It’s a crucial time after your Bachelor’s. Do you start working? Should you take up another course? Should you look for an internship? Is Master’s a good option? Lots of different questions like these will be going through your mind. It is an important milestone in your life and what you choose here could affect the rest of your life.
If you’ve decided to take up a Master’s after your BSc but are unsure about which one to take, this article is for you. It will help you understand the distinction between an MBA and an MSc degree and which one is best for you.
There are oceans of MBA and MSc degrees offering specializations in a variety of fields. On the surface, all these degrees look the same and you may not feel there’s any difference between any of them but when you look closer, the differences are quite glaring.
1. Specialization vs. Generalization
The main difference between an MBA and an MSc degree is the level of specialization involved. With an MSc degree, you will dive right into the specialization of your choice. It deals with one particular subject of your interest. An MBA degree, on the other hand, offers a broader perspective of business. You will learn the fundamentals of business, including finance, operations, administration, law, etc. in the first year. In the second year, you’ll get into the nitty-gritty of your preferred industry.
2. Management vs. Business
An MSc program mainly focuses on topics related to the management aspects of your chosen specialization. But to understand a business completely, you need to know about every single area of work. With an MBA program, your main focus will be on the business side of things, involving different sectors and domains.
3. Enhanced Knowledge vs. Expanded Opportunities
MSc is an advancement course that serves to enhance the knowledge you’ve gained in your Bachelor’s. This means, both your undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will be the same. However, you can opt for an MBA, irrespective of your undergraduate degree. An MBA degree will fast-track your career growth by equipping you with both practical skills and knowledge required to operate a business effectively. Additionally, there is a significant expansion of your professional network as you will be interacting with different teams.
4. Inexperience vs. Experience
One of the major differences between an MSc and an MBA degree is the experience of the applicants. MSc aspirants are typically recent graduates with minimal to no work experience. For an MBA, colleges usually put work experience as a prerequisite for applying. As such, most of the MBA aspirants have about 2–4 years of experience before they take up the program.
5. Theory vs. Practice
While the emphasis nowadays is more on practical skills, India still suffers from the pursuit of traditional rote education. Classroom teaching and standardized tests still take precedence over practical learning. Many Master’s degrees follow this pattern of teaching, where practical knowledge is not part of the curriculum or sprinkled a pinch here and there. And this is because degrees such as MSc are pursued to gain knowledge about the subject rather than apply it in real-time. MBAs rely mainly on practical projects as the applications outweigh the theoretical aspects of the degree.
6. Entry-level Jobs vs. Executive Jobs
Even if you have a Master’s degree, there is no guarantee that you’ll get an executive-level job immediately. Most degrees such as MSc help you get into your specialized industry rather than push your career forward. An MBA will secure you high-paying jobs mainly as one of the common prerequisites is having work experience. You enter the workspace with better networks as well and therefore, can move up ranks faster.
A common analogy used to compare these degrees is that of an airplane ticket where MSc is an Economy Class ticket and MBA is a Business Class ticket. Both degrees get you to the same destination, but how they get you there and the benefits they offer matter.
To conclude, an MBA degree is the right fit when you are looking for higher gains, i.e. better career opportunities and networks. That’s not to say an MSc won’t do the same, but the gains are much lesser. An MBA will equip you with more practical skills for an evolving workplace and it’s best suited if you are looking at opportunities at a global level.
Nowadays, an MBA degree has become commonplace. There are numerous MBA colleges in India that offer umpteen MBA courses in a diverse array of fields. You may not want to follow the crowd and do something different after your BTech, but do not dismiss an MBA just yet. It may as well be the best choice you’ll have ever made.
What after BTech?
Most BTech students are unsure of what they want to do after graduation. Every BTech student does not automatically choose an MBA course. Also, not everyone gets selected in campus interviews and not everyone has a job offer by the end of their study. The ground reality is quite different.
The journey of a BTech graduate consists of a number of crossroads. Here are a few.
Doing absolutely nothing
Convention states that it is mandatory to do something after completing your education. But not everyone follows the same rules. A ballpark of BTech students will do nothing after their BTech for a few months or, in some cases, a couple of years. They will take time off from studies for a while and enjoy their “freedom”. After all, they have dedicated a good part of their childhood and youth to schools and colleges. These students will probably travel, take up small jobs, or chill at home till they decide what steps to take next.
Joining a coaching class
The concept of coaching classes is not new in India. Every major city offers coaching in a variety of subjects. Students may be interested in taking up short-term courses in Digital Marketing, Data Science, AI, etc. after BTech. These 3-month to 6-month short-term courses help them gain knowledge in fields of their interest. Such courses do not monopolise their time. Post classes, students are free to pursue jobs or other interests.
Applying for IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection)
IBPS is an autonomous recruitment organization that conducts exams to recruit graduates to public sector banks. The positions include both clerical and officer posts. Now, banking is a coveted industry in India. Getting into a public sector bank is practically a dream come true. Hence, studying/applying for an IBPS exam is one of the many options for BTech students after graduation.
Getting a job (off-campus)
Not all students who participate in campus interviews get placed. A good number of them are left without an offer letter in their name. These students, post their graduation, look for jobs elsewhere. Once they get into a company, they settle down as employees and bid farewell to their life as a full-time student.
Pursuing MTech/MS abroad
This is one of the most common paths BTech students follow after graduation. It’s almost like a rite of passage. After their Bachelor’s in India, they choose to pursue a Master’s course abroad. Doing so allows them to take up internships and jobs in those countries. Many also feel an MTech/MS hoping a foreign degree will get them better pay packages.
Taking up entrepreneurship/business
BTech doesn’t always have to be the foundation for a 9-5 job. It can be a stepping stone for starting a new venture/business. Entrepreneurship is a way for young graduates to learn the realities of the corporate world. It makes them independent, self-reliant, confident, smart, and savvy. Even if they are inexperienced, they usually give entrepreneurship a try to see if they are capable of handling business responsibilities.
BTech/Engineering Graduates are “Unemployable”
Over 1.5 million engineering students in India graduate every year. Of these, a lucky number secure a job. A lot many are left without any offer in hand. This is because not all of these graduates are employable. According to the National Employability Report 2016 by Aspiring Minds, about 94% of engineering graduates are not fit for hiring. The IT industry wants people with skills, which it obviously isn’t getting. This skill gap further creates unemployment that, in turn, affects graduates and companies alike.
Compared to engineering, MBA seems to fare well with the job market. According to GMAC 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report,
“81% companies planned to hire MBA graduates in 2018 with 52% planning to increase MBA starting base salaries.”
Why MBA after BTech?
Many students opt for an MBA because they feel it is the right path for a lucrative career; it’s the only logical option for them as it allows them to climb the organizational ladder faster.
This happens for one of two reasons.
They see that many of their higher-ups are MBA graduates. And to reach that position, they too should have an MBA degree.
They are impressed by the extraordinary leadership and communication skills the degree offers. They observe that MBA graduates are more confident and polished, and as such succeed better.
Some engineers or BTech graduates choose to work for a couple of years, gain experience, and specialize in the field of their choice. There are some, however, who are not sure of why or how an MBA will help their career after BTech. Take a look at 10 reasons why pursuing an MBA course after BTech will enhance your career aspirations.
You get to skip the queue
Many MBA graduates usually start off as managers rather than individual contributors. The number of associates or entry-level agents with an MBA degree is far fewer than those with just an undergraduate degree. Their MBAs allow them to skip the queue and move on to mid-level and top-level roles.
Your paycheck is fatter
Obviously, your salary at a higher role will be far greater than your salary at a subordinate level. Thanks to your MBA degree, your paycheck will have more zeroes compared to your peers with a BTech degree. Of course, you have to consider experience and other factors. Even then, an MBA graduate’s pay scale is better, even if marginally, than that of BTech graduate at the same level. For instance, the average salary for an MBA graduate is about INR 6,87,000 per year or higher. Compared to this, a BTech graduate earns around INR 5,70,000 on average per year.
Wider career options
The diversity of subjects taught at an undergraduate level is quite narrow compared to an MBA degree. Degrees in many MBA colleges in India cover many core areas such as finance, statistics, economics, HR, IT, etc. Thus, you have a wider playing field and can expand your horizons in either one of these. With this exposure, you can expect jobs in multiple sectors of business.
You’ll meet a lot of industry insiders
An MBA allows you to work closely with industry professionals and leaders. Whether you are working on a project, looking for an internship, or simply checking out employment opportunities, an MBA will offer you the chance to interact with experts from the industry. You can also build a solid base with future entrepreneurs and business managers.
It’s a credible career path
An MBA graduate holds a much more credible position among employers than others. This is because an MBA is proof that you’ve specialized in their domain such as finance, marketing or business management. It also tells them that you are a competent and experienced individual. This credibility, when you hone it, will ensure you a place in the organization.
It’s a safe option
A degree like an MBA is always a safe option for students. It, many times, guarantees them a job. An ordinary undergraduate degree, on the other hand, does not offer this guarantee. Graduates will still have to specialize in a niche area to be considered for a position. Besides, many companies will still prefer candidates with an MBA degree over a BTech degree holder.
You get hands-on experience right at school
BTech or any graduate courses in India do not offer the necessary practical skills required to work in an organization. That’s why companies spend an enormous amount of time and money in training new hires. An MBA provides practical training in companies, which may eventually lead to an employment opportunity with them.
It offers flexible study options
Quite often it happens that you want to do a postgraduate degree while still keeping your full-time job. An MBA offers this flexibility. You can study for an MBA while working. Many MBA colleges in India offer part-time or weekend MBA courses for working professionals. This way, you’ll be able to polish your skills while working and add on to your resume.
You can become your own boss
While many pursue an MBA to get into managerial positions in organizations, some of them do not. They obtain an MBA degree to become entrepreneurs and start their own venture. MBA training includes business management, financial management, planning, marketing, and many skills that entrepreneurs need. Therefore, it is a highly desirable degree to pursue after BTech.
The degree is recognized worldwide
An MBA is quite a common degree that is recognized the world over. It is understood that you have pursued a path well beyond your regular graduate studies and are well-versed in your chosen pool of subjects. It is compatible with other degree programs and will offer options to pursue other degrees across the globe.
Besides the usual specializations, i.e. finance or marketing, there are numerous niche fields in which you can pursue an MBA. Sports, Luxury, Hospitality, and Tourism are some areas where you find a surge of degree and job opportunities in India. MBA ESG has identified a lack of these MBA courses in India and has designed courses accordingly.
MBA is a great option to have once you’ve completed your BTech. For some, it isn’t even an option as they’ve already decided on their career path. If you’re looking for MBA courses in niche areas such as Sports or Luxury, you can always choose MBA ESG.