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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167 comments… add one

  • 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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