Sunday, May 14, 2017

Comparing an MBA with Other Management Graduate Degrees

US News and World Report has recently performed a comparison between the MBA and other similar professional business-related masters programs. A specialized management program may be a better fit than an MBA for students with precise career goals.

There's the MBA. A Master of Public Administration. A Master of Health Administration. Master's degrees in management, arts administration and project management. The choice for those who want to lead companies, nonprofits or government agencies might be overwhelming.

Graduate students interested in management should use their personal career goals to decide what type of graduate degree in management to pursue: it's really important to know how strict your career goals are. 

The versatility of an MBA degree is a very important if you don't want to get locked into a particular career track and want to move between the public and private sectors.

Two questions prospective graduate students should ask themselves to determine whether to pursue an MBA or another type of management program.

1. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Experts say students who are uncertain about their professional goals should strongly consider an MBA degree.

2. Do you want general or specialized management training? 

A specialized management program can help students learn how to confront formidable management challenges, such as judging how well an organization is fulfilling its mission. For instance, students in Carnegie Mellon's information systems management and data analytics programs analyzed social media data and open crime records to gauge community sentiment about police in multiple cities. The project involved data mining skills that could be applied at public and private sector organizations that want to measure and improve their performance.

A specialized management degree such as a degree in project management can help a student stand out in the job market, since these less-common degrees demonstrate technical expertise.

MBA programs are everywhere, and MBA graduates quite literally are a dime a dozen. So a given job posting might generate 50 or 60 job applicants that are MBAs but it might only generate one or two that have a degree in organizational change, and therefore, those types of resumes tend to float to the top of the pile. 

For more information see the US News article. 

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