MBA vs MA Economics

6 minute read
MBA vs MA Economics

Students who complete their graduation in the commerce stream and want to continue further often find it difficult to choose between the prominent postgraduate courses. Especially students who wish to make a career in Finance face a dilemma of whether to pursue an MA Economics or go for an MBA. In this segment, we’ll be addressing this common dilemma, focusing on the various features and aspects of both the courses, aiming to provide students with some clarity in the MBA vs MA Economics conflict. 

MBA Finance vs MA Economics

MBA in finance opens a plethora of career opportunities to explore in the finance industry as it imparts students with the knowledge of analyzing corporate reports, gauging economic trends, maximize the stock values, equalizing risk and profitability, amongst others. The course includes several finance-related concepts like beneficial investment strategies, insurance and corporate risk, direct and indirect taxation, principles of local and global economics along with mergers and acquisitions.

MA Economics is a 2-year postgraduate degree that encompasses a detailed study of the nuances of economic development and various branches of economics like Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Public Economics, amongst others. Topics like monetary economics, elementary statistics, International trade are thoroughly taught in this course. Further, you will also get to explore how consumption and production including supply based activities that take place in the markets. A professional degree holder in MA Economics can find lucrative career opportunities to work in both government and private sectors. Banking, financial institutions, labour markets are some of the top working areas graduates can choose from. 

MBA vs MA Economics: Course Overview 

While evaluating the two courses, it is important to note their contents. Here is some comprehensive information about MBA and MA Economics:


An MBA or Master in Business Administration is a postgraduate course offered to all students who have completed their graduation course. A highly popular course among those who are aiming to gain a foothold in the world of business, MBA is deemed to be virtually compulsory for all prospective managers out there. MBA is available in a variety of specializations all around the world. The most common among which are: 

A full-time MBA is generally 2 years old, generally concluding with research or project task that reflects a student’s deep understanding of the subject. 

M.A. Economics

M.A Economics is a postgraduate degree in the field of Economics, a traditional successor to a B.A in Economics. This course entails the Economic theory, covering all the aspects of the subject in a comprehensive manner. Students generally pursue an M.A in Economics to further their knowledge in the domain, also using it as a gateway into research and scholarly endeavours. 

Creduts: CE Classes

MBA vs MA Economics: Subjects Offered

To get clarity on the MBA vs MA Economics debate, we must take a look at the type of subjects offered under both courses. While the MBA subjects are more related to operating an organisation and all that ensues the process, MA Economics syllabus is more technical in nature. Most of them deal with advanced concepts in the field of Economics and Finance, making the course more suited for those with a strong foundation in the subject. Here are some of the general subjects from both the courses:

Subjects offered in an MBA

Strategic AnalysisQuantitative MethodsBusiness PolicyMarket Research
Management AccountingMarketing ManagementManagerial EconomicsStrategic Management
Management ScienceOrganizational BehaviourGlobal Business ManagementMarketing Management
Financial ManagementOperations Research and ManagementLegal Environment of BusinessSupply Chain Management

Subjects offered in MA Economics

Game TheoryEconometricsPolitical EconomicsMoney and Banking
Monetary EconomicsPublic EconomicsFinancial EconomicsIndustrial Economics
Macroeconomic TheoryMicroeconomic Theory Mathematical EconomicsSectors of the Indian Economy
Environmental EconomicsInternational EconomicsPublic Policy: Theory and InstitutionsDevelopmental Economics
Finance: Theory, Institutions, and ModellingEconomic Development and PolicyMicroeconomic AnalysisAgricultural Economics

MBA vs MA Economics: Top Universities

For students who consider the educational institution as a differentiating factor while choosing between two courses, we have dedicated this segment to the top universities in the world to pursue both the respective courses. Although, it must be noted that prime universities across the world impart courses in MBA as well as MA Economics. Here are a few of them.

Top MBA Universities

Top MBA UniversitiesQS Rankings 2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1
Stanford University3
Harvard University5
University of Cambridge2
Imperial College London6
University of Chicago10
University College London8
University of Pennsylvania13
Yale University18
Université Paris-Saclay69

Top MA Economics Universities

Top M.A Economics Universities QS Rankings 2023
Stanford University3
University of Oxford4
University of Toronto34
Northwestern University32
New York University39
The University of Sydney 41
University of Melbourne33
London School of Economics and Political Science56
RMIT University190
University of Mannheim541 – 550

Must Read: Is MBA After Engineering the Right Choice?

MBA vs MA Economics: Career Prospects 

Both MBA and MA Economics offer a multitude of career opportunities in the corporate sector. While an MBA is a managerial course, teaching students how to manage the operations of an entire organisation, MA Economics is a more technical course in nature. Students from the field are mostly posted at research and analytical positions, at times heading crucial operation areas relating to Finance and Investment. We have added some of the top job profiles that students can apply for after completing their education in the respective courses. This is a non-exhaustive list, with a lot more scope for students to explore out of there domains. Here are a few of them:

Top Career options after an MBATop Career options after MA Economics
Financial AnalystResearch Analyst
Data AnalystData Analyst
Management ConsultingPolicy Analyst
Entrepreneurship ExpertStrategy Analyst
Marketing ProfessionalFinancial Journalist
Healthcare Management ExpertEconomist
Human Resource ManagerProject Manager
Information System ExpertEconomics Professor

MBA vs MA Economics: Which one to choose

While the above-stated facts may have provided you with the right direction to evaluate the difference between these courses, there are a few more factors which can be crucial for your decision making. Here are some of them:

  • Students who believe they want to make a career strictly directed towards the managerial profiles in the corporate world must pursue an MBA. However, those 
  • Students must note that while an MBA is far more theoretical in its course contents, MA Economics deals with a lot more practical aspects. Students who are not well-versed in advanced Mathematics and Economics concepts must stay clear of the course. However, those who are driven towards these aspects can have a shining career in the field.
  • Students who have completed their graduation in the field of Economics, (with BA Economics Hons.) will find it comparatively easier to transition to an MBA as the course does not have a technical background. However, students from diverse commerce backgrounds may find it difficult to get hold of the economic concepts taught in MA Economics as it draws fundamental knowledge from the undergraduate course.

MBA & Economics Salary

Credits: PayScale


Which is better MBA or MA in economics?

MBA and MA Economics both have their own aspects; while MBA is more theoretical, MA Economics is more practical.

Is it good to do MBA after MA Economics?

Doing MBA is a good option. But if you have graduated from a good institution doing MA Economics, we advise you to do MBA from only the top universities.

Which MBA earns highest salary?

MBA Finance has one of the highest salaries.

With this, we conclude all the pointers to settle the MBA vs MA Economics debate for you. Both the courses have their niche and the students need to evaluate themselves against the course requirements to pick the best course as per their needs. If you are also unable to make a decision between the two courses, worry not. Leverage Edu is here at your service. With a host of career experts who are adept at helping students find the best course and college choice for themselves. Connect with us through a free e-meeting today to set sails to your success ship right away! or call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.  

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    1. Hi Rohan,

      Thank you for your valuable insights. MBA programs are suitable for those who have certain years of work experience and now want to equip the trendiest skills with the intention of a better job opportunity or higher pay scale. Therefore, MA in Economics and MBA do have clear distinctions.

  1. Which one Gets you higher pay on average?? Also wouldn’t students with ba in econ find it easier to do o masters??

    1. Hi Rohan,

      Thank you for your valuable insights. MBA programs are suitable for those who have certain years of work experience and now want to equip the trendiest skills with the intention of a better job opportunity or higher pay scale. Therefore, MA in Economics and MBA do have clear distinctions.