It depends on your career objective. The MBA is a general business degree training students for top level management positions up to CEO or for those with entrepreneurial objectives of starting their own business. MBA students study accounting, finance, marketing, management, statistics, economics, strategy, policy, and other courses. Many MBA programs offer concentrations in these and many other fields, but that amounts to only 2-3 courses in your chosen field in the second year of study. Many students avoid a concentration and take a variety of elective subjects to gain a broader background. Most MBA programs prefer students with 2-3 years work experience after the first degree. Some accept students right out of college if they have good grades and a high GMAT score. Some MBA programs are designed specifically for new college graduates without work experience. But in those programs you don't get the benefit of learning from other students who have work experience. A lot of valuable learning takes place through class interaction.
The Master of Science is a specialized degree in a particular field such as finance, chemistry, accounting, engineering, etc. training students for top level staff and research positions who prefer not to get into general management. The MS typically requires an undergraduate education in the field in which you want the MS, or a closely related field. A finance major does not get an MS in chemistry, and a biology major does not get an MS in accounting. If you want to specialize in a particular field other than business administration, such as finance, marketing, operations management, human resource management, or a non-business field such as public health, or public administration, you should get an MS degree in that specialization. MS programs typically do not require work experience.
MBA programs accept students in any undergraduate field. They prefer students who do not have a business background because they give you the business training but they cannot provide the broad background that managers should have. I have taught MBA students with degrees in Music, Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Psychology, Political Science, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, and many other fields. Most MBA programs prefer students with 2-3 years work experience after the first degree.,
Before you decide on an MBA program explore the Internet for information on available programs. There is a lot of information available. Some sites are limited to specific countries, such as Germany, UK, or Australia. There is a comprehensive free public service with more than 2,000 MBA programs listed worldwide. The nice thing is that it allows you to find the program that best fits you. It allows you to search for programs by location (US, Europe, Far East, etc.), by concentration (finance, marketing, aviation management, health management, accounting, etc.), by type of program (full-time, distance learning, part-time, executive, and accelerated), and by listing your own criteria and preferences to get a list of universities that satisfy your needs. Schools report their accreditation status (look for AACSB accreditation or at least AACSB membership), tuition cost, number of students, class sizes, program length, and a lot of other data. Schools provide data on entrance requirements, program costs, program characteristics, joint degrees, joint degrees such as MBA/JD, and much more. You can use it to contact schools of your choice, examine their data, visit their web site, and send them pre-applications. You can see lists of top 40 schools ranked by starting salaries of graduates, GMAT scores, and other criteria. some of the other sites are less comprehensive, but all are useful.
Answered By: Prof - 5/3/2010