Often times after completing a bachelor’s degree, students are confused about which path to follow. The question that arises is whether they should get a job right away or pursue higher studies abroad with the hope of improving their employment opportunities and/or securing better compensation packages. We get many inquiries from Indian students in their second and third-year of college exploring their options, in particular whether they should pursue a master’s degree or apply for an MBA at international universities.
What you should do really depends on your goals. Both the MBA and master’s degrees are designed to help you increase your knowledge and build your skills.
The fundamental difference between an MBA and a master’s program is that an MBA is a post experience program. If you aspire to study at a global business school, whether in the US, Canada, UK or Europe, you require a minimum of three years’ work experience at the point of application, whereas application into a master’s program does not necessarily require a minimum number of years of work experience.
While an MBA does allow you to specialise, its main focus is on providing a well-rounded business education, which could cover everything from human resources, logistics and supply chain management, to corporate social responsibility, and soft skills such as communication and collaboration. The MBA is a practical program that leverages your professional and personal experiences to help you develop senior management and leadership skills further.
On the other hand, the purpose of a master’s degree is to help you increase your subject area expertise. A master’s builds on your existing knowledge and provides you with job ready skills. If you are a finance enthusiast, you can pursue a master’s in finance straight out of college, without work experience. Taking this path can provide you with the skills and insights needed for varied career options such as a financial analyst working for commercial banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies; a broker at securities, commodities and financial companies or even personal financial advisor.
A master’s might be the right choice if, for example, you are a psychology major and you want to become a counsellor. A degree would give you research experience and skills to become a therapist. If you would rather not pursue counselling or clinical psychology and instead want to focus on corporate organisational behaviour, you may decide to skip the master’s in psychology and instead consider a master’s degree in human resource management. However, if after a bachelor’s in psychology you wish to be involved in senior management positions and lead a team, then after a few years of corporate work experience, an MBA might help you achieve your goals. You might also consider pursuing a Master in Management (MiM) degree, available at some leading global business schools. The MiM enables you to acquire specific management skills without the mandatory requirement of prior work experience or an undergraduate degree in business.
Master’s degrees sometimes offer you the flexibility to choose a program that is unrelated to your previous course of study. You can pursue a master’s in public administration or a master’s in human resources after successfully completing a bachelor’s degree in business or economics.
Nowadays it is imperative to gain a degree that successfully combines academic knowledge with job ready skills. Undergraduate students pursuing their favourite subjects but all the while thinking that that subject has no real-world work value, can consider a master’s program to acquire in-depth knowledge and necessary skills and qualifications to secure employment.
All the very best to students who are awaiting results of their final-year college exams. Get in touch with us if you would like to discuss your goals and explore whether further studies might be the right option for you.