February 27, 2012

MBA vs Specialist Masters

A new study of prospective MBA students suggests growing interest in specialist Masters and less interest in the MBA. The ‘2010 Tomorrow’s MBA’ study found that only 4% of Indian respondents would definitely consider a specialist Masters rather than an MBA. In the same study in 2011, repeated by CarringtonCrisp, European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and Association of Business Schools (ABS), 14% of Indians said they would consider a specialist Masters, and across the world it was as high as 28%. At the same time, GMAC reported that applications for Master of Finance programmes rose by 83%, Master in Management by 69% and Master of Accounting by 51%. So why the rising interest in specialist Masters?

MBA vs Specialist Masters

Part of the answer lies in the problems of the MBA rather than the attraction of the specialist Masters. The MBA jobs market has tightened in recent years, especially with declining recruitment in the financial sector. Where recruitment has continued relatively strongly, it has tended to be concentrated at the top MBA schools.
From the other side a specialist Masters will often provide skills in a specific field, making a graduate well suited to a particular career and, more importantly, a particular vacancy.
The second part of the equation is cost. It’s not unheard of for an MBA at a top school to cost over £100,000 and possibly as much as double this figure once income foregone from giving up a job is taken into account. Getting a return on such an investment again requires a highly paid job and will still take several years to break even.
A specialist Masters degree has lower fees than an MBA at the same school. It may also be quicker to complete than an MBA. Even with a lower paid job on graduation, the sums add
up, offering a quicker return on investment for the individual.

Admissions & Cost
Then there is the question of admissions. Getting on to an MBA degree may be harder than a specialist Masters, and there are likely to be fewer places. Combine the issue of admissions and costs, and a prospective student might decide that they had a better chance of getting on to a Masters programme at a school with a stronger reputation and at a lower cost than they would when applying for an MBA at a lesser ranked school.
For new undergraduates the Masters degree can also offer a way to differentiate themselves in the labour market. In many countries the number of undergraduates has grown significantly in recent years, while jobs markets have not been strong. A one-year Masters offers a useful tool to distinguish an undergraduate in the job market, more so when most MBA degrees require work experience of several years.
Maybe these Masters students will decide in a few years that they still need an MBA to make the next step up the corporate ladder. For now, they are increasingly thinking about studying finance, accounting, marketing and international management as a specialist Masters.

In 2009 and 2010, 1 in 5 or less of the respondents said they would definitely consider a specialist Masters as an alternative to an MBA; in 2011, 28% said they would definitely consider a specialist Masters and a further 23% said this would be a possibility The study of specialist subjects such as Logistics or Taxation look attractive as a Masters rather than within an MBA, being cheaper and often quicker to complete A further consequence of the growing popularity of the pre-experience Masters programme may be that graduates of these programmes perceive less value in completing an MBA at a later stage in their careers Styles of learning are also changing with a moveaway from the traditional academic terms-office hours; such a traditional approach is the preferred choice of only 18% of the sample. The most popular style of study is blended learning, chosen by 27%, representing a combination of e-learning and face-to-face

Source: Tomorrow’s MBA 2012

1 comment:

  1. It is informative and useful information.. Thank you buddy for this information. Keep it up..


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