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A Guide to the Specialized Master’s in Management

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Welcome to MetroMBA's Master's in Management Guide. At the outset, you might think we miswrote MBA, but that’s not the case at all. A Master’s in Management degree is for students who want a shorter graduate program that still increases their business knowledge. These students might not be willing or able to commit two years to an MBA, but still desire to cultivate their leadership skills or specializes in a specific field such as marketing.

Scroll down to find what top business schools offer the degree, what it takes to graduate, and what you can expect after graduation.


What is a Master’s in Management?

A Master’s in Management (MiM) degree is sort of a catch-all degree for leadership, no matter the company, corporation, agency, or industry. Regardless of your specific career goals, a MiM will help you gain the skills and experience you need to become a senior manager. You’ll be trained in a wide variety of business topics, ranging from accounting to strategy, with some options to specialize in a specific field.

Most MiM programs are shorter than a two-year MBA and typically have slightly younger class profiles. Recent college grads eager to jump-start their careers are the target audience for Master’s in Management programs with only a few small exceptions.

For example, Stanford University Graduate School of Business offers an M.S. in Management for Experienced Leaders, which is designed for mid-career business leaders. This one-year program is designed for senior leaders looking to go to the next level in their already distinguished careers.

Students graduate with a MiM degree ready to take on more senior-level positions in their field. They should know how to manage a team and have a sound understanding of business fundamentals.

Typical Coursework

The curriculum resembles an MBA program (40-60 percent course similarity), but might delve slightly more into topics on organizational development, behavioral science, and decision theory. No matter the specific courses, the goal of the Master’s in Management degree is to prepare students to handle management issues across all areas of business.

One thing to keep in mind about a MiM program compared to an MBA is that you’ll focus more on theoretical knowledge compared to practical knowledge. Due to the shorter duration of the program as well as its younger cohort, the program is more about building a business foundation for students who have no experience without taking the time to dive deep into many different specialized areas. The goal is to foster skills in leadership, teamwork, and project management, which are necessary to lead people and engage stakeholders.

Typical classes include:

  • Finance
  • Strategy
  • Project Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Accounting
  • Leadership

Beyond that, depending on the program, you may have the option to specialize your MiM in one area. For example, you could take courses in international business or supply chain management. Other options include:

  • Strategy and consulting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Data analytics
  • Marketing
  • Finance

Program Accessibility

Master’s in Management programs tend to be just ten months long, though some can be as long as two years. They can be full-time, part-time, and online, depending on the institution. The key difference in accessibility is the work experience required from applications.

While an MBA program typically targets applicants with more than three years of experience, MiM programs target fresh graduates. Typical applicants have less than two years of work experience and come from a range of backgrounds outside of business. In fact, most schools don’t want applicants with more than five years of experience. It’s for that reason the average age of MiM applicants is between 21 to 25 years old.

Admissions into a MiM program is similar to that of an MBA program. It can vary by business school, but typically requires a high level of excellence in grades, test scores, and essays. Applications may consist of:

  • Resume (work experience ranges from 0 to 3 years)
  • Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Academic Transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE

Typical Cost

Tuition for a Master’s in Management degree will be less than an MBA, sometimes by more than half. This makes the degree more attractive for younger applicants who still have undergraduate debt. A top quality MiM degree can cost between $18,000-35,000 per year, with international programs being the most cost-effective

Career Opportunities

Master’s in Management graduates typically begin their career with an entry-level position. While the degree does make you more competitive in the market and helps you accelerate the beginning of your career, it won’t pack quite the same punch as an MBA.

However, as a MiM graduate, you’ll be ideally set up to begin work as an analyst, consultant, or another business-related job. You can work in almost any industry and for almost any type of organization from nonprofits to government agencies, large corporations, and small startups.

Whether working at a Fortune 500 company or a small nonprofit, MiM graduates are highly sought-after by HR departments around the globe. Potential employers include:

  • BCG
  • McKinsey
  • L’Oreal
  • P&G
  • BNP Paribas
  • KPMG
  • LCMH
  • IBM

It is important to note that Master’s in Management graduates typically earn less than MBA graduates. While most MBAs typically earn more than $100,000 a year, MiMs will earn $60,000 to $75,000 a year in most cases. That’s because you start out entry-level with a MiM degree and must grow from there.

Since salaries vary so much depending on your industry and career field, we’ll break down median pay based on where you earn your degree.

Duke Fuqua: $67,580

London Business School: $56,315

Michigan Ross: $62,500

The Top Master's in Management Programs

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HEC Paris, regularly regarded as one of the world's premiere business schools, offers one of the best Master's in Management (MiM) programs you can find. The degree offering has been regarded as one of the three best in the world, according to the Financial Times, since 2014, with many double-degree opportunities and 20 specializations.

Graduates from the HEC Paris MiM program, on average, earn around €98,000 per year just three years after earning the degree, with a 96 percent job offer rate within three months of completing the program.

The London Business School Global Masters in Management (Global MiM), delivered jointly with Fudan University in Shanghai, delivers two specialized masters in a two-year, full-time program: a Masters in Management (MiM) and a Masters in Science (MSc) in International Business.

An estimated 100 percent of the most recent graduating class earned career offers within three months of earning their degree, with clear, definitve employment advantages in both English-speaking countries and China.

The MSc in Management at the Imperial College Business School in London, according to the Financial Times, has been regarded as one of the top 20 management master's (both general management and international management) in the world since 2016. An estimated 91 percent of graduates from the one-year program are employed within three months of earning their degree.

At a cost of just £29,500, Imperial MSc grads can quickly turn around and make a significant ROI, with an average annual weighted salary around £55,027.

The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has one of the highest-regarded MiM programs in the U.S., with its Master of Management degree. At only 10 months, its also one of the shortest programs on the list. Around 98 percent of graduates receive an employment offer within six months of graduating and a mean annual base salary of around $62,500.

The majority of Michiga Ross MiM grads earn careers in consulting (over 26 percent), with an even higher average annual salary rate of $73,000.

The 43-credit, 15-course Master of Management Studies (MMS) at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is designed for students with little professional work experience, offering a unique opportunity to study either in the U.S. or China. The most recent MMS class studying in the U.S. featured 139 students, joining the program with just six months of prior work experience, and a GPA of 3.45. The average age of the class is 23-years old.

According to an MMS employment report from Duke Fuqua, " A significantly greater proportion (roughly 60 percent) of the MMS alumni who have a different job than the first one they held after the MMS program have salaries of $80K or above."

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