MBA vs Masters in Management

By Meet University

masters in management
masters in management

If you are planning to pursue a graduate degree in business, it is important that you understand the difference between a Masters in Business Administration Program (MBA) and masters in management Program (MIM). It is one of the common topics you can find on the MBA discussion forums for freshers preparing for CAT or GMAT. The differences between these two business degrees are in terms of the topics covered, curriculum, and the option of choosing a concentration. Here are the key differences between an MBA and masters in management to know which among the two would be the best fit for you.

  • Age: masters in management programs usually do not require prior work experience; they are open to recent graduates or too young professionals with up to 2 years of experience, but few schools also allow professionals with up to a year of work experience to apply as well. Most MBA programs are targeted towards professionals with 3 to 8 years of work experience, but few colleges require at least 4 years of work experience. As a result, the Master’s in Management students are much younger than full-time MBA students. Generally, the average age of a masters in management program student is 23 years, ranging between 20 to 27 years, while the average age of an MBA program student is 28 years, ranging between 27 to 32 years.
  • Professional experience: MBA programs require professional experience while MIM programs do not require any work experience. MBA programs are targeted at students with a minimum of two or three years of professional experience, whereas MIM’s syllabus is primarily designed for students in their early career stages including students with one-year experience or freshers. Professional experience plays a major role in MBA during group interviews and course discussions, whereas professional experience does not add value for masters in management programs.
  • Tuition fees: The Masters in Management programs are cheaper when compared to MBA programs as the tuition fees for MBA ranges between $50,000 to $100,000 per year while for MIM programs, the tuition fees range between $18,000 to $35,000 per year. Young people who have not yet been able to earn and save much money can opt for masters in management, as the most expensive masters in management programs cost only about half of the MBA tuition fees. Experienced people aiming at leadership positions can opt for MBA as it helps them get placed in top-level companies. The tuition fees also vary from one school to another; the schools in Germany are most cost-effective, whereas schools in the US and the UK are expensive. Students can also apply for scholarships for both masters in management and MBA programs to lessen the financial burden.
  • Way of teaching: MBA is based on a case study framework that utilizes the prior work experience of the students to teach them the application of business techniques, whereas for masters in management it concentrates on theoretical fundamentals of the business with several analytical and quantitative subjects taught through case studies and team projects.
  • Curriculum goal and content: masters in management and MBA courses concentrate on general management topics and use case studies to simulate real-world situations. A major part of the masters in management curriculum focuses on the theoretical side of the management field and emphasizes building a solid business foundation. masters in management do not offer many electives and concentrate on the core subjects of management. The masters in management program require strong mathematical or analytical skills and also has a research-oriented final dissertation. Further, MIM students are even qualified for Ph. D. Also, many masters in management schools encourage internships by providing built-in internship programs to help the students apply business fundamentals in the workplace. By contrast, MBA programs focus on building practical knowledge in the management field; it lets the students bring to the course the vast amount of experiences and learnings they have accumulated during their work experience. These programs cover subjects on managerial functions such as finance or accounting and help students concentrate on more integrative courses and analyze business cases by using their knowledge gained at their previous workplace(s). Furthermore, MBA programs offer a wide range of specialization and electives allowing students to specialize in their area of interest. Moreover, they also offer their students practical experience through in-company projects integrated into the studies or allow the students to engage in a business plan competition.
  • Duration of the course: Most of the masters in management programs offer full-time courses with a duration of 1.5 to 2 years; few programs also offer fast-paced 10-month courses, whereas full-time MBA programs have a course duration of 2 years.  However, some schools also offer a 1-year degree.
  • Admission Criteria: The admission criteria for MBA and masters in management programs has been given below:
  • GMAT: For MBA programs, students are required to write Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) particularly, when the school or program is renowned or highly ranked. There are other alternative tests like GRE and many schools also offer their own on-campus tests, but the GMAT is still an important means to select MBA students. For MIM programs, business schools seem to increasingly require the GMAT, but grades in the first academic degree are considered to be more important than the GMAT.
  • Professional Experience: MBA programs do require professional experience whereas masters in management programs do not.
  • Academic Background: MBA programs are open only for graduates with work experience, but from any academic background whereas masters in management programs are split into three groups: one group is for students with a business or economics background and also for students with methodological education, such as psychology, physics, sociology, etc.; the second is open for graduates from all academic backgrounds and the third group targets students without a first degree in business or economics.
  • The popularity of the degree: MBA is a well-recognized program in the field of business studies with several well-known colleges offering the degree with several options. masters in management have been around for over 20 years now but have recently started getting recognition across the world, as more and more universities are offering the degree. Nevertheless, these days, many reputed colleges are offering the MIM as flagship courses. So we can safely assume that it has an excellent future.
  • Job opportunities: MBA is known for its high-quality education system. Hence, big companies strongly favor MBA students. The placement system is one of the very strong reasons why many students pursue an MBA. Many MBA graduates are recruited by top-notch companies for mid-level, managerial positions with good pay as they already have several years of work experience. In the contrast, master’s in management graduates are usually recruited for entry-level or analyst positions as they have little or no prior work experience. Usually, companies tend to hire more masters in management graduates as they are young and fresh in the market and can be molded according to the company’s value systems.
  • Reception by companies: MBA is the traditional degree for postgraduate studies in management; it is well known among HR managers than masters in management. Nevertheless, masters in management programs are gaining popularity due to the increase in proliferation. masters in management is a European phenomenon and are very popular among European firms. Outside Europe, masters in management are relatively new; students may have to give an introduction about the degree. In other words, MBA and MIM are degrees for different target groups: MBA is for more experienced candidates, while MIM is for candidates with little or no experience. Therefore, HR managers do not perceive MBA and masters in management in competition with each other as both these programs are for different target groups who apply for different positions.
  • Salary: The average salary for MBA graduates is higher due to their prior work experience and specialized knowledge, whereas the salary of masters in management graduates is comparatively lower as they get entry-level jobs.

masters in management is an advanced degree for young and talented students who have perceived their bachelor’s degree to be insufficient for their career plans. By contrast, the MBA is usually for students who have already started their career but want to specialize further and gain new knowledge and networking opportunities to increase their career options. The masters in management degree help graduates to start a career, while the MBA degree helps professionals to enhance and develop their management careers. MBA and masters in management are both phenomenal degrees and the future is bright for applicants of both programs.