Earning an MBA can lead to better job opportunities, promotions, and a higher salary. The MBA is America’s most popular business degree after all, and just about every business school offers it. While the MBA is America’s most sought after business degree, it’s not the only degree path for students seeking a lucrative position in the corporate world. In fact, there are at least three other advanced business degrees that have grown in popularity over the years. They include the Master of Science (MS) in Finance, the MS in Management, and the MS in Marketing.
The MS in Finance is designed for students pursuing a career in asset management, consulting, corporate finance, investment banking, sales and trading, real estate, investment research, and more. Common course requirements include Financial Economics, Financial Modeling, Financial Reporting, Corporate Value Management, and Financial Econometrics. Students may refine this degree by choosing electives such as Mergers and Acquisitions, International Financial Markets & Instruments, Risk Management, and Bond Markets.
Program lengths vary by school, but the MS in Finance typically takes just one year to complete, full-time. Graduates of this program can expect to average $120,000 per year, according to Monster.com, which lists the MS in Finance as the second best-paying master’s degree in the U.S.
The MS in Management (MiM) is listed by Forbes as one of the fastest growing business master’s degree programs in the U.S. The program is designed for students interested in developing expertise in leadership, collaboration, operating in teams, negotiation/issue selling, communication, and presentations. Graduates of this program will also develop the skills needed to Identify and develop solutions to cross-disciplinary business challenges. Students will take courses such as Diagnosing Organizations, Financial Decision Making, Leadership and Persuasion, Strategic Analysis, Technology Strategy, Collaboration and Innovation Design, and Implementing Organizational Change.
Program lengths vary by school, but the MS in Management typically takes just one year to complete, full-time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professionals in management occupations can expect to earn $100,000 or more a year (depending on the industry/occupation). The following are examples of average salaries for managers in a variety of occupations:
-Computer and Information Systems Managers average $131,600 per year
-Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers average $124,850 per year
-Financial Managers average $117,990 per year
-Sales Managers average $113,860 per year
-Compensation and Benefits Managers average $111,430 per year
-Purchasing Managers average $108,120 per year
-Human Resource Managers average $104,440 per year
-Public Relations and Fundraising Managers average $104,140
-Top Executives average $102,690 per year
-Training and Development Managers average $102,640 per year
The MS in Marketing is designed for students seeking higher-level positions in marketing. The program prepares students for growth areas such as behavioral targeting, social media, and mobile marketing, as well as traditional areas such as statistics, databases, market research, and consumer behavior. Students will take courses in the areas of Advertising & Branding, Business Development and Sales, Digital Advertising & Marketing, Product Management, Marketing Analytics & Customer Insights, and Marketing Management. Typical business and marketing core courses include Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Decision Making, Competitive Marketing Strategy, and Risk & Uncertainty of Business.
Program lengths vary by school, but the MS in Marketing typically takes just one year to complete, full-time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers average $124,850 per year, with top earning Marketing Managers averaging $175,000 or more per year.
Benefits of Graduate Business Programs (Besides an MBA)
Besides the potential to earn just as much as someone with an MBA, MS degree holder’s in these areas (and many other business-focused areas) typically end up paying less for their degree program and they complete it in a shorter amount of time. Further, those wishing to enter a business MS program rarely have to worry about having years of work experience (most applicants are 25 or younger), and some may enter the program of their choice without an undergraduate degree in business. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), some schools allow students of all backgrounds to apply with GMAT test results.
Other Graduate Business Programs (Besides an MBA)
MS in Applied Economics
MS in Construction Management
MS in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship
MS in Economics
MS in Education
MS in Entrepreneurship
MS in Health Administration
MS in Hospitality & Tourism Management
MS in Human Resources
MS in Industrial Relations and Human Resources
MS in Instructional Technology
MS in International Business
MS in Leadership and Organizational Psychology
MS in Real Estate Development
MS in Science in Marketing and Consumer Studies
MS in Science in Operations Management
MS in Supply Chain Management
MS in Public Health
"Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers." U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
"Beyond the MBA: Other Types of Business Degrees May Be More Suitable for You." The Official GMAT Blog. Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 05 June 2012. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
"Management Occupations." U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
"Marketing Managers." U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 20 Mar. 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
Pfeuffer, Charyn. "Which Master's Degrees Will Pay You Back with a Big Salary? Here's a Look at the 10 Highest-paying and Five Lowest-paying Master's Degrees." Monster Career Advice. Monster Worldwide, 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
Symonds, Matt. "The Rise And Rise Of The Masters In Management." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 20 May 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.