MBA vs. MS: Choose the Right Program for You

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By DeVry University

September 1, 2022
4 min read

So, you’ve decided to pursue a graduate degree, congratulations! Advancing your education in any capacity requires determination, focus and hard work, but is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Science (MS) best? The answer is entirely up to you.

To help you figure out which degree option best fits your goals, we’ll compare the differences of an MBA vs. MS, learn about what both degrees focus on and examine which is the better choice for your career path as you read through the following sections:

What is an MBA Degree?

An MBA degree is a graduate-level degree that is designed to help you develop both management and business administration concepts in preparation to pursue management or higher-level positions within a company. 

While these degrees are usually intended to help you prepare to pursue a management path in a general sense, many people choose to earn an MBA coupled with a particular focus or specialization to help them prepare to pursue a leadership role in a specific industry. 

At DeVry for example, we offer 10 different specializations that you can choose from to augment your general MBA coursework:

By choosing to add a particular focus to your MBA, you can work to gain additional knowledge about a specific industry, it’s individual challenges, and how to pursue a management career within a space that interests you. 

An MBA, in any form, is a versatile degree. So even if you earn an MBA that’s focused toward a particular field, you don’t have to feel locked in. You can still use it to change careers or industries down the road if you choose to.

Customize your MBA with one of our 10 specializations.

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What is an MS Degree?

While an MS degree may seem similar to an MBA in that they’re both graduate-level degrees, there are some pretty important differences.

Firstly, a master of science will include coursework that covers a far broader range of subjects relevant to the area of study you choose. This coursework will typically include core course material, electives, and may require you to conduct research or write a thesis. Many of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) will fall under the MS umbrella and will include coursework that fits that areas of study in-depth. 

An MBA will have a much more focused curriculum that is centered on teaching business concepts, strategy, people management, and leadership capabilities.

Should I Earn an MBA or MS Degree?

In truth, both an MBA and an MS degree are valid options for anyone looking to earn a graduate degree. What will make one a better option than the other is an entirely personal choice, and should be based on your desired timeline, career goals, and personal interests.

If you are more interested in building a career in one of the STEM fields or wish to work in an academic capacity, then an MS degree may be a good fit. Conversely, if you’re interested in learning how to apply various business skills either in general or to a specific industry, looking to get into management or wanting to pursue a career on a leadership team, then an MBA degree may be a better choice. 

Earn Your MBA Degree at DeVry

If you’re interested in advancing your education toward earning an MBA degree, then DeVry is here to help. Our MBA program is designed to help you develop many important teamwork and leadership-centered skills as you prepare to pursue a career in management. Collaboration, problem-solving and a focus on how technology can help you navigate today’s business world will be foundational in your curriculum. Plus, we offer 10 industry-focused specializations meant to help you hone your skills in a particular field, along with your core MBA coursework. Classes start every 8 weeks.

 

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