MBA vs Master’s Degree: What are the Differences?
Are you thinking about taking an MBA course in Malaysia or Master’s and wondering the difference between both degrees?
Indeed, graduate studies can be a great way to prepare yourself for a more senior or management position. The first Master’s program that comes to mind, speaking of a managerial role, is the Master of Business Administration (MBA)-the most recognisable business degree worldwide.
Reaching a top management position does not necessarily imply learning a dedicated management program such as an MBA. However, the distinction between the two degrees is something you should know to make an informed choice about which degree you should pursue.
A business Masters and an MBA are postgraduate degrees offered to graduates who have shown a high level of knowledge by meeting the requirements to further their education. In terms of eligibility, concentration, and personal development, the programmes vary significantly.
There are several differences between the degrees.
Masters degrees are meant for students who are at the outset of their professional career, or for graduates who want a higher standard of qualification before joining the workforce. MBA degrees use professionals and peer learning experience, but they have a minimum of two years (sometimes three) of full-time professional experience as a requirement.
Although the MBA is ideal for students from any academic or professional background who want greater career versatility, managerial positions, or business ownership, for students who want highly advanced expertise in a particular field, Masters programs are the best choice.
That is why many highly advanced Masters programs need an academic history or even some work experience in a related field of study. The exception is non-consecutive Masters degrees, as they for people who choose to change their academic area or make a career change.
The MBA consist of multiple subjects ranging from finance to leadership to technology to marketing. On the other hand, the Business Masters is a highly specialised degree that focuses closely on one subject, such as accounting, administration, human resources, information technology, etc.
An MBA degree provides a wider understanding of business management through its curriculum of various business disciplines. Therefore, for those whose aspiration is in the niche of general management, corporate leadership, or entrepreneurship, the MBA degree is a great choice.
A business master’s degree, on the other hand, lets students become real specialists in a particular area, building on the skills learned at the undergraduate level and expanding their understanding in a particular field.
The curriculum emphasises the growth of analytical and professional skills rather than on leadership and management. For that reason, a business Master is often ideal for professionals who aspire to careers with extensive experience in the subject matter.
Learning Methods: Textbooks or peer learning?
As you now know, the MBA is a much more general degree. Although specialisations are available in the form of electives, there is a strong emphasis on delivering a holistic curriculum that encompasses everything from human resources to logistics to supply chain management to corporate social responsibility.
On the other hand, an MSc in Finance will be based exclusively on helping students acquire the toolkit needed to excel in a particular practical role. The emphasis will be slightly more academic and theoretical to improve these, with a textbook and professor-led approach.
The MBA, meanwhile, with a much more realistic emphasis, can be considered more of a professional degree. Case studies, real-world ventures and teamwork predominate, with an emphasis on peer learning.
To the employers, the distinctions between an MBA degree and other business degrees are important. It is important to realise that having any of these degrees is an asset and shows that you have a good understanding of the profession. Employers tend to regard both degrees in that way.
However, for example, the distinctions also come into play if you are looking for work that needs specialised knowledge in a profession, so it would be more beneficial to get a Master’s Degree in that field. For instance, it is more likely that a company looking for a Finance professional will employ someone with a Master’s Degree in Finance.
An MBA degree, on the other hand, is an indication that you have multiple important business skills and that you can go beyond the basics.
Now that you know the difference between an MBA and Master’s Degree, based on your preference, you can choose to increase knowledge and boost your profile by studying in a business school in Malaysia.