Should I study/apply for MS or MBA in US after B.Tech/ B.Com ? MBA vs MS fees, degree focus, funding issues. Which is better ? Part – 1

One of the most asked question by students applying for US is Should I study MBA or MS ?  In countries like India, with the hype of all IIMs, ISB and other premier MBA institutions the shift in pursuing higher education has been slightly changed towards MBA in recent times. With all the lavish salaries MBA students get right after their graduation, many are tempted to jump the bandwagon… Students applying to US are thinking in the same direction as everyone in India and plan to land in Ivy league schools, University of Chicago, Kellog School of Business, etc. But the reality is, many do not know the implications and what it all means between MBA or MS.  I am writing this article with my experience after doing MS and MBA (8 months to complete) in USA. You can count on what I write here J

What is MS ? What do you study in MS ?

MS as it says, it is “Master of Science”, your focus is primarily on the advanced topics on a particular subject.  MS emphasis is more technical in nature. You will study more advanced topics  in the area of focus. Just to compare, it is like doing M.Sc or M.A back in home country . The emphasis is more on advanced topics in that particular area. Lets say you pick MS in Computer Sciences, you study classic courses like Advanced Database Management Systems, Advanced Operation systems, Research Methods, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Advanced programming languages…sorry if you are not a computer science major and you did not get it. Overall, what I was saying is, you study the technical aspects of a subject to another level and more deep. To get into MS program, it is ideal to have same background in Bachelors. For instance, lets say you have B.Tech in Computer Sciences, then it is ideal to take MS in Computer Sciences or if you have  BA or B.Com with focus on Economics or Finance, then you can do MS in Accounting or Finance. If you are from different background, then you would have to do lot of foundation classes to change the major.

What is MS good For ? What can I do with MS ?

As MS is more technical in nature, it is good for doing further research by PhD or to work in technical positions in your job. It can be like  Database Architect,  Marketing Research Director, Advance Tax & valuation expert, etc. It will give you edge in the technical area you are working or research. Many people who wish to become professors one day, choose this path so that they can go to PhD and then become a professor some day. Some just take because they love the subject and want to know the details to an advanced level.

What is MBA ? What do you study in MBA ?

MBA as it says, it is “Master of Business Administration”, clearly we can see it is an Administration or Management degree by name. It is no way technical in nature. You are not trying to explore the depth of a particular subject; you are trying to learn various aspects of a business and  learn management skills to administer company’s or organization’s resources and people effectively. Typically, 2/3rd of the classes will be fundamental courses of Business and administration like  Accounting,  Corporate Finance , Organization behavior, IT for Managers, Marketing Strategy, Economics, Operations strategy, Leadership and Negotiation, etc. Rest of the 1/3rd of the classes with be electives and you have the choice. You can pick Marketing, Finance, HR, etc based on your choice or your current industry. When someone says, I got MBA in Marketing, it means that they only did this 1/3rd of the classes related to Marketing. But, when someone says, I have MS in Marketing, it means they had around 80 – 100% of their classes in Marketing ONLY. You see the difference ?  Based on university it changes, but generally you can do your own set of classes that you like for the 1/3rd of classes in MBA with variety of mix, then you will not have a degree in specialization. It will be called General Degree in MBA.

What is MBA good for ? Where can you work with MBA ? What is career path ?

MBA is for those of you who want to work in a management position. The degree teaches you all about Business and how to effectively administer people, resources to make logical and smart decisions. It is ideal for anyone with few years of experience and willing to grow up the ladder in their company. It is for aspiring managers…If you want to grow to higher level in a company and one day dream of becoming a CEO  or opening your own business, then MBA is for you !  You can do specific courses of Entrepreneurship to become an entrepreneur of a Business. There are people who do PhD too, but most of the people with MBA become managers and based on their emphasis and experience, they can be end up in titles like Director of Marketing, Global Sales Manager, Project Manager, etc.  There are some people who do PhD too, it is because during their MBA some specific course got their attention and they got plugged in…

Let’s talk about the next most important aspects for your decision like Fee, Funding, experience, etc… in this second part. It is getting too long folks…. Here is the Second Part of All about MS or MBA in US

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185 comments… add one

  • Nitin Karthikeya Nov 20, 2015 Reply

    Sir ,

    I am a CS grad of 2014 , i am now pursuing MBA from a college affiliated to university , i am quite confused whether to opt for MS or choose to do any specialization in MBA , since what i am pursuing an MBA is a basic degree from a college not even a b-school
    p.s : i cant code , i am good with management .

  • durga Nov 5, 2015 Reply

    I completed computers degree in Indian and I want to study MBA in America is there any possibility to study in America I am very interested to study

    • Kumar Nov 7, 2015 Reply

      Durga, Yes you can study MBA. All you need to do is take standardized tests like GMAT and TOEFL and then apply to schools in the US.

  • Rohit Oct 24, 2015 Reply

    Hi Sir!
    I am studying engineering third year and am confused what to choose after my I have planned for doing in banks for 2-3 years and then go to US for MBA.. Will it be useful ??
    Waiting for your Reply! :)

    • Kumar Oct 25, 2015 Reply

      Rohit, Any work experience before MBA would be of great value to your business degree. You will learn a lot more and appreciate the value of MBA degree, if you work for few years.

  • Jai Sep 1, 2015 Reply

    Hi, im with in degree n done mba.. Can i study m.s in u.s??? is that eligible for masters in computer science???

  • Prashant Aug 12, 2015 Reply

    I’am doing in manufacturing Technology currently in 7th sem . i want to study abroad. i belong to a lower middle class family and want to do my masters on loan which i’ll pay after with my job .
    i am not sound in core subjects of my branch and interested in MBA but i can’t afford MBA and more because i don’t want to lose my 2-3 years , I want to do my masters in Industrial engineeing and after job will be my top priority. Considering this and my profile (10th-86% , 12th – 80%, grad – 65 %, 1 project in IIT bhu, working with 2 ngo’s) how much should i score in gre to get an admit in a state university with low tution fee and funding also 😛 if possible. I ‘am very confused what to do . please help me ,
    PS- is work exp. also required for MS ??

  • sandeep Aug 7, 2015 Reply


    I have done in Chemical Enginerring , do i have SHOT in MS programmes like MS in Finance ,MS in Business Analytics?
    Please reply back

  • vamshi Aug 5, 2015 Reply

    i have completed my degree(bcom computers). i have a small doubt? is it better to MS or MBA for my career growth in U.S.A. im totally confused. if i do MS wil it affect my career? as im from degree background.
    please sir suggest me

  • Archit Jul 31, 2015 Reply

    would like to have more details about MS in computer science , procedure, scholarships, loan , cost etc

  • S.christy Jun 17, 2015 Reply

    Hi Sir/Mam,
    I like to my Master Of Science after doing my U.G. I’m the ittlew confusion about the M.S,kindly provide me the pathway for my carrier..

  • Rajesh May 23, 2015 Reply

    Hello sir,
    I’m in final year .Can I study Software architecture after completing this course?I googled about this, in most of the sites I saw only science graduates are eligible fr this course .Help me. Thanks in advance

  • sowmya Apr 26, 2015 Reply

    helllo buddy:I am dng my final yr of bachelor degree in biotechnology………from gitam i am confused whether to do masters or mba after bachelors……… which would a better option ……….???????????????.and for which stream the job opportunities are more???????ie easy settlement bcoz i do immediately want to do a job…………..

    • RealAmerican Apr 26, 2015 Reply

      how about learning english first?

  • molly Apr 8, 2015 Reply

    hi..I hv done btech from cs and got only 60% also my coding, programming is not good at all..I wish to do MS from USA plz suggest me wat course should I go for dat does not include coding or programming and helps me to get a decent job either in USA or india. plz help

    • RealAmerican Apr 26, 2015 Reply

      You should take English classes first. No one will understand you here.

    • nik May 14, 2015 Reply

      you want to do MS but you don’t wana code !!
      OMG what are you thinking?
      MS is about advanced level of coding, analysis etc.
      You have to utilize your brain to earn a good salary else work in a supermarket.

  • Fabiha Mar 11, 2015 Reply

    Hello sir,

    I have done M.Sc (Microbiology) from Osmania University in 2010, and worked as a lecturer in microbiology from 2010- 2012. Wasted one year that is 2012- 2013 then I did B.Ed from OU.

    Now I m planning to do MS in US. Can u suggest me the programes for which I m eligible for studying MS. What kind of job I will get after completing MS in USA?


  • nihal Jan 9, 2015 Reply

    Sir i am a btech student…. I hv not done well in my btech…. Got a year back also…. I want 2 improve my academics… So i want to do ms from sm foreign countries…. Since graduation result is not that good… M doubtful that i will get admission in some colleges in uk or US… Can i get loan from bank regarding the tuition fees

    • kishore Jan 23, 2015 Reply

      Sir i am a btech student…. I hv not done well in my btech…. Got a year back also…. I want 2 improve my academics… So i want to do ms from sm foreign countries…. Since graduation result is not that good… M doubtful that i will get admission in some colleges in uk or US… Can i get loan from bank regarding the tuition fees

  • Bhushan Patil Jan 9, 2015 Reply

    I am BE last year apprear student but unable unable to take correct decision about Higher Education, I in US or Uk,,, M interested in MS (masterof science ) so can I apply for MS in US or UK or California and which branch should I select.

    Thank you

  • santhosh Jan 7, 2015 Reply

    Sir I am unable to take correct decision, I hv done looking for higher education in US,,, M interested in MS (master of science ) so can I apply for MS in US. Please advise. Thank you

  • Ajay Dec 28, 2014 Reply

    I have done (ECE) in 2014.
    I am doing job in an MNC as a quality analyst, which is a non-technical job.
    I have been interested in pursuing MBA, but didn’t took a decision. Now, preparing for CAT. Please suggest me some suitable branches for mba and further, advise me the right time to pursue mba and whether my current job will add any value to mba or not.


  • Balakrishna Oct 30, 2014 Reply

    Dear Sir, I am having almost 5yrs of work experience…And Now my dream and aim is to do MBA from TOP B School either it from India or Abroad??I am really sorry to say that i do not know how to plan it for and do the regular MBA. Please clarify me for the following
    1. What are the exams i supposed to take and prepare for ?
    2. What are the colleges available for doing MBA with work exp?
    3. How well i can use my work exp to improve my career ?
    4. What is the Cost for doing ???
    5. What is the future i can see after MBA ?

    K. Balakrishna

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