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A Master in Business Administration vs a Master in Logistics –
Is it worth specializing in your Master’s degree?

You’ve completed a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and decided to continue your studies – now you’re asking yourself whether you should concentrate more on one field in your Master’s degree? The differences between a Master in business administration and a Master in logistics are not always clear. Below you’ll find some information to help you decide.
Three students talking about the advantages of specialising in a Master's programme in business administration.

A specialist or general course – what would suit me?

We live in the age of global trade and international supply chains. As a result, good organization and logistics are vital. And for that you need the right people. The advance of digitalization and the increasing complexity of markets call for more specialized and far-reaching know-how from logistics experts. Is a “normal” business administration Master’s course enough to fully prepare graduates for the demands of the job? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to choose a specialist Master’s course in logistics if you hope to work in international trade? Questions such as these are likely to be on your mind if you have reached the end of your Bachelor’s course and are not sure whether to continue with further studies. However, this issue will also be of interest to you if you have gained a few years of professional experience since earning your Bachelor’s degree and are now keen to advance your career. Let’s take a closer look at the two Master’s courses.

What are the advantages of a Master in logistics?

The main differences between the various courses lie in the areas of focus. These vary from university to university, and it is certainly worth taking a close look at the study regulations! Alongside controlling and distribution, the curriculum should put a particular emphasis on supply chain management. Without the latter, it’s impossible to understand modern-day logistics. In addition, more general business-management content is embedded in in-depth modules on the various subdivisions of logistics, e.g. controlling, production, and distribution.

Some universities are also geared more towards a certain industry with informational and technical aspects. One key difference to a Bachelor in business administration is the focus on project management. In this module, soft skills such as stress resistance and flexibility in everyday working life are also taught. As a rule, the course modules in a logistics Master have a more interdisciplinary structure than is the case with a general business administration Master.

What are the advantages of a more general business administration Master?

Of course, similar business-related topics are covered in both a logistics and a business administration Master, and some of this content will inevitably overlap. However, some fields are not explored to the same depth or from a different perspective. A business administration Master makes you into more of an all-rounder with broad knowledge in various areas of business. It gives you greater flexibility when choosing your field of work.

One of the advantages of a Master in business administration is the broader range of potential jobs for which you can apply. You should definitely choose this Master’s course if you want:

  • to rise further within the company,
  • to prepare for a position in upper management,
  • take on an executive position in a major trading enterprise.

Why not combine the advantages of a business administration and logistics Master’s courses?

When making decisions, we often think in terms of black and white, and there is a danger that we lose sight of other options that might suit us better. It’s important to keep an eye on the bigger picture:

The Master in Management Program at WHU gives you the chance to combine the benefits of both degrees. In this article we have already seen that supply chain management plays an extremely important role in logistics. If you take a look at the curriculum of the Master in Management course at WHU, you will discover that supply chain management also represents one of the core components. In addition to exploring general issues in business administration and management, you will also take in-depth modules such as Advanced Management Accounting and Control, as well as Advanced Methods of Market and Management. You will also be able to choose from an extensive range of additions, specializations, and extra qualifications that will prove useful later in your career.

Practical orientation is a top priority at WHU. And project management is an important element in the programs of WHU as a whole. At WHU, that skill is taught in a way that is probably unique in the higher education landscape. Project management is not necessarily offered as a single module, but is spread out over all modules in an interdisciplinary manner. In this way, not only is the theoretical aspect taught, project management is used and experienced in practice.

WHU’s international orientation is also deeply embedded in life at the university: All courses are held in English. Furthermore, 40 percent of students come from other countries, and a semester abroad at one of our 200 partner universities all around the world – from Europe to South America and Japan – is a compulsory element of the WHU Master of Management (degree: Master of Science). As a result, you are presented with almost effortless opportunities to gain intercultural skills (which are required by almost every employer these days) as you interact with your fellow students. As they describe their culture and the business landscape of their country from their perspective, you can gain deeper insights into international markets.

On top of that, you also have the unique opportunity to complete an internationally recognized double degree at WHU. That means you can combine WHU’s Master in Management with another degree from one the 200 international partner universities. And, of course, you can also choose a specialist logistics Master’s degree. You can thereby collect several bonus points for your CV while gaining important insights into international contexts at the same time.

If you’re still skeptical, we’d like to finish by presenting the WHU Career Center: A whole team of study advisers will take care of your questions and problems, highlight opportunities, and help you develop a strategy for how you can best take advantage of them.