Improving your skillset by enrolling in an educational course is a surefire way to boost your chances of business success.
If you’re looking to further your career in business, big data or accounting, this usually whittles down to a clear choice between an MBA and an MSA.
The relative strengths and weaknesses of these two degrees are constantly debated and can muddy the waters when it comes to choosing the right course for your career.
Here’s why you should enroll in an MSA or MBA, and how to understand the difference between the two:
MBA is held as the traditional gold standard
One of the first things you’ll notice when researching the relative merits of MSA vs MBA is that MBAs are the more established and traditionally prestigious degrees. They are better suited to students looking for a wider understanding of a skill, rather than MSA students, who will receive a far more concentrated learning experience.
As part of this perceived gold standard, the barriers to entry for an MBA are traditionally high. They often demand real-world industry experience and are pursued by experienced professionals looking for a general grounding in a new field.
An MSA allows you to focus on something specific
One of the best attributes of an MSA course is that it does away with the ‘cookie-cutter’ nature of most MBA programs. It allows you to knuckle down to one specific area in accounting or analytics, which means you can greatly increase your abilities (and therefore employability) in your chosen field. This is something that MBAs struggle to match, making MSA’s increasingly desirable for students looking to follow a more precise career path.
MBA programs will give you a more rounded education
Of course, the flipside of this argument is that MBAs tend to give students a more rounded understanding of business processes and fields. For instance, if a particular degree focuses on finance, it may also branch out into other subjects allowing the student to re-enter the workplace with a wide skillset to draw from.
If this is something you are looking for, an MBA could be a better bet than an MSA.
An MSA is a cheaper option
There are no two ways about it, an MSA has a lower barrier to entry for many students, as they usually cost a lot less than the equivalent MBA. This is an important consideration when choosing which degree is better for your needs. After all, education is an investment for success in the future, and the lower the cost, the less you have to sacrifice now in favor of it.
Finally, another area in which MSAs are increasingly attractive is the time it takes to complete the course. While most traditional MBAs will soak up two years of your time, an MSA can be completed in around 16 months. This gives students greater flexibility and allows them to gain a head start in their careers.