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To MBA or Not to MBA? Is That Really a Question?

There are a number of different graduate business degrees out there. The most well known is the Master of Business Administration (MBA), but there is also the Master of Management, Master of Human Resources Management, Master of Accountancy, among others. One question a lot of people struggle with while considering graduate school is should they do an MBA or another type of degree.

Let’scompare the key differences between an MBA versus the other kinds of degrees. An MBA is a general business degree that covers a wide range of topics that should enable someone to successfully manage most parts of a business. While there is some variance from program to program; most curricula include topics such as marketing, business ethics, accounting and finance, organizational behavior, operations, and business strategy. Usually there is a class or two on each of these topics, guest speakers, and a capstone project to demonstrate integration between the different concepts.

If we compare that to a Master of Marketing, the course list would include a more in depth study of consumer behavior and market research. Each of these may have only been one section in an MBA program but are at least full courses in a Master of Marketing degree program. A similar comparison could be made to other programs such as Master of Operations Management, or a finance and accounting related degree. The comparison of these programs to an MBA is simply a question of depth versus breadth.

So in deciding which kind of program you should do, it all depends on what kind of career you want to have? Do you want to focus on one functional area (e.g., marketing or human resources), or in one particular industry (e.g., Masters of Health Management); or do you want broad knowledge to be able to work in a range of domains? If you want to stay broad or aren't sure, an MBA may be the way to go. If you want to focus on one specific domain, a Master's degree or an MBA with a particular concentration related to that domain might be warranted. Regardless of which one you choose, however, you'll benefit from learning to apply knowledge a level far beyond what we typically do at the bachelor's level. As such, you can't go wrong either way.

For more information on graduate degree programs or to learn more about Benedictine’s online MBA call us at (866) 295-3104 to speak with a Program Manager.

About the Author
Jimmy Brown, Ph.D. is a senior level management consultant with eighteen years of experience leading efforts to develop and implement practical strategies for business performance improvement. Dr. Brown has held senior level consulting positions at leading firms such as Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Accenture and Hewlett-Packard.
He can be reached at or via Twitter @jimmybrownphd.