MS vs MBA in USA Fees and Funding -How to decide

MS vs MBA in USA – Fees, Funding ? How to Decide ?

In Decide MS - MBA in US by Kumar742 Comments

In the previous article, we talked about differences between MS vs MBA and what each of the degrees focus on. Now, it is time to look at some of the funding, fee and other aspects in this article. if you have not checked out, read Apply for MS or MBA after Engineering ? Differences ?

Fees  MBA vs MS ? Which is cheap ? State University Vs Private Schools

MS fee is typically much cheaper than MBA fees.  Business school has their own course fee structure. You might ask, why is it ? I guess there may be fee reasons in my view…it is probably because MBA is valued higher and is typically done by people who have work experience or working, and maybe that their companies pay for the fee and the value. Also, why do companies pay for education ? Well, they want their employees to grow and become elite managers to sustain the growth and boost  their organization. Also, people can get paid lot more after MBA because their designation changes if they are good ! Will everyone make high salary ? Nope, it depends on your talent and maybe brand perception of your university.  Now looking at fee, US State schools fee is always cheaper than Private Schools. For instance, MBA at private school like University of Chicago will cost you ONLY the tuition for NINE MONTHS is $66,000 as of year 2016 and MBA at state school like University of Wisconsin will cost you $32,000 for a 9 months for the year 2016.  For masters it is same typically in terms of state or private schools, it is cheaper to study in state schools. For instance, fees at University of Houston Masters program is around $936 per credit, that comes to $8424 per semester if you take 9 credits.  Again, in state schools fees for MBA and MS might be pretty much very close or same with exception of special fee they charge for MBA. But private schools it is much different. The summary is that state schools always have less fee as they are state funded. For more details, read Cost of MS / MBA in US – Apply for Cheaper Schools

Funding for MBA and MS ?

Funding is a big thing for students and most common types of funding as I explained are in form of TA, RA and GA. Check the post about what are TA, GA and RA for more info if you do not know with funding info.    Let’s think logically first, MS is more technical and research oriented, logically speaking if the University has more research funding then, there is more funding for MS. On the other hand, MBA, it is not tied very much to research, where do funds come from ?  Only source for MBA funding is Fellowships, scholarships or TAs for Undergrad Business students.  If you notice, for MBA, research part is almost not there unless you are in PhD. Guess what, if you are MBA and applying for funding in Business school,  MS people of Marketing or Finance are competition to you for that too.  So, your option is to work in other departments or no funding at all. But for MS, you have many options like working as RA, TA or GA in your department or other department based on your background.  Not only logically, in reality too, there is less funding for MBA than MS due to the research focus and other related aspects. You may get in-state tuition in state universities if you stay long enough like year or so and pay taxes in that states by working on a work visa, but in private schools forget about funding…

Are you still confused??  Here is my piece of advice….

I know most of you want to be managers and entrepreneurs in future by jumping into MBA right after B.Tech, B.A or B.Com… Let me tell you the truth folks, You will learn very little if you go to MBA without two to three years of work experience. You have to work in an organization setting to fully comprehend and appreciate the full potential of MBA.  For this reason, most of the business schools have requirement of 3 to 5 years of work experience as a major factor.  Think about this, “if you were never a team member, how will you understand the team member’s problems and their perspective if you  were never a team member and directly have become a manager”. So, start at the base and then climb up ! My recommendation is if you are starting your career, then do not go for MBA, work and then go. Read MBA after or With Work Experience ?. As of MS is concerned, as I said in previous posts there are many types of students who would like to come to US for education and some for Job only.  Depending on your situation, you may pick one of the below.

  • Typically, MS is done for anyone with career path of PhD  or research.
  • If you want to do PhD some day and be professor, then MS and PhD integrated program.
  • If you worked for two years, and have money to support your MBA financially, then MBA
  • If you are not sure what you want to do, then take time to think about what you really like and where you see yourself in next 10 years and take a decision on what makes sense for your career path.

Overall, it is up to your passion on where you want to be in next 10 years, try to do something that will help you get there…it is your decision, plan well and go for your passion… I am not trying to discourage anyone to do MBA right after B.Tech, but just telling you the facts I have learnt.  Good Luck ! Make an informed decision….It is your future !

What are your thoughts ? Anything to add that I have missed ?

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Comments ( 742 )

  1. arun

    Hello Kumar,
    I appreciate your work towards advising the people to claim their career.
    About me, I have 10 years exp in Automotive brake design in India , with full time diploma & part time B E from Madras Institute of Technology.My work is 75% technical & 25% time line management. Currently in organisation i may get 10% hike every year & i didn’t feel that i will reach heights because with this 10% increment. So have planned to do MBA course in US, so that i will get a job opportunity.I am having few question about this , which i have listed here
    1.What is your pinion on part time MBA for me.
    2.Shall apply for PR in US & i can earn more .
    3.Shall find a consultant & get H1B Visa & i can work in US. So that i can do my part time MBA in US.
    4.What is the value for Full time MBA & Part time MBA. Which is better & pay me more.
    5. My intention to come to US is that i can earn more money than India is that true?
    6.After a some 10 years of experience i can go back to India, so that i can be recruited in height management position, since i have overseas experience.

    Request your advice for the same.

    1. administrator

      1. Well, my personal opinion is that, if you can afford to do full time, you should do full time. The value you get out of full time MBA is quite higher.
      2. You will have options to work for yourself and start companies, if you are green card holder…you can do consulting as well, there is no dependency…but just having green card, will not get you more money.
      3. Well, consultant route is subject to so much of risk and fraud…If the company you work for has operations in US, you should consider doing internal transfer using L1 and then think of options.
      4. Degree wise, it is same…but the experience, your classmates, the network you get, all will vary…Full time MBA is better any day.
      5. Well, you may…but, there are so many unknowns, which are not in your hands…like H1B lottery, risk, hefty fees for MBA, two years of your time, etc. You need to be cognizant of the fact and take an informed decision.
      6. I do not think it matters much…after that many years of work experience, it is only your experience that someone will look at…not at your degree.

  2. zakvan

    Sir, i am in last year of mechanical engineering. .i am confuse about MBA or Ms
    Let me tell you clearly that i want to do MBA …i am interested
    But as a fresher there are chances to get admission in usa ?
    And if not, 3 or 4 month work experience should be sufficient?
    Waiting for reply…

    1. Fariha Habib

      Sir, i am a student of Brac University, Bangladesh. I will be graduating on April 2017. Recently i got my green card in USA and i wanted to do MBA. But i have no work experience and i also have no time as i have to shift to USA. can i get myself admitted into a good university for MBA program?

  3. aditya sharma

    sir I am graduating next year . I am planning to give GMAT and TOEFL for universities in USA and UK . I am doing bba right now and want to do fresher’s MBA right after it from good universities. I want to know that will I get good placement after this MBA in USA or UK . waiting for the answer

  4. Pereira

    Sir, I have completed BSc geology. And after 3 years of education, I am planning to do one year of masters in India so that I get relevant 16yrs of education that will be equalizer to US bachelors degree.
    I want to study MS in geology.
    Can you tell me about job opportunities in US for geology?
    Now speaking about the fact, one would like to invest his money considering the job opportunities in the country. Hence, i was also going through the field of MBA.
    I would like to study in US and do my job in there.
    Speaking about risk factor, what opportunities are more in US?
    Geology,environmental related jobs or MBA related jobs?
    And what do you suggest?

    1. administrator

      I cannot speak for Geogoly as I am not from that background. Coming to the risk, you need to understand the blatant fact about H1B Lottery Situation in US, read Apply for MS or MBA with H1B lottery . You can search on the internet for the prospects…you need to be clear on your goals and be ready to come back, if things do not work out….

  5. VIKAS

    hello sir,
    I am vikas studied’m confused to study MBA or MS .Can u please say me the advantages of doing MBA ,i mean in what field can we do jobs after doing MBA

    1. administrator

      MBA is a management degree, it can help you work in Management, Sales, Marketing, etc. more on the business side of things or even on the business aspects of IT. It is always up to you how to use your MBA and get job. I suggest you take time to jot down what you want to do in next 10 years and then pick up something that will help you to reach there.

  6. sowmiya

    hello sir…
    I am sowmiya. I am studying B.Tech(IT).
    I want to study MS degree.In MS degree there are many categories.
    In India what kind of category I am select which one is best in India.
    plz give kind of MS categories.

    1. administrator

      Why do you want to MS ? Any specific reason ? Best for what ? Best is very relative. You need to know what you are passionate about, not something random. Take your time to think about why you want to study and then look at options. Read the section Decide MS or MBA, we have few articles in that section that talk about it.

  7. Ashwin

    Hello Sir,
    I want to be an entrepreneur and I am currently pursuing B.Tech(CompSci)
    So I decided to either get an MBA(Finance) or a MS(MIS) degree after my Btech
    But i am confused between these 2 fields as which field will provide me the required knowledge about finance,Enterprise management,etc.
    So please help me out.

    1. administrator

      MBA is a better fit for getting the knowledge you want. Personally, if you were to ask me, you do not need an MBA for being an entrepreneur, you just jump with your idea and learn the ropes of the startup as you go…having an MBA will help for sure, but not mandatory.

  8. Anthony Gomes

    Hello Sir,
    I will soon be graduating next year. I am currently doing B.COM here in India. I was planning on going for a Freshers MBA (without work exp.) in Finance in US next year. I have researched a little bit on several universities and colleges but did not manage to find any college with Freshers MBA. Nearly most of the colleges require professional work experience which i don’t have now. After seeing your post I was thinking of doing an MS in Finance rather than an MBA. I just wanted to ask you that if I go for an MS degree now, can i later do an MBA when I will be having a proper work experience? Also will i get a proper job after doing my MS so that I can later do an MBA?

    P.S. I have to go to US next year and cannot start working now because of certain problems.
    Will be waiting for your reply.

    1. administrator

      Well, you can do MBA anytime after MS too. But, I see no reason to get another degree, if your goal is to do MBA, my view is that you should get some work experience. I am not sure about your personal situation…If, I were you, I would work and then do MBA.

  9. VIBHA

    Hello Sir,
    I have completed mt B.Tech in electronics and communiaction engg and got placed in a company.My friends who got placed in the same company as mine already got their date of joining and are working whereas iam still waiting for my date of joining.Meanwhile iam very much confused on how to utilize this period..
    I am thinking to join some programming coarses (Iam not much interested in it though) or to go for MS or MBA coaching classes…OR to jus sit and wait for my doj.Please do reply.

    1. administrator

      Well, it totally depends on what you want to do in the long run. If you plan to do MBA after couple of years or so, it is definitely worth taking GMAT classes and giving the test. The scores are valid for 5 years and will help you. In fact, my cousin did the same thing. You also have a lot of courses and degrees online on Coursera and Udacity, you can pick up something and go for completing them with a certificate by paying some money, it may help you in the job search in future.

  10. Niraj Thapa Magar

    Dear Sir,
    I have two years experienced in telecom as field engineer and now I am sure to do MBA so that after MBA , I can rejoin telecom field but in the management department. Am I in the right direction????

    1. administrator

      Yes, you can. The trick is in positioning yourself about MBA and making right connects internally or externally to switch to that role. Just doing MBA would not get you there, you need to speak and plan with your boss or well wishers in the company or find a new company that can give you the same.

  11. Raj

    Sir, i m doing BE computer engineering , it will complete on year of 2018
    I read all your articles on ” MS OR MBA” but the question is remain same …that

    Clearly i dont want to do ms in us …but i am damn intrested in doing own business
    but i m confused should i do ME n then go for MBA (after working exp) OR
    After completing BE go for MBA (with proper working exp) ?


    1. administrator

      If you are interested in doing your own business, I suggest that you take a break and work in similar industry as your business for a year or two and then take MBA as needed. You really do not need MBA to run your business. It can help you understand on how to run

  12. Keshav Sharma

    Sir I have done my BTech in Computer science. Next year I’m going to US. I would be a green card holder because my wife is an American citizen.
    I never learnt any programming language during my engineering.
    I have a year now before going to US.
    Should I learn any programming language?
    Which language should i go for?

    1. administrator

      I am just confused, you have a degree in Computer Science and you never did programming. Seriously ?

      1. Keshav

        I did learn c c++ but I never learnt Java. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to learn any other Language.
        Now that I’m going to US and I have to do MS. What should I do now?

  13. Gautam

    Sir, can you give me some insight into M.S in Finance. I am a from I.T and don’t want to go into that coding and stuff so i am thinking of M.S in Finance. One of my seniors also applied for M.S in Finance and got admission in TAMU. Would this be the right option?

  14. kulwinder

    hello sir
    sir i m going for ms in civil from US next year ..
    i want to knw wat r d chances tht i get a job their on my degree or else on msaters degree in USA because i dnt want to come bck ?
    is my decision choosing us is right ???

    1. administrator

      One thing you need to be clear is that, there is no guratnee of getting job after MS and you need to go through H1B Lottery as well to work in US after studying. You need to be clear on your goals. Studying should not be a backup option to get job. Read goals for MS in US

      1. kulwinder

        yaa sir u r right …
        study should not be a back up option for job..
        but now i am in the middle or a confusing stage..!
        but frankly speaking sir, suppose if not get a decent job their nd i come bck to my country ..
        did my ms nd experience of US is more valuable when i apply here for jobs in MNC of civil engg..
        how can i find tht which country have a bright future for civil engg ..

        1. administrator

          Well, your MS will be considered another masters degree, unless you are from Ivy league. Check Jobs in India after MS in US . Well, I do not know. It is something that you will need to research and make an informed decision. I wish I could add more. Good Luck !

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