MBA (Generalist Skills) or Master of Science (Specialised Skills)?
The Masters in Business Administration is the premier, and most popular, business qualification. There are currently around 22,000 people in the UK studying for this degree at over 120 universities and business schools and the MBA is equally popular on continental Europe. In the USA over 90,000 graduate with an MBA each year.
An MBA degree is a passport to an international corporate career. Thankfully, you can study for a part-time MBA degree in Singapore as there are many part-time MBA programs which cater to busy working executives.
Fortune 500 multinational companies typically require managerial candidates to have a MBA degree from a recognized university. If you plan to attract the attention of an employer like Goldman Sachs or McKinsey, then you would need to have an MBA from a Top-20 business school like Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg or Chicago. In Asia-Pacific, the Chicago MBA program is available in Singapore and the Kellogg MBA program is available in Hong Kong
MBA (Generalist skills) Vs Master of Science (Specialist Skills)
People at the beginning of their careers, irrespective of industry sector, tend to specialise. Most will concentrate on their particular role, such as sales or marketing. Some focus on gaining a professional qualification, such as Chartered Engineer or Accountant. If successful they can rapidly develop to become respected professionals in one area of expertise. These areas are, however, typically of a specialist nature and a career move to a new organisation may not offer enormous career development opportunities or increased responsibilities.
The MBA is essentially a generalist qualification designed to widen the student's horizon in order to take account of all the major functions of a business as well as their interactions in practice. Because its focus is general rather than specialist, the MBA is targeted at those who can make a contribution to strategy. They may have general management ambitions, but not necessarily. They may also be senior specialists who need a rounded view of an enterprise in order to maximise their particular contribution, and for who better performance in a current job may be as important as early ambitions for promotion.
Both the MBA and the MSc are demanding graduate degrees. Admission to both these programs is highly competitive and people who hold these degrees are perceived to be high achievers, a characteristic valued by employers. Both the MBA and MSc degrees will enhance your career opportunities but they differ in the following:
- MBA is a general degree and offer some knowledge about management across a wide spectrum of topics. It covers an extensive breadth butlacks the depth of an MSc program. MSc programs are specialized degrees specifically designed to equip you with a high level knowledge in a specific discipline.
- An MBA prepares you for a career in general management while a MSc prepares you for a high level career in your selected field. Graduate degrees in professional areas will always be recognized by employers as a signal that candidates are on a developmental track which can lead either to a specialization in the profession, or to advanced management careers.
- There are many MBAs available and the quality of education can varies, MSc programs are highly selective degree which makes up a maximum of about 20% of the graduate education enrollment.
- On the same note, there will be at least four times more MBA holders the market compared to specialist Master degree graduate, making you a rare resource and a highly valued employee or a leader that stands out amongst your peer.
Singapore MBA and MSc Programs
For most of us who are working executives, attending a full-time MBA program is not a tenable option as there are the inevitable career sacrifices to be made. So the next best alternative is a part-time MBA program or an Executive MBA program. In Singapore, there are close to 40 MBA programs available in the marketplace as shown in Edupoll MBA Directory on this website.
MBAs come from almost every conceivable background in terms of first degree, functional role, industry and enterprise including charities, government bodies, health, education and other not for profit organisations.
However, it is important to note that not all MBA programs are created equal. Only a good MBA from a good business school can make a difference to your career and income.
Before signing up for your MBA program, you have to be clear about your objectives for wanting to acquire an MBA qualification. Some common objectives include:
- Boost my CV
- Social status
- Enhance my professional credibility
- Acquire useful knowledge
- Networking with other managers
- Help to advance my career
- Pre-requisite in my industry eg management consulting
- My potential employer hires only top MBAs eg Goldman Sachs
- Sponsorship from current employer
- Part of my lifelong learning agenda
MBA Accreditation Bodies
Students should also look for business schools whose programs are accredited by one of the 4 major accreditation bodies: AACSB, ACBSP, EQUIS and AMBA.
AACSB stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This American institution is widely regarded to be the leading business schools accreditation body in the world. It was founded in 1916. All the top business schools in America are accredited by AACSB.
ACBSP stands for Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) . The ACBSP is the premier accrediting association for business schools and programs with a focus on teaching excellence. The association is focused on what occurs in the classroom while encouraging scholarly research.
EQUIS stands for European Quality Improvement System. Founded in 1997, it is managed by EFMD – the European Foundation for Management Development. Unlike AACSB, the EQUIS accreditation extends beyond business schools and covers all programs offered by an institution from first degree to PhD.
AMBA stands for the Association of MBAs. It was founded in 1967 by a group of UK graduates of Wharton and Harvard. AMBA is more UK-centric whereas AACSB is more international.
Why is accreditation important? It is a rigorous quality process used around the world to monitor, assess and evaluate the standards and quality of the education a student receives at a college, university or institution of higher learning. Accreditation status indicates that a college, university, institution, or program meets the standards of quality set by the accreditation organization, in terms of curriculum, faculty, school administration, libraries, financial strength, and student services.
In addition to accreditation, other factors that you would have to consider include:
1. Recognition of the university by your or potential employer
2. GMAT requirements, especially by the American universities
4. Type of MBA eg MBA with specializations, EMBA
5. Length of the program, usually between 12 to 24 months
6. Qualifications of the faculty teaching in the Singapore program
7. Classroom hours
8. Overseas study trips or overseas seminars
9. Assessment method
10. Thesis requirements
11. Profile of students
12. Quality of alumni
Launched in 2004, Edupoll is an online resource for university information in Singapore and Asia-Pacific with a thematic focus on MBA programs in the region. Edupoll is a non-government organization founded by private initiative. Edupoll is the leading vertical portal for university education in Singapore with a reputation for attracting a highly-focused education-seeking audience. Singapore is our main hub as over 120 foreign universities offer programs in Singapore directly and in partnership with local partners. Singapore is also regarded as one of the key transnational markets for university education in the world.
Edupoll is the No.1 in our space since our inception. Our mission is to provide a reliable one-stop source of university information for students, parents, educators and industry stakeholders.We aim to be the top information portal on university education in Singapore, China, India , Australia and other strategic markets in the Asia-Pacific region.