26 Apr 2016

Postgraduate Education: Specialised Master’s vs MBA

As similar as a specialised Master’s and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) may seem, each has distinct traits which could help torpedo your career differently.

Given its versatility and recognition in the international job sphere, an MBA can give your career a boost if you are looking to climb the managerial ladder.

On the other hand, a specialised Master’s builds upon your degree’s discipline. Like its name suggests, a specialised Master’s will equip you with the expertise to specialise in your chosen field.

If you are contemplating the type of postgraduate education to pursue, here’s a checklist of what to consider before taking that leap:

Are you pursuing a postgraduate degree to take up a managerial position or do you want to specialise in a particular discipline? If you identify with the former, a general MBA would be a more ideal choice as it equips you with essential business skills to move up the ladder. On the other hand, specialist degrees are best for those looking to be experts in their field. Specialist degrees also offer a more direct path to attaining a PhD.

Aside from having good academic records, MBAs generally require some relevant working experience as a pre-requisite, while specialised Master’s may not. As many MBAs are taught from a management’s point-of-view, having working experience can aid in overall course understanding. In addition, some MBAs require advanced Diplomas or prior business-related degrees.

If you are a fresh graduate looking to pursue higher education, the specialised Master’s might be the only way to go for now, or at least until you have gained enough relevant work experience.

This is perhaps the most important consideration before nosediving into a postgraduate education. Are you prepared to dedicate time, effort and a substantial sum of your savings for the pursuit of obtaining a postgraduate degree?

An MBA typically costs more than a specialised business degree, regardless of educational institution. On the other hand, the cost of a specialised degree depends heavily on the discipline chosen. For example, the total fee for a biomedical degree will cost more than a literature degree.

In terms of course duration, an MBA and specialised Master’s programme can range from one to four years. Remember to set realistic goals when choosing the duration and intensity of your course, as not everyone can commit to the demands of further education.

Ready to pursue a postgraduate education? Why not take a look at some of the available options here!