International Master’s Degrees: The MBA vs. MA

International Master's Degrees MBA vs MA

As the world becomes more connected, international issues are a critical element for each business, government or educational institution. From European labor law to cultural issues preventing growth in third world nations, to educating the next group of international managers, the need for those experienced and knowledgeable about global issues has become critical. The international Masters of Business Administration (the MBA degree) and the master’s degree in international studies are two degrees that focus on international issues in education and business. Which degree should you choose?

First, let us discuss the differences. The international MBA is a graduate level degree and can take anywhere from one to three years to complete. In order to qualify for a graduate level degree, you must have a related undergraduate degree, and you must have a good score on the GMAT test.

Graduates will learn the basic principles of business and management on an international stage. The curriculum for the international MBA will likely include studying leadership and management techniques, finance and financial management, business law and ethics, and human resources and conflict management solutions. International MBAs might also spend time learning about risk management globally, recruiting the best team, and economic systems and philosophies. The end goal of the international MBA degree is to turn students into skilled professionals with exceptional management knowledge and the capacity to participate in the global financial system.

So, what is the master’s degree in international studies? First, the MA degree is also a graduate level program that can take anywhere from one to three years to complete (and you must also complete and attain a high score on the GMAT for this degree). Today there are a wide variety of ways to earn your master’s degree. You can choose a fast-track master’s program that takes only a year or a standard two-year program, as well as the many options available on the evenings, weekends, and online. When you choose to specialize in international studies, you will have the opportunity to study both historical and current international issues, cross-cultural awareness, communications on a global scale, and more. You might also learn how to arbitrate and negotiate contracts and solve labor issues on an international scale.

The primary difference between the international master’s degree and the MBA is that the master’s degree is a more academically focused degree with a wide set of applications, including in government and education. The international MBA, by contrast, is a business degree with a focus on international issues. Both degrees can be used in the same arenas, but most individuals interested in pursuing a career in business are more likely to choose the international MBA degree. Of course, those interested in other international institutions might want to pursue the master’s degree in international studies.

Before deciding on your graduate degree program, consider your career aspirations. Each path has the potential to expand your knowledge base, but selecting your direction depends largely on what you want to achieve with your degree. Make your choice. Enroll in an international studies graduate program today.