MBA vs. MS: Choosing Which is Better for You

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 13 April 2024 & Read Time 12 minutes


Do you need clarification about the MBA or MS career option? Well, selecting the appropriate graduate course is an important decision towards your personal and professional future growth. Anytime you decide to make a new time and financial commitment, it makes sense to want to know how your selections fit into your objectives.


Both a Master of Science (MS) and an MBA can provide a thorough graduate-level business education; however, an MS offers a more in-depth understanding of a specific area of business, whereas an MBA provides an interdepartmental look at how businesses run.


In this blog, you will get to learn in-depth about MBA vs. MS, the difference between MS and MBA, which is better MBA or MS, what an MS degree is, and various other things.


What is an MS degree?

A Master of Science degree is an MS, or MSc for short. MS degrees emphasise a scientific approach to social sciences like psychology and economics or focus on scientific fields of interest like biology, engineering, or statistics. Business master's degrees are more likely to support the latter view. These degrees usually provide a thorough understanding of a single, selected field of business, such as:


MBA vs. MS Choosing Which is Better for You


  • Finance

  • Data Analytics

  • Accounting

  • Management

  • Marketing


MS Coursework

Similar to MBAs, MS programs differ from university to university. Although some basic knowledge from various business sectors may be included in business master's programs, most of the coursework is focused on the subject of study you selected, making MS graduates in that field of business specialists.


Obtaining your degree will typically take one to two years, and full-time and part-time enrollment options may be offered depending on the course.


MS Job Opportunity and Salary

Students in this track prepare for specialised careers in their field of study. It can be used to advance in a particular industry or as a springboard for a change in profession. Many MS programs are intended for students with less than two years of job experience, so prospective students may only sometimes have previous business work experience.


Starting salaries for MSs differ among disciplines. In the US, the anticipated median base starting income for an MS recipient (not including signing bonuses and benefits) varies from $55,000 (Accounting and Management) to $75,000 (Data Analytics).


Also read, MBA Programs for Freshers in the UK


What is an MBA degree?

An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a graduate program that offers practical and theoretical business or investment management training. It is designed to help graduates better understand general business management functions. Moreover, an MBA degree can have a general or specific focus on accounting, finance, marketing, and international business.


MBA Coursework

MBA programs vary slightly from institution to institution but usually consist of core courses and electives. MBA programs will cover a variety of fundamental business issues through the core curriculum, including:

  • Management

  • Strategy

  • Finance

  • Marketing

  • Ethics

  • Communications


Students can often dive deeper into individual topics of interest with elective courses and concentrations. Some potential MBA concentrations (sometimes called specialisations) may include:

  • Accounting

  • Business Analytics

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Finance

  • Health care management


Also Read, Best Countries in the World to Study MBA in 2024


MBA Job Opportunity and Salary

With this broad background, obtaining an MBA degree can prepare you for leadership roles managing several departments and senior and executive-level roles in various business domains.


Many students want to further their careers after a few years in the workforce, so they obtain an MBA degree. MBA candidates can work while enrolled in classes thanks to both full-time and part-time options. The time it takes to complete an MBA degree varies from one to five years.


Tech corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft; accounting firms like EY and Deloitte; and management consulting firms like Bain, McKinsey, AT Kearney and BCG are some of the companies that hire the most MBAs.


The typical base starting income (exclusive of signing bonuses and benefits) for an MBA graduate in the United States is estimated to be $115,000. However, earnings may differ significantly depending on the business school attended.


What is the difference between MS and MBA?

With an MS or MBA, you can form an influential network with potential future colleagues and gain a deep understanding of business processes. While an MS will examine in-depth expertise in one important business field, an MBA will provide a more comprehensive grasp of business.


The table below clearly shows highlights of MS vs. MBA.



Covers a range of topics across all business sectors

Covers one specific area of business in depth

76 per cent of applicants have at least three years of work experience

75 per cent of applicants have less than three years of work experience

Generally, one to three years to complete, depending on the program

Generally, one to two years to complete, depending on the program

Median starting salary is $115,000

Median starting salary is between $55,000 and $75,000, depending on concentration.

Now, let us discuss the difference between an MS and MBA in more detail, such as tuition fees, specialisation, duration to pursue the courses, and much more, as mentioned below.




Total tuition

About $24,000

Under $12,000

Total credit hours

72 (18 courses plus 3 capstone projects)

36 (9 courses)

Time to complete

2-3 years

1-2 years

Required core areas

Leadership and management, managerial economics and business analysis, value chain management, financial management

Marketing, strategic business management, leadership, process management, global business, communicating with data, and finance


Strategic leadership and management, value chain management, managerial economics and business analytics, financial management, global challenges in business, entrepreneurship and strategic innovation, business analytics, digital marketing, mergers and acquisitions

(Informal) Business value and project management, business data management and communication global business challenges

Also Read, MIM (Masters in Management) in Abroad


MBA vs. MS Scholarships

The cost of pursuing an MS and an MBA abroad is substantial; therefore, students search for different scholarship alternatives to lessen their financial load. As overseas students, you will have a lot of merit and need scholarships, so apply as soon as possible to get the most out of it.


Check out a few of the most renowned scholarships available to students from around the world to pursue an MS or MBA abroad:

  • Chevening Scholarship

  • GREAT Scholarship

  • Felix Scholarship

  • Inlaks Scholarship

  • Tata Scholarships

  • British Council Scholarship for Women in STEM

  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships

  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships

  • Global Study Awards

  • Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship


Salary after Graduation MBA vs. MS.

The median beginning incomes for an MBA are greater than those for an MS; however, this difference in pay is probably because most MBA graduates have worked for a while, whereas most business masters graduates have not.


The following are some US median beginning wages for recipients of an MBA or MS in several disciplines:


Median start salary

Accounting (MS)


Analytics (MS)


Business Administration (MBA)


Finance (MS)


Management (MS)


Also Read: List of Universities in USA for Masters


Career Opportunites after MBA vs. MS

Having an MBA or MS will help you secure positions with attractive compensation. After graduating, your typical wage for an MS vs. MBA will depend on several variables, including your job title, location, specialisation, years of experience, etc.


An MBA graduate can earn between 30,00,000 and 75,00,000 INR annually, while an MS graduate can anticipate earning between 40,00,000 and 60,00,000 INR annually. Following an MS, you can be hired for the following job titles and salaries in the USA and other countries:

Job Title

Average Salaries















Assistant Professor




Life Scientist


Following an MBA, you can be hired for the following job titles and salaries in the USA and other countries:

Job Title

Average Salary

Financial Manager


General Manager


Project Manager


Marketing Manager


Human Resource Manager


Business Development Manager


Executive Manager


Chief Corporate Officer


Chief Financial Officer


Chief Executive Officer


Also Read: Why Study Masters in USA? Top 10 Benefits of Doing Masters in US


MS/MBA dual degrees

While it is not usually necessary in any business-related field, some students choose to study a single degree; some choose both their MS and MBA at the same time. They can do this to continue exploring the subject or to make their qualifications stand out to future employers.


Most students pursuing an MBA or MS in business will select one of these degrees because obtaining a dual degree typically entails additional costs. Schools offering joint programs will suggest different timetables depending on the particular degrees you're interested in. Some will start with MBA sessions, while others will begin with MS coursework. Contact your school to find out the recommended course of action.


Which is better, MBA or MS?

Analyse your career objectives and the business experience you gained before deciding whether an MBA or MS is your best degree. Choose an MBA course if you see yourself leading a significant firm. 


Conversely, consider enrolling in an MS program that complements your future team if you envision yourself leading a particular team inside a business. Consider asking friends and coworkers with advanced business degrees or contacting admissions counsellors at your prospective school with any queries. At the same time, you research different MBA and MS programs.


Earning an MBA or an MS can be an excellent way to lay a strong foundation and advance your career in business. It eventually boils down to your preferences and future goals.



To sum up, after completing your engineering degree, consider pursuing an MBA vs. MS. Be sure to study hard for the examinations needed to study overseas and target prestigious institutes. To ensure you give it your all, ensure the degree you select aligns with your professional objectives. An MS programme is ideal if you want to build a new area of expertise while quickly adding a professional certification to your skill set. MBA courses are suitable for those who want to work in management roles in a company. Since each person has a unique style of doing things, be bold and choose a course of action to help you achieve your goals.


If you are looking forward to studying MBA vs MS: Choosing which is better for you still, if you need clarification, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad. Get help with the application process, SOPs, and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling, or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1800-1230-00011.


1. Is an MS or MBA better?

Students interested in business, entrepreneurship, and managerial positions or aspiring to advance in their careers might consider earning an MBA. If they want to concentrate on a particular field of study, such as engineering, medicine, mathematics, etc., an MS degree is appropriate.


2. Which course ought you to enrol in? MS or MBA?

Although you will benefit from both of these courses in the future, the MBA course will help you reach new heights.


3. MBA vs master's: which is more difficult?

Since both degrees are appropriate for students depending on their aptitude, there is no way to compare the difficulty of an MBA with a master's degree. Compared to a master's degree, an MBA will be more accessible for you to understand if you have professional work experience.


4. After engineering, is it better to pursue an MBA or an MS?

When you combine your engineering degree with management, you can benefit from prospects for job progression and dual specialisation. Your technical and management abilities will prove invaluable to the organisation. On the other hand, applying for an MS degree is recommended if you want to specialise in a particular field, such as mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering.


5. What are my alternatives if I choose to pursue an MBA or MS?

Since an MBA is a professional degree and you should have the necessary skills to discover a variety of chances in other sectors, most students immediately begin looking for work after completing their degree. Students pursuing an MS have the option of pursuing research or finding employment.


6. Which course is more expensive?

The MBA or MS course fee will depend on the university you choose. Therefore, make sure you select universities that fit your needs and preferences.


7. Can I pursue dual degrees of MBA/MS? 

Although being optional in any business profession is not usually required, some students pursue their MS and MBA simultaneously. They may do this to continue studying the subject or to make their qualifications stand out to future employers.


8. What are some MS courses, and what are their salaries?

Some of the MS courses and their salaries are:

  • Engineer - $91,700

  • Biochemist - $189,000

  • Researcher - $151,000

  • Chemist - $192,000


9. What are some MBA courses, and what are their salaries?

Some of the MBA courses and their salaries are:

  • Marketing Manager - $169,000

  • Executive Manager - $181,000

  • Chief Financial Officer - $194,000

  • Human Resource Manager - $148,000


10. What are the few scholarships for MBA vs. MS?

Check out a few of the most renowned scholarships available to students worldwide to pursue an MS or MBA abroad: Chevening Scholarship, GREAT Scholarship, Felix Scholarship, Inlaks Scholarship, Tata Scholarships and various others.

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