MBA vs Masters in Project Management: Tips & Differences

Choosing the right master’s degree programme can be challenging, especially for those looking to advance their business and management and project management careers. Two popular courses for those seeking specialised education in these fields are MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and a Masters in Project Management (MPM)

Both programmes offer unique benefits and can lead to rewarding career opportunities, but it is crucial to learn their main differences to make an affirmed decision. 

An MBA programme offers a broad understanding of various business practices, while the MPM program focuses specifically on the principles and techniques involved in project planning and execution. 

In this article, we will explore the distinctions between MBA vs MPM, including the career path and benefits of each industry to help you determine which programme fits your long-term career goals.

How to Know If You Should Get an MBA or Masters in Project Management (MPM)

MBA is a step ahead of an undergraduate degree in business and management. Most universities and colleges have MBA programmes with a course duration of about two years. Some globally recognised universities, such as Bangor University, University of Sunderland and many others, have one-year MBA programmes available.

The programme consists of core modules in business administration, such as finance, marketing and business law. 

Management training is an essential part of the curriculum, and areas such as leadership skills, organisational behaviour and human resource will also be covered. 

An MBA degree has excellent value in the job market. It is considered a prerequisite to enter specific fields such as strategic business planning and handling of hedge funds and private equity firms. If your interest lies here, consider an MBA vs Project Management to further your qualifications and pursue your dream career.

On the other hand, a Master’s degree in Project Management provides advanced teaching to those who have completed their project management degree. 

The programme consists of core modules in project planning, execution, management skills, management techniques and project research. 

Critical thinking is also an essential skill taught in the curriculum, which trains students to make decisions in complex scenarios.

The Master in Project Management also has excellent opportunities, as the project management field is bound to see an increase in project-related jobs in the next decade. According to a report done by Project Management Institute, a US-based not-for-profit organisation released this year, there will be 88 million professionals working in project management roles by 2027.

If you enjoy managing projects and people, a Master’s in Project Management may be a good choice for a fulfilling career.

Top 5 Differences between MBA vs Project Management

MBA and Master in Project Management have well-defined differences that can affect your career goals. You must understand these core differences between MBA vs Master in Project Management before you begin your learning journey. Here are the top 5 differences between MBA vs MPM.

1) Learning Objectives

MBA covers a wide range of subject areas and is for individuals interested in learning more about all business aspects, such as finance, human resource, and business law.

Master in Project Management, on the other hand, is a specialised field focusing on details such as project planning, execution, and management skills.

2) Career Opportunities

The MBA is reputable as it is a widely recognised business degree no matter which part of the world you are in.

If you are a mid-career individual looking to advance your career or if you are looking to explore a new opportunity overseas, pursuing the MBA vs Masters in Project Management may be the most fitting choice. 

The Master in Project Management, however, could equip professionals with a more decisive competitive edge in the job market as the number of project management positions increases.

In 2019, a report published by global job site Glassdoor revealed that project managers rank highest in terms of sought-after jobs in the UK. Therefore, pursuing a career in project management could be a safe option for candidates.

3) Preference for working style

MBA vs Project Management may be good if you prefer learning how to strategise and plan for business growth. 

However, if you want to understand more about implementing these plans and driving them to success, working in project management might be the better fit.

Therefore, envision what you see yourself doing in your career before you decide on the course to pursue.

4) Security and flexibility in the job market

Survey findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council show that many top MBA programmes have seen 90% of their graduating class land jobs immediately. MBA graduates have more knowledge and experience in many aspects of business, so there is more flexibility for those pursuing the MBA vs Project Management graduates with specific knowledge in a field.

Masters in Project Management graduates may require relevant working experience to increase their chances of employability, as most companies prefer an experienced candidate.

5) Industry

MBA graduates will focus on a general area of business vs Project Management and may be in different work sectors, such as banking, hospitality, and marketing.

If you would enjoy the challenge of working in different sectors while evolving your skill sets specifically for each sector, pursuing a Master’s in Project Management may be a good option for you.

MBA vs Masters in Project Management Course Fees

Next, the course fees may differ at every educational institute in Singapore. Here at MDIS, our tuition fees for the MBA programme are S$23,760.00* for local applicants and S$27,864.00* for international applicants. 

For the Masters in Project Management programme, the tuition fees are S$19,980.00** for local applicants and S$25,164,000** for international applicants. 

You can visit the websites of different educational institutes to see the course fees and then decide on the best programme and choice of educational partner for your needs.

*Source: MBA from University of Sunderland, UK

** Source: Master of Science Project Management from University of Sunderland, UK

MBA vs Masters in Project Management Entry Requirements

The entry requirements also vary for every educational institute. At MDIS, an MBA programme applicant must be at least 19 years of age and have a relevant undergraduate degree to be considered. 

However, if you do not possess a bachelor’s degree – but have years of working experience in a senior role, you will be considered by academic judgement (proof of managerial experience and capability).

The entry requirements for the Masters in Project Management course, however, are slightly tricky. You can visit our programme details page to guide you in the eligibility criteria.

Career Opportunities with an MBA vs Masters in Project Management

The MBA programme opens many career opportunities for graduates, such as senior roles in commercial and government organisations. Some examples would be a business development manager, a regional manager or a marketing manager in an organisation.

On the other hand, a Master in Project Management graduate would be gaining an extensive skill set which is highly desirable in many industries such as finance, insurance, healthcare, construction and information technology. Some standard job titles for MPM graduates are risk manager, project manager, facilitator etc.

Conclusion

We hope that the above information has given you valuable insights on the MBA and MPM programmes, and is useful in helping you to decide which programme works best. At MDIS, we embrace a lifelong learning culture to maximise all our students’ potential. 

Established in 1956, we are a pioneer in the education industry, offering a range of full-time and part-time programmes, from diplomas to doctorate degrees. If you have any queries or doubts, please contact our education consultants; they will be glad to provide you with the best study plan for your needs.

Muhd Erfan

With a passion for knowledge and a commitment to intellectual rigor, Erfan explores complex subjects with depth and clarity.

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Muhd Erfan

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