Is a Business Master of Science Degree Better than an MBA?
While the MBA is considered the standard master’s-level business program in the United States, there are some impressive benefits of a business-related Master of Science degree that should not be overlooked. Most importantly, a Master of Science business degree provides an expert examination of one business topic rather than the broad overview typically provided by an MBA. Since many business leaders spend most of their managerial careers establishing themselves in one sector, obtaining a specialized MS degree may give more long-term value over the course of a professional career.
Due to the attention paid to nurturing expertise, a specialized business degree could actually expand a graduate’s career options rather than limit them. While building specialized expertise is valuable for all business professionals, it can be particularly impactful for those seeking decisive career advancement into management positions or as an outside business consultant. Having an advanced knowledge base also empowers professionals seeking a career pivot to another sector by providing them the relevant background of their new industry. Academic specialization flexibly accommodates numerous career opportunities, especially in the business world.
For example, a risk management Master of Science program provides a specific focus on profitability and business strategy that general MBA courses would not cover. Since nearly every aspect of business is intertwined with enterprise risk management, a risk management graduate would be welcomed in different sectors —healthcare management, compliance, even entrepreneurship— alongside the more expected enterprise risk management positions. In this scenario, having a specialized risk management degree and a practical skill set unlocks opportunities for this graduate, setting them apart from other professionals with an MBA.
In a business world increasingly connected by data and driven by enterprising innovation, specialized skills are becoming professional necessities for aspiring business leaders. To foster these skills, professionals are turning to business-focused Master of Science (MS) programs. By earning their MS degree, students establish expertise in a distinct business area, rather than experiencing a general overview of management. Finding the right specialized business program could be the key to career advancement or shaping a new path in another sector.
While program offerings vary widely, another beneficial aspect of a Master of Science degree is its length. A typical business MS degree can usually be completed in one year, while many MBA programs can stretch to over two years, even when pursued full-time. For less credit hours and tuition, an affordable Master of Science may be more friendly to busy professionals, especially those considering the short-term ROI of their business degree.
The Specialized Curriculum of a Business MS Degree
One compelling difference between a management degree and a business MS is the enterprising curriculum structure. Especially at European and UK higher education institutions, many business Master of Science degrees have a forward-thinking curriculum utilizing case studies and applied research. This approach focuses on actual business solutions and data-driven decisions, immersing students in real-world problem solving and data analysis.
In innovative fields like sustainable business or technology start-ups, professionals need a graduate business curriculum sparking practicable solutions and critical analysis skills— both are successfully addressed through a business MS program.
If a business Master of Science degree culminates in a master’s thesis, then students will also engage with producing applied research themselves. While uncommonly offered in the United States, programs with a business thesis actively prepare students for leading-edge entrepreneurship and thoughtful corporate management.
For instance, a fashion professional who wrote a thesis on sustainable textiles would likely be better prepared to step into an industry role managing fabric supply chains. Especially for career changers or aspiring executives, having a specialized business program that immerses them in applied research may be a better career-building graduate education than a management-focused degree.
Selecting a Specialized MS Business Degree
Ultimately, the most useful degree for a business career is the one that empowers career goals and helps strengthen leadership skills. While some people may find that a broader business management degree fits their needs, others seek a business-focused Master of Science degree that guides them to strategically deepen their knowledge in a specific area. In a business world that is increasingly data-driven, having specialized skills and an analytical background are becoming necessities, which Master of Science programs are more likely to provide.
If you are interested in a forward-thinking specialized business degree, the Master of Science programs at Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) could be an exceptional opportunity.
Holistically considering enterprise risk management, the MS in Risk, Resilience and Integrity Management realizes an inclusive perspective on risk management as a transformative agent to ignite business growth. This master’s degree provides the ingredients to accelerate your management career through courses including “Global Ethics, Compliance and Governance” and “Building 21st century Resilience.”
Examining profitability and social responsibility, the MS degree in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability connects you to the world-changing future of social impact business while also nurturing your skills as a future executive. Courses include “Impact through Social Entrepreneurship” and “Money as a Force for Social Good.”
Reimagining a more ethical future through fashion merchandising, the Master of Science degree in Sustainable Fashion inspires thoughtful leadership throughout the industry to drive systemic change. Courses include “Sustainable Fashion Strategy” and “Purpose-driven Marketing and Communications.”
Founded by Scotland’s influential Glasgow Caledonian University, GCNYC has a unique dedication to applied research and social impact. Their business-focused MS degrees foster students’ ambitions through visionary coursework and a master’s thesis component, all supported by attentive faculty. All courses are offered in the evenings, either online or at our SoHo Manhattan campus.