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All about the difference between the MiM and the MBA ?


Traditionally the Master in Business Administration (MBA) was THE postgraduate education in general management. But within the first decade odthe new millennium a new programme type with a similar focus emerged: the Master in Management (MiM).

Its key trigger was the so-called Bologna reform by which European countries since 1999 exchanged their traditional 5-year academic programs for the Anglo-Saxon bachelor-master system. As the bachelor in business required a consecutive master in business in order to offer students the same qualification as the old diploma the Master in Management was born jointly with other business masters. But today the Master in Management is not just a follow-up program for business students nor is it offered only in Europe: Instead, business schools all over the world offer Master in Management programs to graduates of all academic areas. By this, however, the Master in Management became a severe menace for the MBA, and many business schools offer both types of education succeeding(a) the strategy maxime – better cannibalizing yourself before yourcompetitors do it.

But are the Master in Management and the Master in Business Administration really the same? Here are the most important differences.

1. Difference between MiM and MBA: Age

MiM programs ordinarily do not require professional experience although they are open to young professionals who have been working for some time, mostly up to a year. As a consequence, the MiM students are generally much younger than fulltime MBA students, at some schools the average age is 23 years (with a range from 20 to about 27 years) compared to the average age of 27 to 32 in MBA programs.

2. Difference between MiM and MBA: Professional experience

Accordingly, the professional experience of MiM students does not play a major role during the studies whereas MBA programs gain a lot of value from the professional experience their students bring into the course discussions. In a nutshell: Master in Management programs are primarily designed for talents in their early career stages right after their undergraduate degree or after about one year in job. MBA programs in contrast target people with about three to five years of professional experience.

3. Difference between MiM and MBA: Tuition fees

As for the tuition fees, the MiM programs are cheaper than MBA programs. Whereas the most expensive fulltime MBA program in Europe – offered by the London Business School – sums up to € 60,000 the most expensive MiM programs cost only about half of that. This may have to do with the different target groups: young people who have not yet been able to earn and save much money on the MiM side and experienced people in or aiming at leadership positions on the MBA side.

4. Difference between MiM and MBA: Curriculum

As for the curriculum, MiM and MBA programs seem to lap up to a large degree depending on the respective program. Both offer general management courses, integrated team work, case studies, and a practical oriented approach. MiM programs, however, seem to focus a bit more on certain management disciplines and offer specialization areas whereas MBA programs offer some electives in addition to the core courses but without a distinctive specialization.

5. Difference between MiM and MBA: Admissions criteria

For getting admitted to an MBA program, GMAT scores are highly relevant. Especially business schools with high ranking-positions use the GMAT to identify high-calibre people. 600 points are widely seen as a minimum requirement to become admitted at a renowned school. Average scores usually range around 650, 660 or even higher. In contrast, the majority of MiM programs (though not all) and especially of the shorter programs require a first degree in business or economics.

Master in Management or MBA – what to chose?

Overall, the MiM is a further qualification for young talented and ambitious people who comprehend their bachelor degree as not sufficient for their early career plans. MBA students on the other side usually have started their careers already and want or need new knowledge, analysis tools, and networking opportunities for example to change their function or line of business or to meet the challenges of a promotion. An overview of the Master in Management can be found at the Master in Management Compass.

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