferable for some because they come at less of a financial cost. While an MSc is more expensive than an undergraduate degree, it should not exceed £10,000. MBAs, however, range from around £50,000 - £80,000. The major benefit of carrying out an MBA is that it is potentially a more credible qualification in the business sector (although this will vary from employer to employer) and many senior level job listings will state that an MBA is required.
Who should take an MSc or MBA?
Generally, if you do not have any work experience but are looking to work within a specific discipline, such as finance or accounting, an MSc would be the most realistic option. MSc courses are generally more tailored to a specific discipline, providing valuable career training. If, on the other hand, you are seeking more general employment, have already completed some kind of managerial work experience and can afford the hefty price tag, an MBA would be ideal for being able to enter senior level positions in the future.
Both MBAs and MScs are more valuable if they have been completed at a well respected institution. It is therefore advisable to check university league tables to see which universities that offer business related masters degrees place well within the top twenty. As far as an MBA is concerned, American universities such as Yale and Harvard are ideal for business degrees and can often carry more weight in the business world."
This post was written by Amy Harris. She loves helping people find the right UK education options at FinancialTraining. If you'd like to study in the UK why not give them a try?