An M.S. or an MBA degree - Can't Decide on the Best Option for you?

By Gail Whitaker, DM, University Dean, College of Business

Previously, Whitaker explored the differences between an M.S. in business management and an MBA.  In this follow-up post, she offers insight to help you decide which degree is best for you.

CTU Business Degree - MS or MBAA Master of Science degree is typically focused on a specific career path, while the MBA degree offers a broader view of general management. When faced with a choice between the two, it’s less important which degree you pursue. Rather your attention should be on how you intend to leverage your degree professionally.

In other words, don’t let your degree decision paralyze you. Instead take fairly simple – but hugely beneficial – steps to investigate the best path for your interests and purposes. Here are four ideas to get you started:

1. Talk to other students.

Seek out recent graduates of the degree programs you’re considering, especially those who have found success in the career path you’re interested in pursuing. Ask about their work, how they’ve navigated their career path since graduation and what opportunities they’ve found upon graduation. What aspect of their degree program most attractive to employers? What motivated them to choose their degree program? How do they see their degree supporting their career development?

2. Research the job ads.

Job ads are very revealing and helpful in providing guidance about your career. Look for job postings that closely describe the kind of position and workplace that interests you, and then study the job requirements and qualifications. Generally, the minimum requirements, including specified degree requirements, are listed. This information lets you assess the expectations of potential employers.

3. Review the curriculum.

An MBA certainly stands out on a resume. The program usually requires courses like economics, statistics and finance. An M.S. program will have slightly different requirements. After examining the curriculum, you may realize that you want to focus your learning on project management. You have little interest or desire to pursue classes in economics or finance, so an MBA may not be the better option for you. Spend time getting to know the curricula for both programs and notice what speak to you, your interests and your strengths.

4. Talk to professionals.

Experienced professionals who have already launched and found success in their careers can be a valuable resource. Identify some who are in the field you want to enter and find out what degree they received and how they leveraged it in their career. While you’re at it, grow your perspective by asking what skills and knowledge they need to do their job effectively. This will help you identify any gaps in your own background so you can choose the degree program that might close them.

Whether you choose an MBA or an M.S., ultimately, you hold the key to its value. It’s what you make of it that matters.

CTU Faculty - Gail WhitakerGail Whitaker, DM, is the University Dean, College of Business at Colorado Technical University. She has over 25 years of management training and is committed to helping students achieve their goals through education. Watch Dr. Whitaker’s CTU Story to learn more.

Stay in the know! Subscribe to CTU’s blog and receive fresh updates directly to your inbox. Join us!

Image credit: Flickr/Dinuraj K

Copyright © 2016 Colorado Technical University (CTU). All rights reserved. No information may be duplicated without CTU's permission. The CTU logo is a registered trademark of Career Education Corporation. CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Programs vary by location and modality; see catalog for details. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. See the Accreditation & Licensure section for information on the agencies that approve and regulate the school's programs, including relevant complaint procedures here. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures below.

Privacy Statement Legal Terms and Conditions Student Disclosures Sitemap Student Safety Contact Us

 (855) 230-0555

Terms and Conditions By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive text messages from Colorado Tech via its mobile text message provider.  You may opt out of receiving messages by texting the word STOP to 94576, or simply reply with the word STOP to any text message you receive from Colorado Tech. While CEC or its mobile text message provider will not charge end users for receiving/responding to promotional messages, depending on the terms of your mobile phone plan, you may incur a cost from your mobile service carrier to receive and respond to any promotional text messages (standard messaging and data rates/fees and other charges may apply).  Charges will appear on your mobile phone bill or will be deducted from pre-paid amounts.  Current participating/supported carriers are: Alltel, AT&T, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, Element Wireless, Golden State Cellular, iWireless, Metro PCS, Nextel, nTelos, Plateau Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Viaero Wireless, Virgin, and more.×