Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Difference Between an MBA and a Master's Degree

Education, in today's world has reached a level of importance that equals that of food, clothing and shelter. After all, getting a good education leads to getting a good job, which in turn leads to the financial stability to be able to afford food, clothing and shelter. While in the past, getting a high school education proved more than enough to secure a decent job and make a livelihood, today's job market is riddled with competition. For every ten job openings that are made known, there are hundreds of candidates applying. Some qualified for the job experience wise, and some qualified for the job education wise. Yes today, after completion of a high school and college education, students and their parents are willing to go that extra mile to secure the perfect job, by undertaking a Master's degree in the area of interest and specialization. The MBA degree is one of the most popular degrees since a while now. However, is there any difference between an MBA and a Master's degree? This Buzzle article will eliminate these doubts!

What is a Master's Degree

A Master's degree is rewarded to a person who has completed, fulfilling the requirements and targets set by the institute, within the stipulated time period, a post-graduate course that he has applied for. Given below are some of the most common features that a Master's degree entails.

A Master's degree is an all-encompassing term used for a post-graduate degree in any field that one aspires to pursue.
There are many streams, disciplines, and fields from which particular topics are chosen for holding Master's programs in.
For instance, there are Master's programs in the fields of fine arts, science, commerce, performing arts, communication, computer technology, etc. From within these fields too, specific subjects are chosen and Master's programs are conducted.
The reason for this is that these fields are very vast and hence need to be categorized and studied in detail by having separate courses dedicated to them.
A person aspiring to undertake a Master's degree in a particular field is generally required to hold an undergraduate degree in a discipline that is the same as the Master's that he wishes to study in.
For example, among two persons wishing to do a Master's in Astrophysics, someone with a Bachelor's degree in science (specially related to astrophysics) will get preference over someone with a degree in psychology (even though he may be mentally competent for it).
After a Master's degree in a particular field, one generally gets a job and may later on pursue a Ph. D. in a subject of interest after garnering experience and exposure in the field.

What is an MBA

An MBA is the abbreviated form of Master's in Business Administration. That itself is a sure shot signal to how different it is from a regular Master's degree. Nonetheless, we've explained some points to clear your doubts.

An MBA is a Master's program specifically designed to train individuals in one field of study: management.
Thus, it can be said that an MBA is a subset of a Master's degree. This is because while every MBA degree is a Master's degree, every Master's degree is not an MBA.
So an MBA is just one of the many streams and disciplines that have Master's programs to be taught.
Just like any other Master's degree, an MBA also has diverse subjects and fields within itself that students can specialize in. These include finance, banking, human resources, communication, etc.
An MBA does not require the candidate to have a specific major or stream as far as the Bachelor's degree is concerned.
It is a common practice to earn a Bachelor's degree, garner some work experience, and then pursue an MBA. This helps the student understand the working and practice of management concepts in business organizations better, because they've already been a part of one.
Many people also combine a Master's degree in another field with an MBA to better their job prospects and earn more money.

Master's Degree vs MBA

From the above explanation about a Master's degree and an MBA, you may have understood that an MBA is a domain that specializes only in management training while a Master's degree is a much broader term and can be dedicated to any domain in general. If you're aiming to get into the management sector of a particular domain, then acquiring an MBA in that particular domain, for instance communication studies, will be a good idea. But if you intend to excel in the workforce level of a domain, say mass communication, then it makes more sense to acquire skills in that specific domain. So, by this, we can infer that a Master's degree will get you the skill set that you require to do a job, while an MBA will help you develop your management techniques in order to manage aforementioned skill set. Both are equally important jobs. You have to decide what your forté is.

While it is true that completing an MBA will get you more money than an undergraduate education, there are also tons of high paying jobs even with any other master's degree. The key is to identify your area of interest, learn as much as you can about it, and find a job that uses your knowledge and skill acquired through the education to get you the remuneration you deserve.
By Sujata Iyer
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/difference-between-an-mba-and-a-masters-degree.html

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