Operations MBA Vs. Marketing MBA

Mar 27, 2019

Students trying to decide between MBA programs in operations or marketing should consider their career goals and interests. Here we discuss other factors, including admission requirements, which may help make your decision.

Operations (or operations management) and marketing are typically offered as available concentrations or specializations for many different Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. A degree in operations tends to focus on the background processes of business, while marketing degrees focus on the visible, consumer side. Explore other similarities and differences between the degrees below.

Operations MBAs and Marketing MBAs

Master of Business Administration in Operations

MBA programs in operations or operations management are available in on-campus and online formats and may require around 36 to 39 credits to complete. Some of these programs may offer a 1-year or 2-year degree plan and give students flexibility in scheduling courses. These degree programs generally require a capstone course and include various hands-on learning experiences through labs, projects, case studies, simulation games, and more. Students in these programs generally take some core business courses, such as economics, accounting, and management, as well as courses in the operations concentration that discuss subjects like project management, lean process, quality management, and supply chain management. Graduates of these degree programs are prepared to work in a wide range of careers, including those in supply chain management, consulting, general management, distribution, manufacturing, and transportation.

Master of Business Administration in Marketing

MBA programs in marketing are also available on-campus and online and can usually be completed in about 2 years, but some may be completed in as little as 15 months. Online programs may allow students to move at their own pace and courses are typically 7 or 8 weeks in length. Programs in general may range from around 36 to 45 credits to complete and may include a capstone course. Students usually take core business courses for the MBA portion of the degree in subjects like business strategy, accounting, leadership, economics, and marketing, and then specific electives in marketing that discuss subjects such as brand management, pricing, digital marketing, sales, consumer behavior, and promotions management. Graduates of these degree programs are qualified to work in careers related to advertising, sales, public relations, market research, online marketing, branding, and more.

Common Entrance Requirements

Admissions requirements for the various MBA specializations are usually the same, but requirements for individual MBA programs may differ by institution. Some of these programs may offer admission on a rolling basis and/or suggest students contact an admissions advisor to walk them through the process. Most of these programs require students to have at least a bachelor's degree, and some programs may require students to meet a minimum GPA, take the GMAT or GRE and/or have prior coursework in areas such as calculus, statistics, business, and economics. Many applications for MBA programs require students to include their transcripts, letters of recommendation, resume, and essay responses. Some programs may include video essays and/or have an interview process that may take place on- or off-campus.

MBA programs in operations or marketing can usually be completed in 1 to 2 years and are likely to be available in a flexible, online format. These programs consist of general business courses, as well as courses within the respective concentration.

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