Difference Between an MBA in Marketing vs MS in Marketing

Earning either an MBA or a master’s degree in marketing may be a great way to jumpstart a career and open new doors to potential professional opportunities. Both degrees offer the opportunity to study advanced concepts and may help you enhance your career. However, a number of key differences exist between the two degrees. The curriculum, course structure and subjects studied are fundamentally different and play a major role in what students learn. 

The Marketing MBA

MBA programs cover a broader subject area than master’s degrees in marketing, which may equip students with skills that are transferable to other parts of the business world. MBA programs tend to emphasize business management and leadership with a more general focus on exploring different specializations within the field of business. Although many MBA programs offer advanced coursework in marketing theory and application, they generally focus on providing students with a broader perspective that covers business management and leadership as well as other subjects like finance, economics and the global economy. MBA programs may be well  suited for students looking to pursue careers as corporate leaders and develop a general set of enhanced skills that can be employed in a wide variety of areas in the business world. 

The M.S. in Marketing

Master’s degrees in marketing tend to focus much more specifically on marketing topics as opposed to business management and leadership. Master’s degree programs for marketing often emphasize subjects like advanced marketing concepts, advertising, media relations, consumer behavior, communications and sales. Thus, marketing master’s degree programs may be best suited for those looking to specifically pursue careers in marketing capacities. 

M.S. in Marketing vs. MBA in Marketing Coursework

Other differences between the two degree programs abound as well. MBA programs often utilize case studies that help prepare future business leaders to address real life business challenges, while master’s degree programs in marketing tend to focus more on studying advanced concepts, theories and strategies specific to the field. Many MBA programs may require a certain number of years of professional experience before students may enroll in them, while master’s degree programs for public relations or marketing generally don’t have this requirement.

Both degrees might offer new opportunities for those hoping to pursue a career as a marketing professional . Knowing and understanding the differences between MBA and M.S.  degree programs in marketing is critically important before taking the step of enrolling in either. 

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