Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MBA or Masters In Management?

How can tomorrow's business leader choose the right graduate program today? In many cases, there may not be a choice. These days, it's common for five or six years of work experience to be a non-negotiable requirement for signing up for an MBA. In contrast, many MSc in Management, or MIM, programs not only welcome undergrads who've yet to draw a steady corporate pay cheque, but actually limit enrolment to those with 2 years or less of work experience.
The two programs also diverge significantly in terms of curriculum. An MBA would offer courses that have a very general approach to management so you learn at least a little bit about everything, and towards the end of the program there would be some specialising whereas with an MSC there's a focus on specialisation right from the beginning. A key differentiator is what a student's post-degree goal is - an MSc in Management is usually followed up with a doctorate or for those who enter the industry it is usually within a research capacity. An MSc will give a candidate a very specialised set of research skills and little training in management and these are the candidates that will usually find a home in large consumer organizations doing consumer research. Meanwhile, students in finance or economics often go into consulting companies or organizations, including the Bank of Canada, where they carry out research.
Many graduates want to start focusing early. They may say that maths is your strong suit, and that they are not interested in marketing or HR, for example. The business world needs very strong accountants or HR or operations or people with other specializations, so a Masters in Finance, Accountancy, HR and so on are the best option for many. Of course this also allows the graduate to get straight into education again without necessarily having to go into a management position for a few years in preparation for an MBA. MiM programs are designed for people in the early stages of their career - right after their undergraduate degree or after about a year on the job. As a result, MiM students are typically younger than MBA students: 23 years on average compared to the 27-32 average age for MBA programs.
At the moment the MiM is almost purely a European phenomenon, with around 86-87 percent of these programs offered in Europe. This definitely has to do with the Bologna reforms in Europe since 1999 by which most European countries agreed on unitizing the European university system by following the Anglo-Saxon undergraduate-graduate-study system, and splitting up formerly established 5-year diploma studies.

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