A Guest Post by Mariana Ashley
Graduation season is here. With that said, many business-bachelor degree holders will soon go directly into the work force, while others will debate whether going to graduate school and earning an MBA seems like the better choice—after all, an MBA can increase your job opportunities, increase your starting salary and can “buy” you a little bit more time (the real world can be a scary place). But while the benefits of having an MBA are plentiful, you might not necessarily need an MBA. In fact, a “regular” master’s degree might just be able to help you achieve your career goals even better. If you are a recent graduate and want an advanced degree but are not sure what would suits you best—an MBA or a “regular” master’s degree—then continue reading below.
What is an MBA Exactly? An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a degree that is designed to equip students with a diverse and broad set of business and managerial skills, thus enabling them to be prepared to work for a variety of business industries. While yes there are specific types of MBA programs available—for example one can earn an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, General Management or Consulting—first year MBA students will be required to take the same courses regardless of which specific MBA program they choose. These courses are generally statistics, accounting, finance, and management just to name a few. During the second year, MBA students will then begin to take specific courses that are associated with their exact program in order to learn the proper knowledge needed to land certain leadership positions, such as Marketing Director. The reason for the unified courses in the beginning, however, is so that students are more versatile and can bounce between different departments within a specific company or even better, they can easily find employment somewhere else (even if it doesn’t exactly correlate with their MBA concentration/program).
Who Gets an MBA? MBA holders are equipped with the skills to have leadership positions. Thus, if you aspire to be the owner of your own small business, want to be a generalist manager or want to eventually become a CEO or CFO of a large corporation, an MBA is the right choice for you.
What is a “Regular” Master’s Degree? Unlike when pursuing an MBA degree (which is designed to aid in business-related versatility) a master’s degree does the complete opposite. Meaning, a regular master’s degree program is designed make students become actual “experts” in the field of study they decide to pursue. There is no versatility about it—you know one particular subject like the back of your hand. You don’t dabble in “general classes”—you get straight to the core. This kind of intricate expertise and knowledge is usually favored when trying to land certain business-related professions.
Who Gets” Regular” Master Degrees? In a nutshell, those who want to become experts in a subject pursue regular master degrees. For example, let’s say that you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and want to one day make partner in a well renowned CPA firm; well it would make more sense to pursue a Master’s degree in Accounting, Taxation or another related field rather than pursing an MBA in Accounting. An MBA in Accounting may land you a senior associate position or a manager position in an accounting firm, but a master’s degree in accounting will be able to make you an accounting “expert” – and only the most knowledgeable can make partner.
Last thoughts: No matter what, always evaluate your ultimate career goals when trying to figure out which degree is best suited for you.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about top online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.