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MS in Leadership Vs. MBA in Leadership

Jul 25, 2019

Can't decide between an MS or MBA in Leadership? Find out what the differences are between the two graduate degrees, as well as what kinds of career choices are available to you once you finish your program.

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A Master of Science (MS) in Leadership typically focuses on communication and strategic thinking skills while preparing you for a career in management. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Leadership centers your education on functional areas of business like finance, accounting, and marketing while giving you leadership training.

A Comparison of an MS in Leadership and an MBA in Leadership

MS in Leadership

With an MS in Leadership, you'll learn how to become a creator and innovator in the professional world. You could use it to begin an academic career and advance into an even higher level of study, or begin a new business endeavor. You'll research and perform data analysis in your preferred specialization while working on projects that contribute toward your portfolio. These programs typically take two years to complete, and may include an internship. Some of the common course topics you'll encounter during an MS program are high performance leadership, financial analysis, and marketing strategies.

MBA in Leadership

MBA programs with a concentration in leadership often offer flexibility for professionals and executives who are looking to add to their professional resume and become managers or directors of their business department. You'll find degrees that can be completed online with flexible scheduling options. For programs that meet in person, you might only be required to attend one day per week on campus or just on weekends. You can expect to study topics such as economics, operations management, and psychology of leadership.

Admissions Requirements

Gaining admission into any graduate program, whether you choose an MS or MBA, first requires that you earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. You'll need to submit standardized test scores, which can be the GRE or the GMAT. Schools may ask you for a personal statement that reflects your career ambitions and why you chose that particular university to earn your graduate degree. Transcripts for your application should be included when you submit your total package, along with letters of recommendation from your previous teachers and/or professional supervisors. You may consider scheduling an information session with a potential school to get a better idea of what your experience will be like if you are accepted.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Earning an MBA or MS in Leadership can qualify you for a career as a top executive, where you'll create policies that help your business or organization become successful. You could also be in charge of appointing subordinates and managers within other departments. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an 8% increase in top executive positions through 2026, which is about the average for all jobs in the country. Top executives made median salaries of $104,980 in May 2018.

You could also take your leadership knowledge into the world of academia and become a postsecondary education administrator, using your leadership knowledge to help a university or college analyze data about school functions. The median annual salary for this position was $94,340 in May 2018, and job opportunities are expected to increase at a faster than average rate of 10% through 2026.

An MBA in Leadership gives students all of the knowledge related to business and leadership while MS in Leadership programs can focus more on leadership. You will come out of either graduate program ready to take on an advanced position in leadership and management.

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