What is the difference between an MBA and a Masters in Management Course?

MBA or Masters in ManagementKavita Singh: Thanks for the question! Recently more top universities have started to offer a Masters in Management program, and so this question is now becoming a more popular question amongst potential applicants.

As most of you know, if you are looking to get an MBA abroad from a leading institution then you need, on average, about 4-5 years of work experience. Of course, you can still go ahead and apply if you have 2-3 years of work experience – and if you are a strong applicant you will be successful. Some Business Schools, such as Harvard, are also encouraging younger applicants. However, few MBA programs accept applicants with no work experience

In 2009 London Business School launched a new program – an MSc in Management for graduates with little or no work experience. It is a 11-month full-time programme and is designed for people without work experience who want to lay the foundations for a successful career in business and beyond. It would be taught by the same faculty on a dedicated campus (Regent’s Park) adjacent to the London Business School campus.

To quote LBS, the program is for “top recent graduates who have less than one year’s previous work experience and an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than business or management studies.” If you have excelled in non-academic areas such as sports or the arts, or shown your leadership potential in community activities, this may also make you an ideal candidate for the programme.

The essay questions are identical to that of the MBA program – which indicates what they are looking for applicants in this program. So if you know you want to get a management degree, and are concerned about waiting to do so then this could be a good option for you.

There are also other such examples at Universities such as London School of Economics,  University College London and Duke University. Richard Ivey, one of the top 10 non-US Business Schools as ranked by Business Week, has launched of the first new Ivey degree program in almost 50 years: Ivey’s Master of Science in Management (MSc). The Ivey MSc is a direct-entry program requiring no previous full-time work experience.

The program is designed to build on your previous undergraduate experience and prepare you for international career interests in an ever-evolving, multicultural business world.
The program is approved by the Senate of The University of Western Ontario and the Richard Ivey School of Business.

In December of 2009, Ivey was selected as the exclusive Canadian partner in the internationally renowned CEMS alliance. This partnership gives Ivey MSc students the opportunity to participate in the Master of International Management program with students from other schools in the alliance like the London School of Economics, HEC Paris, National University of Singapore, ESADE (Spain) and Fundao Getulio Vargas (Brazil). Students register as Ivey MSc students and pursue the CEMS MIM program concurrently.

So aside from not requiring work experience, how is the Masters in Management different to an MBA? Well there are several ways in which the program is different

1) Because it requires no/little work experience the profile of class is obviously quite different to an MBA program. By implication this means that the peer-to-peer learning you will gain from class discussions and group projects will be quite different. In an MBA class you can debate and discuss best practises and different approaches you may have used at work, in different work environments, industries and countries to solve the problems you are discussing; however in a Masters in Management programs such real life experiences will obviously not be a regular part of the discussions.

2) The course curriculum itself is often different. If you review program details for the MSc. in Management from LBS and compare it to the MBA program from LBS you will see the differences for yourself. You will see that MBA program offers greater width and depth in the curriculum; for examples it covers much more in the area of leadership development.

3) The job opportunities available after an MBA program, in general, will be at a higher level that that available after a Masters in Management program.

So a Masters in Management is not a ‘replacement’ for an MBA and you should consider which option is better for you. For example, if you intend to join your family business and think that you need management skills but may never have the opportunity to do an MBA later then the Masters in management could be a great option for you.

To find out your chances of getting into a top MBA program abroad click here

About Kavita Singh

Kavita Singh has over 13 years of experience working in the U.S. and India. Kavita is the CEO of FutureWorks Consulting. She is an MBA graduate of Columbia Business School and holds a BA (Hons) from Oxford University. She has worked for leading companies such as Mars, Colgate-Palmolive and Web MD at higher management and consulting roles.
Kavita writes for elite publications like the Hindustan Times


FutureWorks Consulting offers array of services for both undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at leading institutes abroad. FutureWorks Consulting also runs NDTV.com’s study abroad center.

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