Master’s in Business: Evaluating Your Options

Businessman poses in office setting

In today’s competitive job marketplace, it is essential for job candidates and business professionals who desire promotions to find ways of setting themselves apart from the competition. Earning an advanced business degree, such as a master’s degree, enables you to do exactly that.

There are many types of business master’s programs, including the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and the Master of Science (MS) degree. Carefully consider your career aspirations and your program options to choose the degree that is best suited to your needs.

Benefits of Earning an Advanced Business Degree

Regardless of whether you choose an MBA or an MS degree program in a business specialization, you can look forward to reaping the rewards upon graduation. Both business programs offer professionals the opportunity to enhance their career qualifications by building advanced skills and developing specialized knowledge.

Indeed, many professionals are finding that holding a bachelor’s degree no longer suffices. According to one survey, 27 percent of companies are now requiring job candidates to have a master’s degree for positions that previously only required a bachelor’s degree.1 In today’s increasingly competitive job market, the benefits of a master’s degree can help you differentiate yourself and remain a valuable employee.

In addition, business master’s degrees offer the opportunity to build your professional network. You’ll meet people from all over the world, and you’ll be able to learn from their diverse perspectives. Clearly, there are significant benefits associated with attending a graduate-level business school.

Exploring the Master of Business Administration Degree

Once you’ve decided to go back to business school, you’ll need to decide which program is best for you. Your two main choices are a Master of Business Administration degree or a Master of Science degree. The MBA degree is widely considered to be the gold standard and is appropriate for professionals working in any sector or industry.

You can take a general MBA program or choose one with a specialization. For example, there are MBA programs that focus on finance, cybersecurity, leadership and marketing. Despite these specializations, MBA programs are typically considered to be multidisciplinary in nature. Any MBA program you choose will offer a breadth of general leadership and business knowledge. This makes it a great choice for individuals across a wide range of industries. To sum up, an MBA may be right for you if you aspire to work in middle management or the C-suite.

Exploring the Master of Science Business Degree

Compared to the MBA degree, the MS business degree tends to be more sharply focused on one particular area. This makes it ideal for people working in certain occupations. For example, if you are an accountant, you could choose a Master of Science in Accounting. You’ll still acquire key leadership skills, just as you would in an MBA program, but your program will delve more deeply into subject-specific topics.

Deciding Which Degree Is Right for You

Remember that an MBA program offers breadth and an MS degree offers depth. If you desire greater career flexibility, an MBA program might be best suited to you. However, if you already know that you want to devote your career to a particular area, such as accounting or business analytics, then an MS may be the better choice.

If you’re still having trouble deciding, you may wish to examine the course offerings for the different degree programs on university websites. Consider which courses are best suited to your career ambitions. Also, consider talking to your professional colleagues who have completed business master’s programs to hear what they have to say on the differences between an MBA and an MS.

First Steps Toward Earning Your Business Degree

Most people who pursue a graduate-level business degree are working professionals. If you have rigid requirements from your employer, you’ll need to find a program that offers control over schedule. You should be able to keep track of your responsibilities for both your job and your degree.

Once you have chosen a course, start your application. Most universities have their own online application systems, so make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with your prospective university’s website and know how to begin the application properly. Submitting a strong application is just the first part of your admissions process. You can also reach out to the admissions counselor for guidance regarding the registration process.

Next, check to see whether your employer already offers a tuition reimbursement program for professionals who wish to earn a graduate degree. Read the fine print before you agree to accept reimbursement, however. You may be required to remain at the company for a certain period of time after graduating.

When you’re ready to explore your options for graduate business management degrees, you can choose from a wide range of programs at Grand Canyon University. The Colangelo College of Business offers numerous business master’s programs, including the Master of Science in Leadership and MBA programs with various concentrations. Click on Request Information at the top of your screen to learn more about joining our online learning community.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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