MBA vs MS: Which Route to Take in 2023?

8 minute read

Every year, lakhs of students either pursue a professional career or opt for higher studies upon completion of a bachelor’s degree. While an undergraduate degree helps in building a strong foundation in the field, a master’s program acts as a stepping stone in your professional career.  But with the increase in the number of postgraduation courses across various disciplines, choosing the right degree can be challenging. This process further complicates when you have more than one specialization course for the same subject. One such dilemma is whether to choose an MBA or an MS degree. This confusion prevails especially in science graduates who are capable of pursuing both. In this blog, we will discuss and elucidate all the aspects of an MBA vs MS degree.

What is MBA?

Before beginning the battle of degrees, i.e. MBA vs MS, let’s first get to know these two degrees better. MBA is a professional Management degree that equips candidates to work in big business houses at the upper management level. The course can be 1-2 years long in duration depending upon the nature of the stream one picks. The curriculum for the same comprises internships, project works, presentations, debates, fieldwork, etc along with theoretical subjects. 

MBA Specializations

While talking about MBA vs MS, it is essential to know that an MBA is a degree that can be done after completing graduation in any field, ranging from science to arts. You might find it strange but students apply for MBA after MBBS, MBA after MS to give their career a required push. Given below is the table of MBA streams that can be pursued by students interested in making a career in the Management domain:

MBA in General Management MBA in Travel and Tourism MBA in Finance
MBA in Sports Management MBA in Data Science MBA in Finance and Banking
MBA in Banking MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Operations Management MBA
MBA in Healthcare Management MBA in Airport Management  MBA in Information Technology
MBA in Aviation Management MBA Agribusiness MBA in Entrepreneurship
MBA in Power Management MBA in Material Management MBA in Media Management
MBA in Data Analytics MBA in Agriculture MBA in Energy Management
MBA in Computer Science MBA in Pharmaceuticals MBA in Project Management
MBA in Communication MBA in HR MBA in Logistics

Top Universities for MBA Degrees

Pursuing a course from leading university not only provides excellent employment opportunities but also imparts confidence and knowledge to the candidates. Here is a list of some leading universities that offer MBA programs in a plethora of specializations:

MBA Colleges Abroad Location  QS World University Rankings 2023: MBA 
Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University USA 1
Harvard Business School USA 2
Penn (Wharton) USA 3
HEC Paris France 4
London Business School UK 5
MIT (Sloan) USA 6
IE Business School Spain 7
Columbia Business School USA 8
INSEAD Paris 9
IESE Business School Spain 10

Careers After MBA

Given below are some of the leading professions that can be opted by candidates can think of taking up after completion of their degrees: 

  • Managing Consultants 
  • Data Analysts
  • Healthcare Management Experts
  • Entrepreneurs 
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Entrepreneurship Experts
  • Marketing Professionals
  • Financial Analyst 
  • Information System Expert 

Also Read: Indian MBA Vs Foreign MBA: Which one is Better? 

What is an MS Degree?

A Master of Science is a postgraduate degree readily offered by the educational institute to provide specialized knowledge to candidates in a specific area of study. Usually, MS degrees are 2 years long, however, some universities offer 1 year MS courses as well. One must possess a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field to further study a master’s course in the very field. 

MS Specializations

While addressing the topic, of MBA vs MS, one should know that MS is offered in a wide range of STEM courses. Given below is a list of MS specializations that can be opted for by candidates to make a blooming career in the field of Science & Tech: 

MSc Electronics MSc Mathematics MSc Environmental
MSc Distance Education MSc Technology MSc in Nursing in Canada
MS Automotive Engineering MS Computer Science MSc Chemistry
MSc Botany MSc Food Technology MSc Physics
MS in Mechanical Engineering MS in Machine Learning MSc Forensic Science
MSc IT MSc Geography MSc Geology
MS in Computer Science in Canada MSc Psychology MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Biotechnology MSc Statistics MSc Clinical Psychology
MSc Zoology MS in Engineering Management MS in Civil Engineering in Canada
MS in Animal Biotechnology MS in Computer Science in Germany MSc in Computer Science

Universities for MS

While talking about MBA vs MS, one cannot miss out on the fact that there are some excellent universities across the globe that offer Master of Science programs. Here are some of them which not only provide academic facilities to candidates but also help them in innovating and experimenting along with it: 

Top Universities  Location QS World University Rankings 2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA 1
University of Cambridge USA 2
Stanford University USA 3
University of Oxford UK 4
Harvard University  USA 5
Caltech USA 6
Imperial College London UK 7
ETH Zurich Switzerland 9
University of Chicago USA 10

Careers After MS

It is easy for candidates with an MS degree to get jobs in the market. The nature of work might depend upon the area of specialization one has. Given below are some of them: 

  • Researcher and Accountant 
  • Quantitative Developer 
  • Researcher
  • Scientist
  • Field Officer
  • Statistician 
  • Engineer
  • Assistant Professor 
  • Chemical Analyst
  • Biochemist
  • Mathematician

Here is a blog that will resolve all your queries on PGDM vs MBA – An Unbiased Comparison


With a diverse and advanced curriculum, a postgraduate degree not only helps in acquiring in-depth knowledge of the field but also increases your chances of getting hired by top companies. Here are some of the key points pertaining to an MBA vs MS degree course:  

Criteria MBA MS
Focus To acquire business and management skills To gain technical, theoretical, and research skills in the field of Science
Duration 1-2 years depending on the program 2 years
Scope  Business, Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Banking, Consulting, etc Teaching, Engineering, Research, Science, etc
Eligibility Criteria  Bachelor’s degree, work experience, GMAT/CAT scores, GDPI, Resume, SOP, LOR, Language proficiency proof (if opting to study abroad) Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, GRE scores, Language proficiency proof (if opting to study abroad, LOR, SOP, Resume 
Work Experience Often required (1-5 years) Not Required
Further studies Lesser options in the same field Diverse options within the discipline
Average Course Fee INR 30 to 70 lakhs  INR 20 to 45 lakhs 
Salary  Starting salary is INR 6-18 lakhs per annum in India. With years of work experience and skills acquired, it can go up to INR 55 lakhs per annum. If opting to work abroad, the salary will be more. Starting salary is INR 4.7-16 lakhs per annum in India. With years of work experience, education qualification and skills, it can go up to INR 45 lakhs per annum. If opting to work abroad, the salary will be more. 
Top Countries  The top countries to pursue MBA are the USA, Canada, UK, France, Spain  The top countries to pursue MS are the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand 

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  • While an MBA degree imparts extensive knowledge in the field of Management and Business, a Master in Science provides students with a platform to acquire knowledge in a particular field of science. 
  • Another important MBA vs MS difference is that with an MBA degree, you can shift from one role to another. But with an MS degree, you will be restricted to a specific area and will thus gain expertise only in that field. 
  • To study for an MS degree from foreign institute, you need to score a minimum percentile in English proficiency tests like the IELTS, TOEFL or  GRE. But for pursuing a business administration course, besides English language tests, you also have to score well in the GMAT exam. 
  • When it comes to building a career in academics, an MS degree can be more fruitful. Even though the academic spectrum of an MBA degree is limited, it has a greater appeal when looking for jobs and internships.

Must read: Mtech vs MS: Which is a Better Choice?

How to Decide Between an MBA vs MS?

We know choosing the right career path can be difficult at times. So is deciding between MBA vs MS. But don’t you worry as we have got your back! Aspirants who are willing to pursue their master’s should consider the following factors while deciding or choosing between an MBA vs MS degree: 

Return on Investment (ROI)

MBA and MS degrees both provide a road to greater pay, improved professional opportunities, and the ability to relocate. If you are currently working, you should consider the opportunity cost of pursuing either. The opportunity cost covers lost wages while studying as well as the expense of returning to school. MBA programmes have been demonstrated to provide a considerable return on investment 2-5 years after graduation.

Career Goals 

A master’s degree in business administration gives aspirants a solid foundation in business and management principles. Most MBA schools allow you to specialise in a certain sector or function, such as finance, operations, or human resources. An MBA is a way to go if you have the patience to obtain relevant job experience in your sector of interest and develop a profile worthy of admission to a top business school. However, if you want to learn more technical abilities in a field before joining the industry, an MS is the perfect degree for you.

MBA vs MS: Final Thoughts 

A master’s or an MS degree enables you to get in-depth knowledge of a certain area, whereas an MBA programme enables you to gain broad managerial abilities. MS programmes teach specialised skills and knowledge in a certain subject. An MS programme is perfect if you want to build a new area of expertise while simultaneously adding a professional certification to your skillset in a short period of time. MBA programmes are suitable for those who want to work in management roles in a company. It is important to note when talking about MBA vs MS that, an MS degree focuses on advanced academic understanding in a specific subject, but an MBA programme is appropriate for individuals from any academic or professional background who seek greater career flexibility, managerial responsibilities, or business ownership.


Which course should you choose? MBA or MS?

Even though both of these courses will prove beneficial for your future, MBA is undoubtedly more effective at helping you achieve new heights.

Which course is harder?

The MBA is harder than MS as you need to study multiple course materials. Not to mention, the duration for MBA will also have an impact on your studies.

Which course is more expensive?

The fee for either MBA or MS course will depend on the university you’re choosing. Therefore, make sure you choose universities accordingly.

Pursuing higher studies in your choice of field maximizes career opportunities. But choosing the right master’s degree is a painstaking task. Thus, if you are still confused about the MBA vs MS degree programs then the experts at Leverage Edu will assist you in selecting a course that aligns with your professional goals and help you embark on the journey to your dream career. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session

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