Is a business administration master degree online the right option for you? You have heard all about MBA's and maybe less about MSA's, but what does it all spell and is there a difference between them? You bet. When it comes to the value of an online degree, it is about choosing the right one.
When I first set out to pursue a business administration master degree online to supplement my career, I thought the only option was an MBA. But I really wanted to attend a local extension of a state university that offered their programs online. I was surprised to learn that the business degree that the school offered was an MSA - a master of science in administration. So I had to decide, do I go for the MSA or do I go to another school for an MBA. I needed more information to decide.
Master of Science in Administration: Keyword = BROAD
I learned that an MSA gives you a broad education that teaches a lot about the management of people. It may or may not focus on a particular industry. For example while you can pursue an MSA with a concentration in healthcare, your education will encompass all aspects of healthcare administration rather than just prepare you to manage a segment. So this MSA concentration will teach you all about the business of healthcare and how to influence the people working in that industry.
A more general MSA concentration will focus on the management of people in all types of roles in all types of industries. Not only will you take courses in the expected business areas such as economics, business law, and accounting, you will also be educated in broader non-business applications such as psychology and political science.
Another factor that is important is the prerequisites to entering into an MSA program. Most MSA programs do not require direct business experience or classes. You could have received an undergraduate degree in Art History and might be able to now pursue a business administration master degree online without backtracking and taking undergraduate prerequisites. Additionally, you will not have to take the GMAT which you will read about coming up.
Master of Business Administration: Keyword = FOCUSED
The Master of Business Administration provides you with a more focused curriculum in business related topics such as finance or economics. You will be expected to have taken undergraduate courses such as statistics, general business, accounting, and more. You will also be expected to have passed the General Management Admission Test (GMAT) - an exam that measures your ability for success in an MBA program.
Which Letters Are Right for You - MSA or MBA?
So how are you going to decide which program you will pursue? Here's how I decided…
· I figured out what I wanted to do with the degree.
· I found people that had both types of degrees, and learned how the degrees helped in their professions.
· With those two types of information, I determined which degree would be better for the profession that I chose.
So in my situation, I decided I wanted to be a leader in a non-profit organization. I learned what degree people in that role had earned. And I learned what skills were used most. After processing all of that information, I determined that the broader education would be more applicable. Then I began to pursue my business administration master degree online and looked forward to earning an MSA. Through informational interviews with current MSA and MBA professionals, discussions with your school counselor, and conversations with human resources experts, your decision will become clear too.
Share how you decided between an MSA and an MBA.