A concept that has come up in quite a big way recently, MiM (or Master’s in Management) has also opened up quite a lot of questions to be answered. The biggest one of all – Both MiM and MBA are management degrees, then what’s the difference between them?
Also, most importantly, which one is better?
The crux of the matter is that both degrees are equally good in their own ways, the choice between them depends on the stage of your career you are at, and your ultimate goals. Thus, before answering the question if MIM is better or MBA, it is best to understand the differences between them.
Note – This article refers to only international programs, both master’s in management and MBA. These comparison criteria are not entirely relevant for Indian management programs.
What are the differences between MIM and MBA?
The differences between a Master’s in Management (MIM) and MBA lie primarily on 10 crucial parameters. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Work Experience Required
A MIM demands for 0-1 years of full-time work experience, while an MBA looks for 3-8 years of work ex, thus the average age of a MIM student is much younger (22-24 years) than that of an average MBA applicant (25-31 years). In both cases, a management degree at the bachelor’s level is not mandatory.
The same amount of work (GMAT/GRE, IELTS/TOEFL, SOP, LOR, Essays) goes into both the programs. However, if your GMAT/GRE score is not up to the mark in both the cases, then exceptional extra-curricular activities might suffice in the case of MIM and exceptional work experience might suffice in the case of MBA.
Tentatively, most MBA program last for 2 years (some are for 12-18 months too) and MIM programs, on the other hand, typically last for 12-18 months.
MIM is a 2-decade-old concept, which originated in Europe. Why Europe? Because a major portion of students in Europe tends to study further after completing their undergraduation degrees. Historically, students in Europe, unlike in other parts of the world do not jump into the workspace before a Master’s degree, the reason why a MIM fit into the European system so smoothly. MBA, on the other hand, originated in the USA in the early 1900s and has been prevalent worldwide ever since.
For MBA, the question of recognition doesn’t arise, because it is a widely accepted degree throughout the world. As far as MIM is concerned, it surely is recognized in Europe and 85% of all MIM courses are currently offered by European countries. Recognition is surely not as high as that of an MBA as of yet, but it is fast building its way into industries in UK, USA, Australia, Canada and India. Is it full-fledged already? Not yet. Thus to make it more valuable, people prefer to get work experience in Europe and then plan to come back to their home country. By then they are not only carrying a MIM degree, but have also added international work ex to their credentials.
MIM has more of a theoretical orientation (just like any master’s degree), whereas MBA focuses more on experiential learning, case studies and live projects to expose students to the various facets of management. It is the case in MIM as well, however, MIM or M.Sc. with specific specialization focuses more on niche areas like international business, financial analysis, accountancy etc. and can be research intensive.
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Students who need to complete their education without taking any break in between or students who are looking for a course shift and want to have exposure in the management side would prefer a MIM. Professionals who are seeking development in their respective careers, transformation/career change or feel saturated in terms of salary prospects go for an MBA degree.
8. Job Prospects
MIM leads to roles like associate consultant, junior analyst, and entry-level roles in Advertising Management, Development Management, General Operations, Human Resources Management, Public Relations Management, Sales and Marketing Management. An MBA, on the other hand, will get mid-level and senior positions in the same sectors. For instance, if a MIM graduate will start at an associate consultant position, an MBA will start at a consultant position. A MIM graduate will land at a consultant position after 2-3 years of work experience.
9. Tuition Fee Involved
The tuition fee will vary from country-to-country and university-to-university. But tuition fee involved in the case of MIM is almost half the amount of tuition fee spent on an MBA program. For example, tuition fees in London Business School for the MBA 2019 intake is £82,000 and tuition fees in the same college for Master’s in Management in the 2019 intake is £32,500.
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10. Return on Investment
If I talk factually, then ultimately, the return on investment comes out to be the same towards the end. The reason is that the cost involved in MIM is far less than what the tuition fee of MBA demands. Having said that, the initial salary earned by an MBA is higher than that of a MIM graduate.
Now I’ll address a few specific myths and questions that are commonly asked when pitting MIM vs. MBA.
Master’s in Management (MIM) or MBA Overseas: Which Degree Should You Choose?
As I mentioned before, there is no objective answer to it, and the choice would depend on your career goals and priorities. So, let’s further consider possible instances, which might help us answer the question better:
Who should go for MIM?
- If you wish to complete your higher education before getting into the workspace.
- If your undergraduate degree is not helping you land in the kind of profile you wish to pursue and/or is not adding to your credentials. In this case, graduating from a top-tier MIM college adds to your brand value.
- If you wish to pursue a career shift to management immediately after graduating. For example, an engineering student has realized that engineering was a wrong choice; instead, management would have been a better option and decides to have a course switch immediately after his graduation can prefer a MIM program.
Who should go for MBA?
- If you have ample (at least 3 years) work experience in the field of management and feel saturated in terms of salary and profile.
- If you have (at least 3 years) work experience in any other field and you either plan to make a career shift or you wish to take up a managerial position in the same field.
Yet another popular route that students are undertaking presently is a MIM followed by an MBA. Typically, such students work for 3-7 years after their master’s in management degree, and follow it up with an MBA.
Keep in mind that no matter whether you go for a MIM or MBA, your investment will be worthwhile only if you end up cracking top-tier colleges. And in either of the two cases, you’ll require an exceptionally outstanding profile, thus it is important to keep it central to your admission plans.
Don’t just make the right call, put it all the efforts to finally make it to the goal. All the best!
If you still have doubts about your decision, and require more extensive overseas program selection or admissions help, consult our study abroad experts.