MBA vs MSc: Which Is The Right Choice for Your Career

MBA and MSc are both excellent options if you’re interested in going beyond your undergraduate studies and gaining more skills. While they are suitable for working professionals, they offer different product understanding and educational experiences.

This article will explore the key differences between an MBA and MSc and which option could best align with your personal career goals and aspirations.

What is an MBA (Master of Business Administration)?

An MBA or Master of Business Administration is an advanced course of study designed to prepare and equip individuals for managerial and senior leadership positions.

It involves studying the theory and application of business and various management principles.

If your goal is to gain broad knowledge on the general approach to management, you should consider taking up an MBA.

Depending on the awarding university and type of MBA, you will study advanced modules in subjects such as Banking and Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Project Management, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management and Leadership & Innovation.

The knowledge is typically gathered from a variety of case studies and wrapped up with a research dissertation.

Different universities offer different MBA programmes with different modes of study ranging from a typical one to two-year duration of either full-time or part-time. Each MBA programme has its own requirements in terms of admission standards or length of work experience for candidates.

In addition, different MBA qualifications come with different accreditations to create a distinctive value between education providers and in terms of quality recognition around the world.

MBA graduates are generally highly competitive and very much sought after among employers and are suitable for individuals with strong business acumen.

The skills acquired from studying an MBA certainly benefit many to become senior leaders who can run various organisations, manage internal and external resources, and ultimately to lead others effectively.

Since an MBA qualification is widely recognised globally, for those of us looking to migrate to a different country in the future, it will certainly be beneficial and valuable in securing jobs and opportunities.

What is an MSc (Master of Science)?

An MSc or Master of Science course focuses on the technical, theoretical, or body of knowledge in a specific subject matter such as Engineering, Science, and Medicine. In today’s environment, many schools are now offering postgraduate degrees in critical areas like public health, health & safety, cybersecurity, as well as tourism & hospitality.

Commonly, MSc courses are available both full-time and part-time and both options usually include writing a research component or a thesis.

It is awarded to candidates who have demonstrated high-level capability and proficiency at an advanced stage of a specialised field of knowledge and hence it is also a pathway towards a doctorate degree.

Individuals with MSc degrees are deemed experts or specialists in their specific fields making it an excellent option for people looking to switch careers and go in-depth towards a specialised subject.

What are the key differences between an MBA and MSc

MBA and MSc have clear distinctions with wide-ranging and far-reaching implications which can affect your chosen career path. It is of vital importance that one determines the personal need and use of an MBA or MSc before deciding to embark on that journey.


  • It’s more general in nature and basically focused on the big picture
  • Covers a wide range of subject areas
  • It suits individuals looking to advance their careers
  • Used to acquire management and business skills


  • Specialised field and is focused on details
  • Covers on specific subject area
  • Suits those who want to go in-depth or switch careers
  • Used to gain technical skills in a chosen area of study

What opportunities are available for MBA and MSc graduates?

Many organisations require specialists with MSc to utilise their in-depth knowledge to bring about a breakthrough and achieve a certain result. On the other hand, organisations also rely on MBA holders to oversee, plan long-term goals, fix problems and drive the business forward. What kind of opportunities are there for an MBA and MSc graduate?

An MBA graduate can work in leadership and managerial role in virtually any industry in the world. The employment opportunities include investment banking, finance, private equity, and consulting. Roles for MBA graduates in traditional business functions also include sales, marketing, business development, and operations, among others.

An MSc degree holder is relevant in the operations of specific tasks depending on the field of study. Various opportunities include laboratory science, medicine, 3D printing technology, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, computer science, engineering, information systems, and other roles that require an in-depth knowledge of a specific subject matter.

Entry requirements for an MBA

So what do you actually need to pursue an MBA programme? Typically, a candidate must be of age 19 and above and have a relevant undergraduate degree, or an equivalent professional qualification to be considered.

To study an MBA, having work experience can be valuable in the admission process to enter the programme. Many MBA programmes don’t specify the course you should study as an undergraduate to be accepted. Hence, your prior qualifications don’t necessarily have to be finance or business-related (although this might help in terms of relevancy).

If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can still be eligible if you can demonstrate a certain degree of work experience. Suppose you’re in a senior role in a company and don’t have a formal academic background. In this case, you can be considered based on academic judgment (candidates should have a portfolio of evidence indicating experience and capability in managerial positions).

Entry requirements for MSc courses

Unlike an MBA, MSc courses will generally require an undergraduate degree in a relevant or similar subject. You could be accepted by demonstrating your interests with work experience in a related field. However, you may need to check with the admission department at the college or university to find out if your qualifications are deemed acceptable. You can visit our website and chat with our friendly education consultants who are ready to help with your programme selection and eligibility criteria.

MBA or MSc? Why You Should Enrol with MDIS!

After comparing between an MBA and MSc degree, you’ll ultimately need an institution that works best for you. MDIS is one of the well-established schools in Singapore since 1956 that’ll help you upscale your educational value.

We offer both full-time and part-time choices for MBA and MSc programmes. Our team of education consultants provides sound and reliable advice on the best possible study path suitable for your qualifications and preferences.

Other articles you may be interested in:
How to choose an MBA Program
10 Proven Skills to Elevate Your Employability


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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