Are you interested in business education, but not sure what to start with? This guide will help you to find out the difference between the available types of business degrees and learn which one is the best fit for you.
Business education comes in many flavors. Which type is best for you depends on your lifestyle, job and preferences. To make one of the most important decisions in your life – where to enroll to make your career go up quickly – you will have to consider several important factors, such as how much you value your current job, how much are you prepared to pay for your education, whether there is a possibility of scholarship or sponsorship, and how much time you can afford to give to studies.
Master of Business
A Master of Business degree is aimed at people who want to specialize. If you are more interested in becoming an accomplished accountant, financier or marketing specialist than in pursuing a career in management, this degree is your choice – especially if you are aiming at becoming a professor and completing a PhD in future. This kind of education makes you a first-class specialist, but not a manager, leader or decision-maker.
Fields of specialization in a Master of Business include: accounting & auditing, finance, human resources, international business, management & organization and marketing. To enter a Master of Business program, you’ll need a college degree in business.
If you are still hesitating, you can study this list of upsides and downsides for this degree:
|+ suitable for the academically inclined||- requires a college degree in business|
|+ usually cheaper than an MBA||- is less leadership-inclined than an MBA|
|+ makes you an accomplished specialist|
|+ wide range of specializations|
MBA (Master of Business Administration)
This degree is one of the most glorified ones in the modern world. Many global corporations are willing to hire MBA graduates on their own terms, as MBAs’ skills in leadership, management and entrepreneurship are highly valued everywhere.
To enter an MBA program, you don’t necessarily have to be a college graduate in business – in fact, most MBA programs encourage candidates from vastly diverse backgrounds. It doesn’t matter whether you have studied science or liberal arts: MBA is for people of all trades and skills. To enter an MBA program, you will have to take the GMAT test which analyzes your competence in quick and logical thinking as well as finding an optimum way of solving problems and describing your experience.
However, while graduates of top universities with an MBA degree are universally acknowledged and fought for, getting admitted to a top program is not an easy task. You’ll need several years of job experience, preferably in some sphere of business, whereas for a Masters of Business degree you don’t have to wait – just enroll right after you finish college. Additionally, an MBA is typically more expensive.
To obtain an MBA, you don’t necessarily have to leave your job and family to give yourself to studies. For those who really want to keep their jobs and income, there are several alternatives to a two-year full-time MBA program:
- If you can’t afford to leave your career and family, move in to university campus and attend lectures, you can choose distance learning MBA, where you can study the necessary materials at your leisure and visit the university only to take exams. You will still receive feedback from your teachers, but your opportunities of networking will be seriously impaired.
- A similar alternative lies in a part-time MBA program, where you don’t have to attend, the time you dedicate to studies is shorter and you don’t have to live on campus. Such programs are also usually much cheaper than a full-time MBA.
- An ideal way to obtain an MBA degree in the modern times of remote working and growing need for saving time is an online degree. This alternative is becoming more and more popular by the year – and many top universities acknowledge that in time, full-time programs’ popularity will budge to that of online programs. Online programs take up much less of your valuable time and money. You can study whenever you want, watch lectures online and even take part in class discussions without leaving your home.
All in all, if you choose networking and hands-on approach over spare time and money, the best fit for you is probably the full-time program. Otherwise, choose one of the alternatives mentioned above.
Below are the most prominent upsides and down sides of an MBA program:
|+ is more leadership- and management-based than Master of Business||- is usually more expensive than a Master of Business program|
|+ graduates typically find more lucrative jobs||- requires several years of job experience|
|+ is universally acknowledged|
|+ has alternatives for those not prepared to do a full-time program|
EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration)
This degree is primarily for those who already have more than five years of building a successful career under their belt. At an EMBA program, they don’t just teach you decision-making, leadership and communication – it’s aimed at professionals who would like to move on to an executive position.
Logically, the tuition fee for an EMBA degree should be even harder to cough up than for an MBA – but in reality, prospective EMBAs collect much less student debt than MBAs. This is due to the fact that employers that are interested in gaining a valuable executive-level professional and keeping them in their company are typically willing to sponsor their education – fully or partially. At the same time, EMBAs are entitled to scholarships at their universities – sometimes even more so than MBAs.
As this program is for people with an ongoing serious career in business, it’s only natural that it doesn’t come with living on campus and studying for two years. It’s usually completed faster (in 18 months) and requires attendance at specific times (weekends usually), while offering the same (and even better) opportunities for networking as an MBA does. Usually, your EMBA classmates will be accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs with considerable experience.
Just look at the list of pros and cons for an EMBA program:
|+ gives you an opportunity to take up an executive-level position||- tuition fee is higher than MBA or Master of Business|
|+ is often sponsored by employers||- requires an extensive job experience in management|
|+ doesn’t require sacrificing your time and career|
|+ better opportunities for networking|
If you have decided to further your business education, just consider the most important factors and make up your mind! The range of choices is wide, and the reward lies in a lucrative career and infinite ways for professional development.