Apples to Oranges? Comparing Master in Management Degrees with MBAs

Last year, the Find MBA Blog interviewed Thomas Graf, the director of the website Master in Management Compass, about the differences between Master in Management (MiM) programs and traditional MBAs.

Graf noted that MiM programs tend to draw younger candidates with less work experience. They’re also generally cheaper, and carry less reputation than their better known MBA counterparts. Interestingly, Graf noted that there is not much difference in the range of their respective curriculums:

Some students I talk to think there are no differences at all. I think this is probably too strong to say, but overall the differences in terms of content are not that big. Both offer general management courses, integrated team work, case studies, and a practical-oriented approach.

So, if the curriculum is about the same – how do the differences play out in the real, post-graduation world?

This chart shows average salaries of students, three years after graduation, from select schools that offer both types of programs (statistics in US dollars from the Financial Times):

This chart shows that MBA grads make, on average, substantially more than MiM grads. Of course, this data does not take into account pre-degree salaries or other factors. However, what it does demonstrate is that students who enroll in each program are at different stages of career development. Many MiM programs, for instance, do not require applicants to have any work experience at all – while MBA programs generally require at least two or three years of experience. Somebody with that much work experience will have a head start when it comes to salary increases and other aspects of career advancement.

With the wide difference in post-graduate salaries, comparing MiMs and MBAs may be like comparing apples to oranges. Applicants debating going for an MBA or an MiM should consider their own career arc – and decide whether it makes sense to get a few years of work experience under their belts before applying.

For more info on MiM programs, read our interview with Thomas Graf.


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