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Should I Get an MBA or an MS in Management?

Explore the differences between a Master of Business Administration and an MS in Management to determine which program is right for you.

If you’re looking to advance your career—whether in your current role or by pursuing new opportunities—earning your master’s in business management is a great choice. But it’s important that you find a program that best aligns with your goals and interests. For some professionals, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program is the way to go; for others, an MS in Management is the better choice. And though these programs do share some similarities, there are key differences that set them apart. To determine which degree is right for you, knowing the ins and outs of each program is a good place to start.


MBA vs. MS in Management

Target Audience
MBA and MS in Management programs are designed for candidates in different phases of their lives. Most MBA-degree seekers are experienced professionals who have been active in their career for several years. By comparison, MS in Management programs are targeted to recent college graduates who have spent less time in the workforce. In other words, an MBA is often the top choice for well-established professionals looking to climb the career ladder, whereas an MS in Management is better suited to individuals who want to kick-start their career growth shortly after earning their bachelor’s.

Program Structure
Although the credit requirements for both an MS in Management and MBA degree are usually quite similar, each program is structured in its own way. For instance, Walden University’s MBA program offers a fast-track option that enables you to double up on courses and earn your degree faster. For Walden’s MS in Management, the minimum time to completion is the same as that of a traditional master’s program. And though the MS in Management and MBA degree programs at Walden share some core courses—such as Dynamic Leadership—the curriculum focus and specialization options vary. MS in Management courses center on the theoretical fundamentals of management that you can apply to roles early on in your career, and MBA courses cover the practical business techniques expected of mid-level and senior managers.

Post-Graduate Opportunities
The career outlook for both MBA and master’s in management degree holders is good. According to the annual Corporate Recruiters Survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 89% of recruiters plan to hire MBAs in 2021. This survey also reported that 59% of companies with over 10,000 employees were projected to hire MS in Management graduates that same year.1 And though the career level, settings, and pay grade may differ—MBAs earn a higher average salary—there is often an overlap in the positions available to both MS in Management and MBA graduates. These roles can include:

  • Business development or sales manager
  • Business or management analyst
  • Project manager
  • Operations manager or supervisor

Determining which degree is right for you can be a difficult process. But when you decide to earn your master’s at Walden, you’re in good hands no matter which program you choose.

Earn Your Advanced Business Management Degree at Walden University

One way to earn your master’s in business administration or management is to enroll in an online degree program. Walden, an accredited university, offers both a Master of Business Administration and MS in Management program, each designed for working professionals who are looking to further their education and boost their career. As such, these online graduate degree programs give you the flexibility you need to pursue your master’s while continuing to work full time. When you choose Walden, you can get your business or management degree without putting your life on hold.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering business administration and management degree programs online, including a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


The number of credits for completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, contact a Walden Enrollment Specialist.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,