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Study MS or MBA abroad – which is better after engineering?

What’s the difference between MBA and MS? Which is the ideal choice after engineering?

| 28 Jul 2014 | Updated on 09 Mar 2018 | 36.8K Views
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Study MS or MBA abroad?

There is no right or wrong choice between an MS or MBA – it’s what works best for you.

Are you planning to study abroad this year? And are you struggling between two choices – Should I study an MS or MBA abroad this year? Which course will benefit your career in the future?

Students who usually want to play more professional roles in their lives, in the long run, and believe that they can be good in any business or entrepreneurship, tend to choose an MBA degree abroad. But students who want to follow a different approach, say get into research or work for a year or two in companies and then get into teaching, tend to choose an MS degree abroad over MBA.

Normally, engineering students in India are the ones who are in constant look out for an overseas degree in MS or MBA; they face a tough choice during the fourth year of study – ‘Should I study MTech or MS abroad?’ or ‘Should I choose an MBA degree at a reputed B-school abroad?’ These questions do not have easy answers. A lot of factors come into play, like finances, career aspirations, knowledge quotient and aptitude and the patience to study.

Look for MBA programmes at popular institutes abroad

An engineering student’s conundrum

A full-time engineering undergraduate degree lasts for 4 years. The trend shown in the higher education sector in India is that most engineering graduates work for 2 or 3 years, save money, prepare for the GMAT, write the test and either go abroad for an MBA or write the CAT and join a premier Indian B-school. 
The contentious issue here is if the end goal is to do an MBA, what is the point in spending so much money on an engineering course and studying for an extra year?

There are two ways of looking at this scenario!

First, after completing a regular arts or science undergraduate course, it is difficult to find a well-paying job. Same is true for engineering graduates who might find it difficult to make it big after completing a BTech degree.

Second, some students who want to move to a higher designation, after graduating, consider an MBA as the next ‘best’ step, which helps them grow professionally.

An MBA or MS Abroad – reflecting on choices!

So it all boils down to just one question finally: ‘What exactly do you want to do in life?’ If you are able to answer this question honestly and work towards your goal —then you are all set.

If you wish to focus on engineering as your core passion and work in an engineering-related sector or conduct research in engineering or take up teaching engineering as a career, then an MS or an MTech would be a good choice.

But, if you are one of those people who wants to learn management and leadership skills, how to manage people better and how to make logical decisions in a business, then you should choose a degree in MBA. Most institutions abroad demand that students should have prior work experience of at least 2 years before taking an MBA programme. In this case, the BE degree + 2 or 3 years of work experience and then going for an MBA makes sense.

How to choose between an MBA and MS abroad?

Below are some questions that you need to think of, if you are unsure about which course to choose:

  1. Do you have the patience to work somewhere and then go for an MBA abroad?
  2. Are you ready to make heavy investments for an MBA degree abroad since most MBA courses are expensive, especially at some of the reputable B-schools abroad.
  3. Are you ready to do away with your technical skills? If no, then an MS or MTech would be ideal for your career.
  4. Are you willing to get into research? If yes, then an MS or MTech is your call.

There is a high demand for trained engineers with relevant postgraduate degrees and relevant research experience. The world of engineering is huge with opportunities in manufacturing, oil and petro-chemicals, automobiles, computer technology, communications, infrastructure and a whole lot of other industries. MBAs can also offer their expertise in diverse fields like finance, marketing, sales, human resources and administration. There are MS graduates who pursue MBA to move to a higher role in their domain but, highly unlikely, there are few MBA graduates who pursue an MS.

There are two types of people who choose MBA abroad:

  1. The first type believes that the investments they make will yield well in future once he/she gets a job in a reputable company.
  2. The second type is wary of the investments they make so they tend to stick to an affordable route, i.e., an MS. Students studying an MBA on an education loan might find it difficult at times to repay the heavy burden, thus avoiding taking loans and sticking to studying MS.

It’s all about what you want in this ‘one’ life!

Though both MS and MBA are postgraduate degrees that will help you increase your skills and knowledge, it’s what you want to do with either degree that decides everything.

Students who have an analytical and technical bent of mind are more suited for MS and MTech whereas students with an aptitude for entrepreneurial and managerial skills are more suited for an MBA. So let your ambitions and necessities choose your higher education degree. Do not opt a course to just be part of a ‘herd’. Do not end up studying something which will not let you secure a job. Look at the various MS and MBA courses listed on our website and make a wise decision.

Remember each course has its benefits, and the world needs all kinds of people to continue. We need engineers as well as financial analysts and stock brokers! There is no right or wrong choice between an MS or MBA – it’s what works best for you.

Do let us know what you think of this article?

Also if you have any queries regarding education abroad or if you need any assistance with your admissions, either MBA or MS, you can speak to our study abroad counsellors. 

Need help choosing a course?

Jenifer George Jenifer George,
Study abroad expert.
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