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.