MS in Finance versus MBA in Finance: How to decide?
MS in Finance versus MBA in Finance: How to decide?
Pursuing an MS in Finance may seem like the obvious choice if you wish to specialize in finance. But the alternative option of pursuing an MBA in Finance can leave you perplexed.
With the right guidance, however, you can make the right choice.
In this blog, we will dive deeper into MS in Finance vs MBA in Finance. By the end of this blog, you’d be ready to make an informed decision about which degree is right for you.
- MS in Finance is a specialized graduate degree
- Provides in-depth knowledge of financial concepts, theories, and practices
- For students seeking to develop skills like:
- Financial analysis,
- Risk management,
- Investment management,
- Financial modelling, etc.
Get ready to gain clarity and confidence in your career path!
MBA in Finance – An Overview
- MBA in Finance is a broader business degree
- Covers a wide range of business-related topics in addition to Finance. (Such as marketing, accounting, operations, and strategy)
- For students seeking to develop:
- Business acumen,
- Leadership skills,
- And also gaining expertise in finance.
MS in Finance vs MBA in Finance
MS in Finance
MBA in Finance
Cost of program
From $20,000 to $80,000
From $50,000 to $150,000
Top topics covered
Corporate finance, financial modeling, risk management, investments, financial accounting
Finance, accounting, economics, marketing, operations, organizational behavior
Preferred but not always required
Requires 2-3 years of work experience
Forgiving of lower GMAT/GRE scores
Top skills gained
Placement opportunities and prospective job roles
Investment banking, corporate finance, financial consulting, asset management, risk management
Investment management, consulting, general management, corporate finance, entrepreneurship
ROI and average salaries
Generally lower cost and shorter duration leads to higher ROI.
Average salaries range from $60,000 to $120,000 per year
Higher cost and longer duration can still lead to high ROI but may take longer to realize.
Average salaries range from $90,000 to $150,000 per year
MS in Finance: Strengths and Weaknesses
In-depth knowledge of financial concepts and practices
Limited exposure to broader business topics beyond finance
Focused curriculum helps develop specific skills. (Like financial analysis, risk management, and investment management)
Can be expensive, with high tuition and living costs in the USA
Program content is highly relevant to a career in finance
Fewer networking opportunities compared to MBA programs
Typically shorter duration than an MBA, allowing for a quicker entry into the job market
May not offer as much flexibility in terms of course options and electives
More emphasis on technical and analytical skills. This makes graduates highly sought after in the job market
MBA in Finance: Strengths and Weaknesses
Broader program that covers a wide range of business-related topics in addition to finance
Less specialized than an MS in Finance program
Greater emphasis on networking opportunities with fellow students and alumni
Can be more expensive and time-consuming than an MS in Finance program
Flexibility in course options and electives, allowing for customization based on career goals
May take longer to complete than an MS in Finance program
High value in the job market, as an MBA in Finance is often seen as a qualification for top-level management positions
Can be competitive to gain admission to top MBA programs
Decide Between MS in Finance and MBA in Finance
Still confused between MS in Finance vs MBA in Finance?
Ask yourself the following questions to decide whether you should go with MS in Finance or MBA in Finance.
1. Do you want to specialize in finance or gain broader business education with some specialization in finance?
Choose MS in Finance for specialization in Finance.
Choose MBA in Finance for broader business education with some specialization in finance.
2. How much are you willing to pay for the degree?
MS in Finance is generally less expensive than MBA in Finance. However, the cost of the program shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.
3. What kind of career are you looking for?
MS in Finance is ideal for landing finance-related jobs. MBA in Finance, on the other hand, is ideal for managerial and leadership roles.
Some colleges, like Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland also offer specialized career tracks with their MS in Finance program.
Such specializations can make MS in Finance a better option for those looking for specific careers.
With that, you are well-equipped to choose either MS in Finance or MBA in Finance based on your specific needs. So don’t wait, kickstart your American education dream today.
1. Can I do both MS in Finance and MBA?
Yes, you can. With that, you can specialize in finance and also develop strong leadership skills.
You can go for one course after the other or get dual specialization as well.
Institutions like Brandeis International Business School offer dual specialization options worth considering.
2. What are some other alternatives to MS in Finance that I can consider?
Other than MBA in Finance, worthy alternatives to MS in Finance include:
- Master’s in Financial Engineering: A specialized degree combining finance, mathematics, and computer science.
Suitable for those who wish to work in the quantitative finance industry. (For example, risk management, asset management, or trading.)
- MS in FinTech: Offered by the University of Central Florida, a Master’s in FinTech (Financial Technology) is a program that combines finance, computer science, and data analytics.
The course equips you with the necessary skills to succeed in the rapidly evolving FinTech industry.
- Master’s in Economics: It is a master’s program that focuses specifically on economic theory, policy analysis, and research methods.
It is suitable for those who wish to pursue a career in economic research, government agencies, or non-profit organizations.
- CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst): It is a professional certification. A self-study program, it is offered by the CFA Institute. Students are required to pass three levels of exams. And meet specific work experience requirements. It is suitable for specializing in investment analysis and portfolio management.
Some MS in Finance programs, like the ones from Zicklin School of Business, Baruch University, and Miami Herbert Business School are designed to help you in your CFA journey.
Enrolling in such a course can help you get the best of an MS in Finance along with support in your CFA journey.
3. Is MBA Finance a STEM course like MS in Finance?
An MBA in Finance is generally not considered a STEM course, unlike an MS in Finance.
This classification can affect international students who want to work in the US. Those who graduate from STEM-designated programs are eligible for extended work authorization.