MBA vs MSc: Understanding the Difference


An MBA is a professional postgraduate degree program focused on empowering professionals with business and management. A Master of Business Administration degree is designed to provide budding professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in business leadership and management roles. 

An MBA degree helps specialise in areas such as finance, marketing, operations, and strategy. The program includes experiential learning opportunities like internships and case studies to allow professionals to apply knowledge to a real-world setting.

An MSc is a postgraduate degree program focused on a specific field of study within science. It is a more research-intensive program in comparison to MBA and requires the completion of a thesis or dissertation as part of the coursework. MSc programs are typically more specialised than MBA programs and may focus on a specific subject area, such as biology, physics, or chemistry.

MBA vs MSc – Which Is Better? 

An MBA and an MSc are stellar additions to your educational qualifications. Both Master’s level courses come with a level of credibility, knowledge and practical applications that are needed in the real world. But when considering which among the two you need to pick to ensure your career trajectory is met and your growth is ensured, you might want to evaluate a few important criteria. 

Here are some key differences that can help you evaluate whether an MBA or an MSc is the right choice for you.


An MBA in any top college can cost you anywhere between 5-25 lakhs. MBA is considered a lucrative investment, given how excellent the long-term results are. The high-earning potential that comes after an MBA makes it one of the top choices for professionals. Some top-ranked MBA colleges can be far more expensive than conventional MBA colleges.

An MSc course, on the other hand, costs less than an MBA normally does. The cost of an MSc degree ranges between 2.5 lakhs to 10 lakhs, depending on various criteria. However, it is important to note that the cost of an MBA or an MSc largely depends on the institution, location and duration. 


If a professional decides to pursue an MBA degree, a bachelor’s degree and an acceptable score in one of the entrance exams like CAT, MAT, or GMAT will suffice. The entrance exam tests candidates on their understanding of various basic subjects like basic maths needed to get through the course.

For MSc, the student must have a bachelor’s degree in the relevant field. Since the course is theoretical, a strong foundation in the subject is essential.  

Difficulty Level:

An MBA is an all-encompassing course that covers a plethora of topics related to the business world and real-world scenarios. An MBA demands more time and attention and thus is a more intensive course with great outcomes. An MSc is comparatively easier as it harps on theoretical knowledge specific to a subject. 

Career Options: 

Upon successful completion of an MBA degree, professionals can expect to work in managerial and executive-level roles across high-potential businesses and startups. One can also apply the knowledge from the MBA course to explore their entrepreneurial side. However, if candidates need skill improvement, they can register with Sunstone. It offers industry-aligned training modules to improve employability. 

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The career options for individuals with an MSc degree are diverse and varied and can depend on the specific subject area and skills of the individual. An MSc can open up career options like scientist, teacher, researcher, or consultant. 


MBA is a course specifically designed to provide the relevant exposure which will help in nurturing the leadership and managerial skills of students. The exposure that an MBA program provides depends on the specific curriculum and course offerings of the program. However, most programs cover a range of business-related topics, including finance, marketing, operations, and strategy. 

MBA programs also include experiential learning components, such as internships, case studies, and consulting projects, which provide students with practical exposure to real-world business challenges.

An MSc is a theoretical course wherein students are required to understand the subject and acquire deep knowledge and expertise at a high level. The exposure that an MSc program provides depends on the specific subject area and the curriculum of the program. However, most MSc programs cover advanced topics in a particular field and often include coursework, research projects, and internships that provide students with in-depth exposure to the subject matter.


When checking the salary of an MBA graduate as opposed to that of an MSc graduate, the package an MBA graduate can command is much higher compared to that of an MSc graduate. As per standard norms, an MBA graduate in India has an average base pay of 7.5 lakhs per annum, while an MSc degree holder can earn a starting salary of 2.5 lakhs per annum. 


An MBA and an MSc program can lead to a rewarding and successful career suited to different types of individuals and career paths. An MBA is a great choice for professionals interested in pursuing a career in business management. An MBA includes coursework in various domains to enable professionals to find work in a variety of industries, including consulting, finance, marketing, and more.

An MSc is a good choice for students who want to specialise in a specific scientific field and pursue careers in research or academia. Graduates of MSc programs may go on to work in research, academia, or industries related to their field of study.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to pursue an MBA or an MSc should be based on an individual’s goals, interests, and career aspirations. It is important for students to carefully consider their options and choose the program that is best suited to their needs.