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MBA vs MS: Eligibility, Admissions, Scope, Salary, How to Choose

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: July 15, 2022 12:24 pm IST

Students are often confused about whether to choose an MBA or MS after graduation. Both courses are quite popular among engineering graduates and offer excellent career opportunities. Here is a comparison of MBA vs MS to help you decide which is the better course for you.

MBA vs MS: Eligibility, Admissions, Scope, Salary, How to Choose

Whether to go for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Science (MS) course is a question many students ask themselves after completing graduation. The choice between the two courses is particularly relevant for engineering graduates in India.

Both MBA and MS are expensive courses and hence a candidate must be careful when choosing between an MBA or MS to ensure they get the maximum benefit from the course. There are a number of factors to consider, finance being just one of them.

Choosing the right postgraduate course can help you a lot on your career pathway. When deciding between an MBA and MS, you have to consider your interests, the cost of the degree, career scope and job opportunities, scope for growth etc.

In this article, we have compared MBA and MS degrees to help you decide the best course for your choice.

MBA vs MS: Overview

FeatureMBAMS
Full NameMaster of Business AdministrationMaster of Science
LevelPostgraduate
Duration2 years
EligibilityGraduate degree with min. 50% aggregate marksGraduate degree in engineering with 50% aggregate marks
Entrance ExamsMBA Entrance Exams in IndiaGRE, IELTS etc.
Admission ProcessEntrance Exam + Selection Process of CollegeApplication + Language Proficiency + Interview and Other Formalities

MBA vs MS: What are those?

An MBA is a postgraduate degree in management. The MBA degree is one of the most popular degrees in India, and MBA colleges in India get lakhs of applications every year. MBA is a great choice of degree for a candidate who wishes to climb up the corporate ladder and is quite popular with engineering students.

MS, on the other hand, is a postgraduate degree that contains courses mostly in the fields of engineering and science. MS is a leading degree when it comes to attracting international applications. The MS courses are a great choice for a student who wishes to join core engineering-related sectors or do research in the field.

MBA vs MS: Admission Process

Graduates in any stream who have scored at least 50% in their bachelor's course are eligible to take part in the MBA admission process in India. Students are required to appear for an entrance exam such as the CAT, MAT, CMAT, GMAT, XAT, ATMA etc. Students who clear the entrance exam cutoff for their selected college can then take part in the selection process of the college, which can include Written Test, Group Discussion and Personal Interview.

To take admission to an MS course, a candidate has to be a graduate as well but in a relevant engineering stream with 50% marks. The admission process depends on which country and/or college you are applying for. Mostly, colleges require you to fill the application form, appear for a proficiency test such as GRE, IELTS or TOEFL. Colleges usually have a comprehensive selection process for MS, and you have to send in an SoP and other documents along with the applications. Colleges not only check for academic proficiency but also for the motivation behind the selection of course and future plans of the candidate.

MBA vs MS: Specializations

MBA is a very versatile course and apart from the General Management MBA degree, you can choose from a variety of specializations, depending upon your area of interests. MBA specializations have been increasing in number over the years and usually depend on the industry requirements. Some popular ones include - Information Technology, Data Analytics, Finance, Marketing, Hospitality etc.

MS, on the other hand, is a much more specialized course and includes concentrated in a specific field of study. However, candidates still have plenty of choices when selecting an MS course. Examples of MS specializations include Power Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, Game Design and Development, Marketing, Life Sciences etc.

MBA vs MS: Scope and Flexibility

As compared to MS, MBA is a very general programme even if one takes into account its specializations. The principles and skills a student learns in an MBA course are the same across multiple industries and hence a student finds it easier to switch over time. However, with the increase in the number of MBA graduates and high demand for specialists, this scope may be shrinking. Check our comparison of general MBA vs specialised MBA for more information.

MS is a degree with a narrow course curriculum. The course creates graduates who are experts in their fields but much more rigid about what they can pursue. MS graduates will not be able to switch fields and even if they do so, it won't be easy for them. Many MS graduates also opt to study further and pursue a PhD course and research work.

MBA vs MS: Average Salary

Both MBA and MS are courses that result in some of the best salary packages in their respective industries. Graduates of these courses can not only demand high salaries but also look for better career opportunities.

While MBA graduates generally are offered higher salaries than students with MS degrees, this largely varies by the industry and position. Your choice of college also plays a role in deciding your earnings, especially in the starting years.

MBA vs MS: Which is Better?

Both MBA and MS have their own merits and demerits. Plus, both courses are very different in almost every aspect. So, any student who has a fair idea of their career goals and future plans would be able to choose between the two courses. For the students who are confused, the following might help.

Choose an MBA if:

Choose MS if:

  • You are not sure about the industry you wish to join.

  • You have earned some work experience and want to be prepared for a managerial position.

  • You have selected your niche or the type of industry you wish to work in.
  • You want to improve your technical skills or go into R&D and testing in your respective field.

The most important aspect when choosing between two courses should be your interests. If you are confused about which course would be the best for you, all 1800-572-9877 for FREE counselling.

Check our other related articles that will help you in choosing a postgraduate management course.

If you have any doubts, ask our experts on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. For help with admissions, fill our Common Application Form (CAF).

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