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Master in Management vs. MBA: Which Is Right For You?

November 21, 2018 :: Admissionado

MIM vs MBA | Admissionado

For decades, there has been one professional business degree and one professional business degree only — The MBA.

As you’ve been weighing your options for which business degree to pursue, however, you may have come across something called a Master’s in Management (MiM). The MiM is a degree that has largely come into existence within the past 20 years and has become increasingly popular the past five years or so. But what even is this thing? Is it a viable alternative to the MBA, or something different entirely? Most importantly, is the MiM better suited to your professional needs? Here’s a quick breakdown:

The Basics

Duration: The MiM is usually a one-year program, whereas the MBA is usually two years.

Cost: The MiM is significantly cheaper than the MBA, averaging about one-third of the cost of an MBA.

Application: The major difference in application requirements between the MiM and the MBA is that the MiM puts little to no weight on work experience. Another consideration is that only about 40% of MiM programs require the GMAT. The remaining 60% either do not require any sort of standardized admission test or will accept the GRE or an on-campus exam in lieu of the GMAT.

Who’s Getting the MiM?

Age: Recent graduates and young professionals. The average age of Master’s in Management degree candidates is 23, as the program targets student who have just graduated or who have less than one year of work experience. In contrast, the average age of MBA candidates is 23-30, where it is an unspoken rule that you should have minimum 2 years of work experience to apply (but ideally more, 3-5 is generally the sweet spot).

Education: Master’s in Management candidates hold a wide range of first degrees, and whether this first degree is relevant is largely dependent on the particular program. About two-thirds of full-time MiM’s programs do not require a first degree in business or economics, which can be distinguished into three sub-groups:

  1. Programs that only target students from business, economics, social sciences or engineering,
  2. Programs that explicitly target students from non-business disciplines
  3. Programs that are open to students from any discipline.

Region: Master’s of Management cohorts are typically much more nationally diverse than MBA cohorts. Around 80% of MiM courses are offered in Europe, with new programs springing up around Asia and Australia, and the language of instruction is almost always English. As such, most MiM student bodies are comprised of students from a country outside that of the host institution, and course instruction is not suited for any particular market.

What Does the MiM Teach?

Curriculum: On average, the curricula of a Master’s in Management and an MBA overlap by only about 20%. The MiM takes a more academic and theoretical approach to general management and usually requires a dissertation or final research assignment to graduate, whereas MBA’s typically have a more applied and practical approach driven by case-studies. However, this does not mean that the MiM lacks practical learning modules. About two-thirds of MiM programs require an internship or in-company project, and case-studies represent about half the curricula in MiM programs.

What Happens After the MiM?

Employment: MiM recipients seem to be doing quite well on the job market, with about 70% finding full-time employment in management positions within three months after graduation. The starting salary for MiM degree holders is significantly less than that of MBA candidates. However, this says less about the merit of the degree itself and more about the fact that most MBA candidates have several years of work experience and get recruited as “experienced hires” in higher pay brackets. Also keep in mind that the MiM costs a lot less than the MBA and many MBA candidates will be operating in the negative when they take their first higher paying job, At this point, you will want to consider the return of investment from each degree that best describes your situation.


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