MBA vs Master’s in Finance or Economics: What are their differences?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

MBAs are mistakenly believed to lead to the same career paths as Master’s of Finance or Economics. Are you interested in pursuing one of them? You should be aware of the differences between them so that you make sure you choose the one that fits you. 

Business graduates interested in pursuing a Master’s degree have many options available to further their education. Among the ones students feel more particularly interested in are MBAs, Master’s in Finance and Master’s in Economics. 

Even though they share some aspects, there are many other aspects that make it clear they don’t lead to the same career paths. It is important to clarify the differences between them so that students seeking to pursue one of them are able to choose the right fit for them depending on their preferences and goals. 

Which types of skills do you expect to acquire? What kind of job do you see yourself pursuing?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before making a final decision. 

MBA and non-MBA programmes differ in that in the former you will get a taste of every discipline and in the latter you will be intensely focused on one area.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Working experience: Many MBA programmes require candidates to have already been in the workforce for some years in the business sector.

Broad fields: You will probably cover finance and economics in your course, but those subjects have a general approach. MBAs include other business subjects as well. 

As MBA programmes include many different disciplines, you will have a general understanding of each of them. This will benefit you in many ways. MBA graduates are able to see things from a different perspective because of the broad range of subjects they are acquainted with. 

The major benefit that studying an MBA will bring about is learning to see the bigger picture because you will learn something about many disciplines. 

Many employers look for MBA graduates for that reason: they have a wider perspective because they know something about everything that goes on in the organization.

How about Master’s degrees in Finance or Economics?

Aim at a specific area: In contrast to the wide variety of disciplines students learn in an MBA, Master’s degrees in Finance or Economics take a deep dive into the respective fields of study. A finance programme would include modules such as investment analysis, corporate finance, forecasting, and risk analysis. Whereas in an economics programme you would study advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics, econometrics, and monetary policy. 

Career options: Many finance graduates go on to work at major corporations, global banks, and mutual fund companies. Economics majors often work in the private sector, but many also enter academia or go into research roles after receiving a master’s degree or Ph.D. 

MBA’s degrees seem to be an obvious way to get ahead for many individuals looking to advance their careers. However, if you already work in finance or economics, it would be a better alternative if you choose a specialized degree in the field you already work. 

There are many advantages to pursuing specialized programmes instead of MBAs:

  • Graduates develop specific skills that would make them more attractive to employers looking for experts in a specific field. 
  • Courses are generally completed in 12 to 18 months, rather than the full two years required for most MBA degrees.
  • Master’s in Finance or Economics are generally cheaper than MBAs, not only because the courses are shorter but also because the tuition fees are cheaper. 
  • Earning your degree up to one year earlier will also allow you to enter the workforce earlier and you will have more short-term earning potential. 

Should I choose an MBA or a Master’s in Finance or Economics?

In order to make sure you make the right decision, you should consider which one of these degrees will benefit you the most. If you prefer a broad degree rather than a specialized one, then an MBA is clearly the way to go. If, on the other hand, you prefer a specialized degree in order to increase your knowledge and skills in a specific area, then either a Master in Finance or in Economics is the best option. 

If you are interested in pursuing any of these degrees, the following are programmes offered by prestigious universities in the UK:

Master in Business Administration

University of Buckingham
Master of Business Administration

Durham University
Master of Business Administration in Business Administration

Master of Business Administration in Master of Business Administration

University of Law
Master of Business Administration in Leadership

Master's degrees in Finance

University of Buckingham
Master of Science in Finance and Investment
Master of Science in Accounting and Finance

Master's degrees in Economics

Durham University
Master of Science in Economics

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