MBA vs. Master of Science: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Enroll

  • Posted on: March 29, 2016

The primary distinction between an MBA and an M.S. is breadth versus depth. An MBA degree offers a broader view of business management. An M.S. degree hones in on a single specialty, such as accounting, human resources or information technology.

MBA vs. Master of Science: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Enroll

The decision to pursue a graduate degree is life changing, especially when you consider the time and the financial investment it takes. So when it comes to deciding between a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, you want to be sure you’re making the right choice. As you’ll discover, the decision isn’t really about which degree you pursue; it’s a question about how you intend to leverage the degree professionally.

Generalist or Specialist?

The primary distinction between an MBA and an M.S. is breadth versus depth. An MBA degree offers a broader view of business management. You can receive practical instruction across multiple business disciplines, making it a better choice if your aspirations are in the field of general management, executive leadership or entrepreneurship.

On the other hand, an M.S. degree hones in on a single specialty, such as accounting, human resources or information technology. An M.S. degree program helps you become a deep expert in one functional area, which is suitable for professionals who are clear about their career path. So, if you want to be in the Accounting field, then an M.S. in Accounting is likely a better option for you. But if you’re not 100% sure of your career path, an MBA will expose you to theory and practical instruction in multiple business disciplines, potentially giving you the flexibility to more easily shift gears later in your career. Continue reading...


By: Gail Whitaker, DM, Former University Dean of Business - Graduate and Doctoral Programs

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