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Spot the Difference: The MSc versus the MBA

Finding your path to career success with WHU

Now that you’ve decided to pursue a Master’s program in business management at WHU, you’re probably considering whether an MSc (Master of Science) or MBA (Master in Business Administration) is right for you. But what’s the difference? We’ve compiled the key distinctions to help find the course that will help you reach your future career goals.

WHU offers the opportunity to gain expert, leading knowledge through four MSc programs – the Master in Management to develop existing know-how for a comprehensive and intercultural business skillset, the Master in Finance to succeed in the financial world, the Master in Entrepreneurship to bring your entrepreneurial ideas to life, and finally the Master in International Business, a management degree for those without a background in business. There is also the Part-Time Master in Management (Master of Arts), for those who wish to work while they study.

WHU also offers three MBA (Master of Business Administration) Programs – the Part-Time MBA, the Full-Time MBA, and the Global Online MBA. The different formats provide you with the option to return to full-time study or to balance your learning alongside work. The MBA programs are developed for young to more experienced professionals looking for new management knowledge to advance their career.

The MSc and MBA programs are tailored to deliver the latest research, real-world business knowledge, and an international perspective. If you’re interested in general business management, you now have two options – a Master in Management or an MBA. Both cater for students interested in general business management and at WHU, both programs are highly ranked with the opportunity to gain plenty of practical and international experience. So, how are they different?

Work experience

One of the key differences between the Master in Management and the MBA programs is the level of professional experience gained by students. If you have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in a business related subject or have no more than two years of work experience, then WHU’s Master in Management program is for you. Advanced courses across all aspects of business administration such as accounting and marketing, build on your existing knowledge to take your theoretical and practical business understanding even further.

The MBA on the other hand, is for young professionals with more experience. These students have been in the workplace slightly longer with at least two years of experience and typically come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. If you’re looking to secure a management position or to change your career, an MBA provides you with the expertise to take your career to the next level.  


The difference in professional experience as pre-requisites for both courses naturally means the age group of each class differs too. The average age in WHU’s current Master in Management class is 23, while in the MBA cohort it is 30.

The future

Graduating from either a Master in Management or an MBA program stands you in good stead for a successful and fulfilling career. Having expanded your business knowledge both practically and theoretically over the course of a Master's degree, the Master in Management opens the door to opportunities with the possibility of a more advanced position within management, or provides the foundation for further study in business research.

The MBA qualification is well known to hiring managers and is the typical postgraduate route to a management position for students with or without an academic background in business. The hands-on, real-world experience embedded into the program equips you with the skills to gain advanced job hires after graduation.

Researching your postgraduate journey takes time, but it’s worth the effort to find a program that suits you, your personality, and goals. Find out more about each of WHU’s MSc programs, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions – our Master team is here to assist you throughout your postgraduate journey. 

Maximize your career impact with a Master Program from a top-ranked business school

Become an influential leader with the #1 MBA Program in Germany

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