MBA or Specialized MS Program? That is the Question.

If you are considering graduate business school, you may be determining if a full-time MBA or specialized MS program is the right fit. And you are not alone! Many prospective students get confused with the various program formats and available options, but here are a few questions to ask yourself as you make the best decision for you:

  • What is my end goal? Assess your career background and post-graduate goals to determine which program will help you achieve your goals. Consider the following: industry and function you are targeting, if you have prior experience or exposure in that field, and what the hiring market looks like.
  • What is my level and years of work experience? Most schools offer a variety of graduate degree program options that vary in part based on how much work experience a candidate has prior to entering the program. For instance, specialized MS programs are geared toward early-career candidates (often with less than two years of full-time work experience) and offer training that focuses in one functional discipline. By contrast, the traditional two-year MBA candidate often has 3-8 years of full-time work experience prior to entering. As well, the Accelerated 18-Month MBA Program is likely to have more experienced candidates and it may even have a minimum threshold of years of experience required. MBA candidates will receive general management training, along with elective courses in one or multiple concentrations.
  • How will I fund graduate business school? Most MBA and MS students are at least partially motivated to pursue their degree based on the financial pay-off and job opportunities that are available once they complete their studies. But it is important for students to keep in mind the financial investment that is involved as they work to complete graduate business school. A specialized MS program is often a shorter time commitment (usually 10 months) with lower tuition costs. Whereas MBA programs require a longer time commitment (usually 12-24 months) that demands a greater financial investment. We strongly encourage prospective candidates to explore scholarship opportunities. Many top B-schools have budgeted significant scholarship support to recruit and enroll top applicants to their programs. In fact, Simon is proud to provide 60 percent of MS students and 80 percent of MBA students with scholarship support.

No matter your interests and background, there is a program for every type of student! Explore Simon’s full-time MBA and specialized MS programs to find out which one is the right fit for you.

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