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Comparative Analysis Of Ph.D. and MBA Degrees: What Is Better to Pursue?

Posted: September 27, 2016 To: CareerBy: Neighthan
Comparative Analysis Of Ph.D. and MBA Degrees: What Is Better to Pursue?

Ph.D. and MBA degrees are both respectable achievements available at the higher levels of education. While either of them will bring you great value, it is important to know that they are not interchangeable. There are specific pros and cons to each, so it is important for you to have some specific goals for the future. Things you need to think about are:

  • Your career plans. Some careers could benefit more from a degree than the other.

  • Degree requirements. A little bit of research will show you what the best fit for your situation would be.

  • Time and money investment. Some people will desire to join the workforce sooner (MBA), while others would like doing more research in a field (Ph.D.)

Main differences between Ph.D. and MBA Degrees

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and, as its name would tell you, it is a degree specific to the general field of business, with all its typical areas: finance, marketing, consulting, entrepreneurship, management and others along the same lines.

MBAs are generally aimed at those who want to join the working world sooner than a Ph.D. would generally allow you. They are designed to provide students with skills that are relevant to the business world. Whether you join other companies or start your own, this degree is perfectly suited for you if you appreciate the practical side of things. As expected, MBAs are generally quite appreciated and provide good business knowledge, meaning that you won’t feel like you are missing out on what a Ph.D. brings you. What’s more, you can still pursue them one after the other if that is what you desire. There are even some cases where they can be followed at the same time, in a dual degree program.

Let’s talk a bit about PhDs now. These types of degrees are aimed at students that are more interested in doing extensive research in a field than joining the working field sooner. It is the degree required to teach at most universities.

Even positions outside the academic field still provide you with research options. Many companies or government organizations that focus on the advancement of a field are in search for Ph.D. graduates to bring their contribution.

Ph.D. and MBA programs

As you would expect, there are significant differences between the two types of degrees, seeing how they each have their own goals and approaches.

MBA programs are focused on providing students with business skills that can be applied in the real working world after graduation. Some courses are mandatory, but students are soon able to specialize in the business areas that they are most interested in. Group projects are very common since they are ideal preparation for what working in a company would mean. Projects are generally practical, simulating tasks that you will deal with after graduation. They include management activities, creating business plans and financial consulting, to name a few.

Ph.D. programs are generally more focused on the individual than the group. Each student will choose his or her area of research in a field. The first two years will consist of coursework that aims to provide knowledge for a solid starting point. Although it is very likely for students to take part in group projects, the core of the work during the program will be done on an individual level.

Requirements for Ph.D. and MBA degrees

As you would expect, academic requirements vary according to each institution and country. What always applies, however, is the fact that a Bachelor degree is required before you qualify for any of these high levels of education.

In terms of time investment, an MBA program will take less time to complete. A typical program lasts for 2 years, although there are some institutions that offer the option of going through all requirements in 1 year.

Ph.D. programs, on the other hand, take three years at the very least. The duration can also vary depending on the institution and the time the student needs to complete the dissertation.

When it comes to costs, Ph.D. programs can be cheaper due to the scholarships offered to excellent students. The whole tuition can be covered, while students will receive a salary for their research work done. So, Ph.D.s can be more convenient when it comes to costs.

MBAs are generally more expensive and offer fewer opportunities when it comes to scholarships. However, the advantage of joining the workforce sooner, with skills that have applicability in the real working world, often makes it a worthy investment.

As you can see, these degrees offer very different approaches to education, and it makes sense – their goals are different too. It is ultimately up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each and see where you stand.

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