MBA vs MS – what is the difference and which is better

This two are business degrees that offers a graduate –level of business education and they vary depending on schools. For a better choice you will have to align your options with your goals. This article contains information that will help you understand the two better.

Table of contents

  • What is an MBA?
  • What is an MS?
  • What is the difference between MBA and MS?
  • MBA-MS which is better?

What is an MBA?

This stands for master of business administration which is a post graduate degree that focuses on business administration and investment management. It covers and focuses on a number fields/departments of business administration which are: human resource, entrepreneurship, finance, supply chain management, business strategy, business communication and ethics, business law, marketing etc.

It is basically based on management, strategy and analysis.

What is an MS?

This abbreviation stands for Master of Science. This degree provides knowledge and skills of a particular business area. It focuses on scientific areas like; engineering, medicine/biology and statistics but also takes a scientific approach on the social sciences like; economics and psychology.

In this one a person can venture and develop a new area of expertise which will allow them an addition to professional credential in their skills within a short period of time making the graduates experts in those specific areas. It is best suits for recent graduates.

In this a research project is involved or a thesis because it is basically a technical and academic degree that involves careers that requires research.

MS do not require work experience in business as much because a number of its programs are designed for those with less than two years of experience.

What is the difference between an MBA and MS?

When we talk of the differences we look at main or common areas. MBA offers a wide understanding of business while an MS offers an in-depth in one business area.

The table below shows a summary of the differences between MBA and MS.





This focuses on gaining business and management skills which include various areas of the business sector.

In this the focus is at gaining technical skills in a specific area of study.

Work experience

Requires 2-5 years of experience

Work experience in this is not necessary. Most of them have less than 3 years of experience.

Time required

In this 1-2 years or even more are required depending on the program you are studying.

In this only 2 years of studying is required.


Has a higher basic salary. It ranges between $89,00-$115,000

In tis the basic salary ranges between $55,000-$82,000

Eligibility criteria

·       Bachelors program or equivalent

·       Resume

·       Statement of purpose

·       Letter of recommendation

·       Proof of English language test like; IELTS or TOEFL

·       GMAT scores

·       Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields

·       Many schools require GRE scores for admission

·       Language proficiency test like IELTS or TOEFL

·       Letter of recommendation

·       Resume

·       Statement of purpose


 MBA-MS Which is better?

A lot of students find themselves in a dilemma of which one to pursue when it comes to MBA and MS because both of them offers opportunities to learners by enabling them gain valuable skills that moves them to much higher level whereby the salaries and positions change.

In determining which is better than the other you will first have to consider the type of business experience you have formed, the career goals that you have and which of the two has a better return on investment. This is basically what you lose in your decision on either of the two.

However these two degrees focuses on different areas and the information provides here will help one understand which is best or better for them.


  • Opportunities> There are many opportunities that comes with each degree. Some are different others are similar. With this one will be able to understand which one they find better.

MBA serves a variety of business professions in industries like; investment banking, technology, private equity, finance and consulting.

Graduates are chosen to some roles and occupations which include traditional business functions like; marketing, sales, business development operations and more.

  • Salaries and job prospects> MBA equips you with a high level of seniority in different areas of business which leads to a leadership position that exceeds a number of departments. Salaries are also said to vary depending on the school attended by the graduate.

Benefits of pursuing an MBA program

  • Development of all management skills
  • A perfect networking access. Allows you to interact with professors and those with a more significant management experience.
  • Will help you with an opportunity to earn a higher income than those studying MS
  • Allows expansion in career opportunities
  • Improves a person’s entrepreneurship skills


  • Opportunities> In MS opportunities vary depending on your field of study and the country from which you are studying. The students can also enroll for a PhD program where by research starts.
  • Salaries and job prospects> In MS salary varies depending on each sector.

Benefits of pursuing an MS program

  • Specialized sector knowledge. Allows a person to be more competitive in a specific area
  • Helps in career growth. Helps one in advancing their skill to a senior position.
  • Helps in giving a person a potential to earn more due to salary increment.
  • Allows for a lifelong learning. It includes researches and analysis which makes people better in problem solving and in handling complex issues.

According to research from different areas MBA is considered best for those people that aspires to be leaders of big and great organizations in the future. Those that are patient enough to wait until they gain experience in the industry of their choice so that they can complete their profile for an admission in a top school.  Whereas, MS is best suit for those who envision themselves being on top of a certain team in an organization. Those that want to further their technical skills in a particular area before getting in to the industry.

MBAwave Team

MBAwave Team

MBAwave Team

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