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Top 10 Master’s Degrees in Business and Management

Written by Holland Webb
Last Updated: October 7, 2020

Many business school students pursue master's degrees to improve their chances of gaining promotions, higher salaries, and opportunities for leadership. Typically, business school graduates earn higher salaries than their professional peers and receive first choice for top jobs. They can also specialize in innovative, growing fields.

Business management degrees come in two major types. The classic master of business administration (MBA) attracts professionals with more than three years of experience and an academic background in business. Usually a lower-cost degree, the master's in management can help early-stage professionals launch their careers in management.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that management professions should grow by a healthy 5% from 2019 to 2029. With a median annual salary of $105,660, the field features some of the best-paying jobs in the country.

Despite these potential benefits, prospective students should consider their options carefully. Going to graduate school means investing time and money.

Before applying, degree-seekers should consider the quality of the program, financial aid availability, degree flexibility, and how much their salary might increase in the first year after graduation.

The ranking below can provide a great start for prospective business students researching their options. Each profile provides basic information about the school, the degree, and any specialization options along with a clickable link to the program's website.

The 10 Best Business Management Master's Programs

Rank School Location
1 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California
2 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3 Stanford University Stanford, California
4 Yale University New Haven, Connecticut
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts
6 University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois
7 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan
8 Columbia University New York, New York
9 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California
10 Cornell University Ithaca, New York

See Detailed Rankings

Why Get a Master's Degree in Business Management?

Is a master's degree in business management worth the time and money it requires? Many students say it is. Business school graduates generally earn more money and access higher positions than their peers. According to a survey by the Wall Street Journal and the Times Higher Education, 75% of MBA alumni successfully switch careers, and many double their salaries.

Going to business school can help students reach leadership positions, earn higher salaries, and achieve personal goals. After graduation, students can make better data-driven decisions, understand team leadership, and put to use their practical experience in the field.

That said, not everyone needs a master's degree. Prospective students should think through their career objectives prior to investing in higher education. A lower-cost master's in management, for instance, could prove a smarter choice for early-career applicants than an MBA. Still, the MBA remains a classic degree in the field. Professionals with at least three years of experience and an academic background in business can accelerate their careers by earning this degree.

  • Higher Salaries: A graduate degree frequently leads to a higher salary. In particular, the MBA can help students make a giant leap in income. The National Association of Colleges and Employers projects that the average MBA salary in 2020 should exceed that of a bachelor's degree-holder by $20,000.
  • Better Networking Opportunities: A master's program can equip students with a professional network as valuable as their degree. Alumni networks can help students land jobs after graduation, manage their careers, and move into positions at new companies.
  • Access to Specialized Careers: By pursuing an academic concentration, learners can specialize in high-paying, fast-growing fields. Strategy, consulting, international business, and technology courses at the graduate level, for instance, can help students land top jobs in those areas.

Comparing MIM and MBA Degrees

Many prospective business students wonder if an MBA degree or a master's in management better suits their goals. Both programs offer similar experiences. Both prepare students for leadership in business. And both provide on-campus and online options.

In general, however, the master's in management serves students without an undergraduate degree in business and with fewer than three years of experience. The MBA, on the other hand, helps boost experienced professionals on the career ladder. The table below provides more information about the distinctions between the two programs.

Comparing MIM and MBA Programs

Master's in Management Master of Business Administration
Length A master's in management can take one year for full-time students to complete or two years at a part-time pace. Some MBA programs run as short as 10 months. Part-time programs can take up to three years.
Course Load Full-time students take 4-5 classes per term. Full-time MBA students take 3-4 classes per term.
Types of Classes Courses in the master's in management curriculum typically focus on business theory. The MBA prepares students for practical business management in the real world.
Student Demographics Students usually choose a master's in management over an MBA when they have no academic background in business. Management students also hold fewer years of work experience. MBA students typically hold an undergraduate degree in business or a related field. These students also trend older than those who pursue the master's in management.
Costs At many schools, the master's in management costs considerably less than the MBA. The cost of an MBA can run from the low five figures at a small public school to nearly $200,000 at a pricey Ivy League institution.
Prerequisites Admission usually requires a bachelor's degree in any field along with minimum scores on the GRE or GMAT. In addition to minimum academic standards and an undergraduate major in business, an MBA program may require three or more years of experience in the field.

Top Master's in Business and Management Programs and Schools

The ranking below introduces the top 10 graduate programs in business and management. This list shows the school's background, describes the program, presents any concentration options, and provides information about admissions.

No online ranking can definitively answer the question "where should I earn my MBA?" Still, this list can provide a great start for prospective students weighing their educational options. Clickable links take you directly to each school's program page.

1. University of California, Berkeley

Public university in Berkeley, California, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and AACSB

As California's first land-grant university, Berkeley now serves almost 45,000 students, hosts numerous research institutes, and partners with laboratories around the country. The school maintains 350 degree programs across 180 academic departments.

Haas School of Business, Master of Business Administration

Berkeley's challenging MBA focuses on the core skills students need to excel in a new economy, such as leadership development, global fluency, and experiential learning. The curriculum includes 12 required courses of seven weeks each. Students take classes such as fundamentals of design thinking, macroeconomics in a global economy, and data-driven decision-making.

Berkeley also requires learners to enroll in at least one of 20 applied innovation courses in which students solve real-world problems. Of Berkeley's 2019 class, 227 students sought jobs and 211 received offers, with the main base salary reported at $137,819. Top employers included Deloitte, Google, and Amazon.

Applying to Berkeley

  • – Submit an application, transcripts, resume, and GMAT or GRE scores along with letters of recommendation and professional references.
  • – Complete required interviews.
  • – Successful applicants generally hold at least two years of work experience in addition to a bachelor's degree.


2. University of Pennsylvania

Private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and AACSB

An Ivy League institution, Penn began in 1740 with Benjamin Franklin serving as its first president. Today, the school serves more than 22,000 students in 16 schools, including the Wharton School of Business, the nation's first collegiate business school.

Wharton School of Business, Master of Business Administration

Wharton's 20-month MBA program requires 19 credits, including 9.5 core credits, 4.5 credits of electives, and the remainder in a concentration. Students study Monday through Thursday during the school year and must participate in a 3.5-month-long summer program. Core courses include leadership: foundations of teamwork and leadership, statistics: regression analysis for managers, and microeconomics: advanced microeconomics for managers. Students may take electives from any department across the university.

The entire program lasts two years. During the first year, learners participate in projects with a core group of 5-6 students. After the summer internship, students take courses in their chosen specialization. Upon graduation, learners join Wharton's 99,000-member alumni network.

Specializations:

  • – Accounting
  • – Business Analytics
  • – Business Economics and Public Policy
  • – Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability
  • – Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • – Finance
  • – Healthcare Management
  • – Individualized Major
  • – Insurance and Risk Management
  • – International Business
  • – Management
  • – Marketing
  • – Marketing and Operations
  • – Multinational Management
  • – Operations, Information, and Decisions
  • – Organizational Effectiveness
  • – Quantitative Finance
  • – Real Estate
  • – Statistics
  • – Strategic Management

Applying to Penn

  • – Submit the application for round one, round two, or round three by the deadline.
  • – Prospective students must submit information about their academic, professional, family, and criminal background if any.
  • – Applicants should submit GMAT or GRE scores and attend an interview if invited.


3. Stanford University

Private university in Stanford, California, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and AACSB

Founded in 1885 by railroad tycoon Leland Stanford, Stanford now serves more than 17,000 students in seven schools. The school's alumni launched some of the world's largest companies, including Alphabet Inc., Gap, and Netflix.

Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Master of Science in Management for Experienced Leaders

Mid-career professionals can enroll in Stanford's one-year MSx program to help accelerate their personal and professional growth. This degree requires 64 credits, including 27-28 core units and 35-36 elective credits aligned with the student's interests. Required courses include organizational design, strategy beyond markets, and data-driven decision-making. Students also engage in class study trips within the U.S. and abroad.

As part of the program, learners can enjoy guest lecturers, mentors, real-world projects, and collaborative learning experiences. Upon graduation, MSX students join Stanford's 31,000 business school alumni. Professionals interested in more traditional business programs can select Stanford's MBA or a related certificate.

Specializations:

  • – Career Advancement
  • – Entrepreneurship
  • – Career Change

Applying to Stanford

  • – Submit personal information that shows how an applicant's background has influenced their worldview.
  • – Applicants need eight years of work experience.
  • – All prospective students must submit GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores.
  • – All students must submit two essays.


4. Yale University

Private university in New Haven, Connecticut, accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education and AACSB

An Ivy League college founded in 1701,Yale became the third college in the U.S. and awarded the country's first Ph.D. Today, the institution serves more than 13,000 students in 14 schools.

Yale School of Management, Master of Advanced Management

Yale's degree focuses on preparing engaged and innovative managers for leadership roles in cutting-edge Industries. The program's coursework rests on the twin pillars of social leadership and major trends in global business.

Students self-design most of the curriculum, and the required coursework includes just two classes — global leadership: big issues and global leadership: personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Students also take popular electives such as global financial crisis and behavioral and institutional economics.

During the program, participants can take advantage of Yale's considerable career resources, including career immersion and mock interviews. Upon graduation, students become part of Yale's alumni network, which includes 100,000 members and 6,000 former business students.

Applying to Yale

  • – Applicants must hold a degree from a Global Network for Advanced Management member school.
  • – Application packets should include a letter of support from the current school along with a video interview.
  • – Yale invites selected applicants to face-to-face interviews.


5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education and AACSB

Serving nearly 12,000 students, MIT began in 1861 and boasts a stellar reputation in applied science and innovation. Today, the institute collaborates with several other schools in the Boston area and around the world.

MIT Sloan School of Management, Master of Science in Management Studies

MIT's MSMS program complements the MBA or a related degree from one of the school's partner institutions. During the nine-month learning experience, students dive deep into one of MIT's specializations and then complete a thesis on the same topic. Most students take about half of their coursework in their area of specialization. They also enroll in required courses such as analytics tools, explorations in management, and economic analysis for business decisions.

In addition, students may pursue a certificate in sustainability, healthcare, or analytics. After graduation, MIT learners join the university's alumni network, which consists of more than 136,000 members in 90 countries.

Specializations:

  • – Economics, Finance and Accounting
  • – Behavioral and Policy Sciences
  • – Management Science

Applying to MIT

  • – Only graduates of a partner or affiliate school may apply to this program.
  • – Submit a resume, cover letter, video resume, and GMAT or GRE scores.
  • – Selected applicants participate in an interview.


6. University of Chicago

Private university in Chicago, Illinois, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and AACSB

Founded in 1890, UChicago enrolls more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate learners. The school counts more than 100 Nobel laureates among its alumni, the fourth-most of any institution in the world.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Master of Business Administration

Business students at UChicago may pursue a full-time, part-time, or executive MBA. Each of these programs rests on the same educational philosophy. Students complete coursework in accounting, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. They participate in active learning experiences such as case studies, lab courses, and hands-on group projects.

Courses include negotiation, managerial psychology, and leadership exploration and development. Students in the executive program take the same curriculum within a cohort format. The MBA experience concludes with a capstone project. Students may choose integrated strategic management or a global new venture challenge. The full-time and executive MBA programs take 21 months to complete while the part-time program requires 2.5-3 years.

Specializations:

  • – Accounting
  • – Analytic Finance
  • – Behavioral Science
  • – Business Analytics
  • – Econometrics and Statistics
  • – Economics
  • – Entrepreneurship
  • – Finance
  • – General Management
  • – International Business
  • – Marketing Management
  • – Operations Management
  • – Strategic Management

Applying to UChicago

  • – Submit an application along with essays, a resume, letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores.
  • – Applicants to the executive or part-time MBA may submit an Executive Assessment score instead of a GRE or GMAT score.


7. University of Michigan

Public university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and AACSB

A public research university founded in 1817, 20 years before Michigan became a state, U-M now serves almost 50,000 students. The school's athletic teams, known as the Wolverines, compete in the Big Ten Conference.

Ross School of Business, Master of Management

U-M's master of management provides a focused, holistic business education in just 10 months. Learners study marketing, accounting, strategy, and operations to prepare for high impact leadership careers. The curriculum includes preparatory work, boot camps, electives, and a capstone project. Students may also take part in a global learning opportunity in China or focus on emerging economies.

Classes include strategy, world economy, evaluating financial performance, and applied business statistics and analytics. These courses incorporate hands-on learning experiences to help degree-seekers prepare for careers in diverse industries. Students can also participate in extracurricular experiences that help foster real-world problem-solving skills.

Applying to U-M

  • – Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with completed coursework in either pre-calculus or introductory statistics.
  • – Submit GMAT or GRE scores along with essays, letters of recommendation, and an application.
  • – An interview completes the application process.


8. Columbia University

Private university in New York, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the AACSB

An Ivy League academic institution founded in 1754, Columbia now educates more than 33,000 graduate and undergraduate students. It maintains the third-largest private research library in the United States with 14 million volumes.

Columbia Business School, Master of Business Administration

Columbia business students learn from 150 faculty members who hold deep industry experience and engage in transformative research. The school's educational philosophy springs from an entrepreneurial mindset, nurtured by its location in the heart of New York City.

Columbia's two-term MBA program consists of two full-term courses and eight half-term courses. Required classes include managerial economics, operations management, and global economic environment. Students may also select electives from a variety of specializations.

The university allows MBA students to pursue a dual degree in political science, social work, education, architecture, or one of a myriad of health-related areas. A dual degree requires 45 credits over three terms.

Specializations:

  • – Accounting
  • – Decision, Risk, and Operations
  • – Entrepreneurship
  • – Family Business Program
  • – Finance
  • – Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management
  • – Leadership and Ethics
  • – Management Marketing
  • – Media and Technology
  • – Private Equity
  • – Real Estate
  • – Retail and Luxury Goods
  • – Social Enterprise
  • – Value Investing

Applying to Columbia

  • – Applicants should hold a strong work ethic and a world-changer mentality.
  • – Contact the admissions office or attend an information session to learn more about transcripts, resumes, recommendations, standardized test scores, and other components of the admissions process.


9. University of California, Los Angeles

Public university in Los Angeles, California, accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission and AACSB

A public research university enrolling about 45,000 students, UCLA offers more than 330 degree programs through 17 schools. Recognized for its sports programs, the school's student-athletes have competed in every Olympics since 1920 except one.

Anderson School of Management, Master of Business Administration

UCLA offers three MBA options — the full-time program, the executive program, and the fully employed program. Business students can also choose to take a master's in financial engineering or a master's in business analytics instead of an MBA. The business analytics degree requires just 13 months while the fully employed program can take up to three years.

The MBA curriculum emphasizes real-world business leadership and career preparation. Courses include organizational behavior, marketing management, and data-driven decision-making. As a capstone project, students may participate in a global access program or a business creation option. Alumni hold jobs at companies such as Deloitte, Amazon, Mattel, and Disney.

Specializations:

  • – Technology Leadership
  • – Consulting
  • – Corporate Finance
  • – Investment Management
  • – Entrepreneurship
  • – Brand Management
  • – Marketing Analytics
  • – Social Impact
  • – Global Management
  • – Executive Development
  • – Healthcare
  • – Real Estate
  • – Sustainability
  • – Entertainment
  • – Accounting

Applying to UCLA

  • – Applicants need a bachelor's degree, two letters of recommendation, essays, and GRE or GMAT scores.
  • – Many UCLA applicants hold work experience, but the school also accepts applications from recent graduates.
  • – UCLA invites selected applicants to an interview.


10. Cornell University

Private university in Ithaca, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the AACSB

An Ivy League institution founded in 1865, Cornell Serves about 25,000 students through seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions. Among its many distinctions, Cornell holds recognition as the first Ivy League university to admit women.

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Master of Business Administration

Students at Cornell can pursue a one-year, two-year, tech, or executive MBA, or they may enroll in a master of professional studies in management. Each of the school's MBA programs includes a STEM designation, meaning that its curriculum emphasizes technology, data analytics, and other components of contemporary business leadership.

Core courses include leading teams, critical and strategic thinking, and microeconomics for management. Students also participate in a management practicum, which includes performing a real consulting project for a corporation and then presenting it publicly. Some learners choose to pursue an immersion program in a particular industry or emphasis. Future academics may continue their education through Cornell's Ph.D. in management.

Specializations:

  • – Healthcare Leadership
  • – Finance
  • – Accounting
  • – Technology

Applying to Cornell

  • – Applicants should first explore all the MBA options before applying.
  • – Prospective students interested in the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program should apply through the tech admissions site.
  • – All other applicants can attend virtual or on-campus admissions events to learn more about applying to Cornell.


Our Rankings Methodology

To arrive at our ranking of best business management master's degrees, we reviewed business programs that provide either a master of business administration or a master's in management.

This ranking equally combines the results of four of the most influential business school rankings in order to give a more well-rounded perspective of the business programs available. We calculated the combined score of those prestigious four rankings with each school's average graduate school tuition and average early-career salary to arrive at an ROI on the business management programs.

What To Expect From Top MBA and Master's in Management Programs

No one's higher education experience quite mirrors anyone else's. Each experience reflects the uniqueness of the learner. Across the board, though, students can expect certain commonalities from an average business or management master's experience.

A full-time MBA or master's in management usually takes about one year to complete. Part-time and executive programs can take 2-3 years. These degrees usually require 30-45 semester credits depending on the curriculum structure and any concentration options available. Students can shorten their time in the classroom by pursuing an accelerated degree. Some learners, however, may choose a hybrid or online degree that could take more time but also allow more flexibility for work or family.

The standard business or management curriculum typically includes courses in finance, accounting, leadership, and ethics. Course titles generally include management accounting, marketing management, and microeconomics. Each school puts its own stamp on its curriculum with the electives and concentrations it offers. For example, one school might focus on entrepreneurship while another emphasizes technology leadership.

The master's in management follows a curriculum similar to the MBA. The major difference between the two programs lies in their admission requirements.

Most MBA programs expect prospective students to have a business education background, while applicants to master's in management programs may hold undergraduate degrees in other fields.

Specialized Business Management Degrees

Not all MBAs or master's degrees in management require a concentration. Some students prefer to stick with the classic curriculum. Many other professionals, however, help define their career path by pursuing a concentration option in graduate school.

Degree-seekers choose a specialization option that aligns with their career goals or personal interests. Popular concentrations in business administration programs include finance, corporate strategy, entrepreneurship, and general management.

Although it's a short degree, the master's in management can include concentration options as part of its curriculum. Students may choose to specialize in an area such as accounting, marketing, finance, international business, or information technology.

Some schools provide formal concentration pathways, while others allow students to create their own concentrations from a variety of elective courses. Some concentrations also offer a higher return on investment than others. That's one reason students should carefully consider all the available choices prior to choosing an online MBA program.

Popular Master's in Business Management Courses

Most schools draw from diverse disciplines when creating a curriculum for their master's degree in business management. Courses usually include finance, accounting, marketing, leadership, ethics, business development, and economic statistics. Many schools offer specializations or elective courses along with a core curriculum. Generally, students conclude their program by writing a thesis or completing a capstone project.

  • Leading an Organization: Students in this course consider the personal and organizational aspects of leadership. Topics include interpersonal skills, creativity, and conflict management. Enrollees also discover their personal leadership style, strengths, and vision so they can drive change effectively in their careers. Upon finishing the course, students should know how to lead themselves, their teams, and their organizations more effectively.
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility: In this course, future managers learn about the legal, ethical, and business consequences of their decisions. Topics include corporate ethics, dealing with groupthink, diversity, civic engagement, and sustainability. Students learn to construct an effective framework for ethical decision-making in the modern business world.
  • Marketing and Management: This course focuses on the principles of brand management and marketing strategy. Students learn about economic price theory, marketing communication strategies, and consumer psychology. Topics include product differentiation, market analysis, and strategic positioning. The course also introduces learners to data and digital marketing, including social media marketing and the role of content in modern marketing.
  • Accounting and Financial Analysis: Accounting courses in most management programs do not train accountants. Rather, they equip management professionals with the knowledge and skills to read financial reports and make data-driven decisions on the basis of those reports. Topics include budgeting, financial forecasting, determining profit, estimation, financial disclosure, and accounting methodologies.

The Master's Capstone or Thesis

Most master's in management programs conclude with a capstone or thesis. These projects help students transition from the classroom to the real world of business management. In most capstone projects, students discover and test a solution to a practical business problem. Those learners who choose to write a thesis typically research and develop an academic concept related to business. Both types of culminating projects typically take 15-20 hours a week, and both require at least one semester to finish.

Most MBA students complete a capstone rather than an academic thesis. Students doing a capstone project may work on a team to research a solution to a business problem and then present their findings in a public seminar.

Learners who write a thesis usually work alone under the direction of a faculty advisor. They often present their findings during an oral defense of their thesis before a committee of faculty members. A thesis may span 40-80 pages in length.

Master's in Business Salary and Job Opportunities

A master's degree in management opens the doors to higher careers and higher salaries across a variety of industries and sectors. According to PayScale, professionals who hold a master of management degree earn an average salary of $76,720, And those who hold a master of business administration earn an average of $88,490 per year.

These degrees can lead to higher wages and advance business professionals into an array of leadership roles. The BLS projects job growth of 5% for management careers between 2019 and 2029. The BLS also projects 5% job growth for business and finance careers in the same time frame.

Management professionals can transfer their skills into a variety of industries. Manufacturing companies, healthcare organizations, banks, nonprofits, and transportation companies all need professional managers. A master's in management can help equip students with the communication, finance, and leadership skills they need to succeed in nearly any industry.

Management Analysts

Management analysts help organizations improve their efficiency. Sometimes called management consultants, these professionals devise ways for organizations to reduce costs or increase income so they can improve the bottom line. Some management analysts work for the same company that they advise, but most hold employment with management consulting agencies.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
  • Job Outlook: +11%
  • Median Annual Salary: $85,260


Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers design, advance, and manage employee compensation schemes. In this role, they may focus on compensation or on monitoring markets and government regulations relative to their industry. Alternatively, they may focus on benefits management, a role in which they develop insurance plans, retirement programs, wellness programs, and other employee benefits.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
  • Job Outlook: +3%
  • Median Annual Salary: $122,270


Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers help an organization's employees acquire and deploy job-related knowledge and skills. In this position, professionals usually lead teams of training and development specialists who conduct actual training sessions. Managers may also create and manage budgets, review and select training materials, and teach new training methods to their team members.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
  • Job Outlook: +7%
  • Median Annual Salary: $113,350


Sales Managers

Sales managers lead teams of sales professionals. They recruit, train, equip, and supervise inbound or outbound sales teams. They may analyze data from the field and set sales goals accordingly. Most sales professionals work in wholesale or retail trade. However, technical and scientific organizations also hire staff members for these positions.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
  • Job Outlook: +4%
  • Median Annual Salary: $126,640


Top Executives

Top executives develop, plan, and execute the policies that drive an organization's mission and help achieve its goals. These professionals may lead a team of marketers, sales pros, accountants, human resources staff members, or product development engineers. For many people, a top executive position represents the culmination of a career.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
  • Job Outlook: +4%
  • Median Annual Salary: $104,690


Selecting Your Master's in Management Program

A rankings list provides a great start to selecting a master's in management program, but prospective students should also consider many other factors. Additional key factors that may affect selection of the right school include:

  • Accreditation: Students should only consider schools that hold regional accreditation. The best business schools also hold programmatic accreditation from an organization such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
  • Cost/Financial Aid: What return on investment does this degree provide? Students should consider both tuition costs and financial aid packages such as scholarships and grants when determining the right school for them.
  • Extracurriculars: Some schools offer learners an opportunity to participate in global learning programs, real-world business situations, or business education competitions. Many schools also sponsor political, social, personal, and religious organizations.
  • Prestige/Reputation: Does the school under consideration appear on any top-25 or top-10 lists of rankings for business schools? If not, what is its reputation within a 100-mile radius of its main campus?
  • Alumni Network: A large network of well-placed alumni can help new graduates make important connections when searching for jobs.
  • Concentrations/Specializations: Prospective students should check whether the schools of interest offer a specialization in what they want to learn.

Should You Get an Online Master's in Business?

Traditionally, business schools offered graduate degrees to management professionals in a face-to-face, brick-and-mortar classroom setting. The advent of online education in the 1990s, however, helped change the face of business school. Internet-based learning platforms allowed students to pursue an online master's in business while working and raising a family. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is further accelerating online education, with nearly all students learning at home in 2020.

Research and Markets now projects that the global online education budget should reach $350 billion by 2025. Overall growth notwithstanding, each student must decide if online education is right for them. Some degrees, such as a management master's program, lend themselves particularly well to online learning. Students in these fields can participate in group projects, virtual labs, and even internships without leaving home.

More and more employers recognize the value of an online education, and many adult students choose a distance learning option for its flexibility and individualized nature. Nevertheless, some students prefer an in-person learning environment because they enjoy the social aspects of school, hope to build a professional network more quickly, or simply learn better when located in the same room with the teacher. Only the student can know what best suits their situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a master's in business management?

A master's in business management can lead to careers in accounting, consulting, finance, business analytics, business development, or related fields. Many top-level executive positions go to people with graduate degrees in business.

What is a master's degree in business management?

An MBA or a master's in management offers an academic background and practical training in the elements of business leadership, including finance, marketing, and operations. The degree usually takes 1-2 years to complete.

Is a master's degree in management worth it?

Yes, a graduate degree focused on leadership and workplace communication can prepare an entry-level manager for a higher-ranking position. The master's in management offers flexible, valuable experience that catches an employer's eye.

What is better: an MBA or MS in management?

It depends on your background, interests, and goals. An MBA captures the major components of advanced business management for business majors, while an MS in management provides a similar experience for people with no business experience or education.

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