Tag Archives: Master

Master of Science in Finance or MBA in Finance: What’s the Difference?

Undoubtedly, earning any advanced degree can have benefits to your career. The question is, though, which degree is the best for you and your goals? In some industries, degree programs that sound similar may actually be quite different, and choosing one over the other can have a lasting effect on your career.

One such example is the decision between a Master of Science in Finance and MBA in Finance program. At first glance, it might appear that they are the same thing, as they have similar names. However, when you explore these programs in greater detail, it becomes clear that they are actually quite different from one another, and which one is best for you depends on a few key factors.

masters degree

Program Differences in a Nutshell

Many people automatically assume that an MBA is their best option if they seek a career in business and want to reach the executive suite. And for some, that is true. An MBA is ideal for someone who wants to work in a management role. Coursework in an MBA program, which usually takes between two and four years to complete depending on if the student is full or part-time, tends to focus on a wide array of business topics, including management, accounting, economics, marketing, and yet, finance. Most MBA students opt to specialize in a particular aspect of business — hence the MBA in Finance designation — but the finance-related courses are studied in conjunction with the core subjects. The overall goal of most MBA programs is to prepare students for executive positions in a variety of industries, as the skills are highly transferrable.

A Master of Science in Finance, on the other hand, is highly focused and specialized. Usually completed within two years, coursework focuses almost exclusively on finance. More specifically, student can expect to take classes in financial theory, reporting, and analysis, as well as investments, markets, quantitative finance, and math. Some programs also include a leadership or management component, with those skills being examined through the lens of finance, but in general, MSF students do not take the general business courses associated with an MBA.

Students who enroll in an MSF program are those who want to land leadership positions in the financial industry. Often, those who wish to earn the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, a prestigious credential earned via a rigorous educational program and exam, opt to earn a Master of Finance degree, since the coursework usually dovetails with the principles on the CFA exams. In fact, many professionals find that their graduate program prepared them for the first part of the exam without any additional education.

Admissions, Career Potential and More

MBA in Finance and MSF programs tend to attract different types of students. MBA candidates, in general, tend to be those who have a few years of work experience under their belts and who are looking to build upon that foundation and move up the career ladder. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of MBA candidates who go to graduate school directly upon completing their undergraduate degrees, but overall, most MBA students have some work experience.

MSF programs, on the other hand, tend to attract a younger student base, as many students go right into the programs from college in order to improve their prospects in the job market. That’s not to say that experienced professionals cannot benefit from an MSF program, especially given that most are part-time and more easily integrated with a career than MBA programs, but for those looking to make headway in the financial field quickly, an MSF is a viable option.

One area in which MSF and MBA in Finance programs do align, though, are in career prospects and earning potential. Those who hold an MSF tend to move into more executive than management roles, but in either case, an experienced professional can expect to earn a salary of between $75,000 and $125,000 per year, depending on the market and specific position.

Finance specific master’s degrees are relatively new on the academic scene, but as more students look for alternatives to increasingly competitive MBA programs, or question the value of an MBA to their career goals, they will become more popular. So as you explore your option for business graduate degrees, consider where you hope to go with your career, and whether an MBA or a more specialized degree would be the best path to get there.

How To Save Money For A Master Of Urban Planning

urban planning

Paying for graduate study is hard, and even with a qualification as prized as a Master of Urban Planning, few will want to graduate and begin their working lives in (even deeper) piles of debt. A master of urban planning degree is crucial to one’s success because it will enable practitioners to develop the necessary skills for balance, community development, social justice, and so much more. Here, we offer some tips on saving cash to pay for your all-important study.

Clear Out Your Closet

It’s highly likely that you will have a lot of unused possessions laying around at home. With an estimated 85% of women owning clothes they never wear (and a high percentage of men too, no doubt), now’s the time to convert them into cash. Be ruthless- unless something has sentimental value, if you don’t use it, you can sell it. Do your research- sell valuable items and branded clothes on eBay, and cheaper things at having a yard sale- you’ll be amazed at how many people will be prepared to pay for old crockery, opened nail polishes, and used books. And whatever you don’t sell, donate!

Work At A Bar

Going out is expensive. Instead of spending your money on beer, get a part-time job in a bar instead. You will still have the opportunity to socialise and meet new people, and you can put your tips straight into your savings. Plus, bar staff often get free drinks after their shift- it’s a winner all round.

Become A Freelancer

Working for yourself is exceptionally satisfying- there’s no office you have to sit in, and no boss you have to answer to. Take a close look at your skills. Are you a whizz in graphic design? A Photoshop Queen (or King)? Can you write well? There is a selection of legitimate freelancing sites online where you can monetise these skills. You won’t get rich, but some decent money can be made, and best of all, you can fit it around your schedule, and continue completing your briefs when you begin your studies too.

By planning carefully, you can save money to pay for your Master of Urban Planning degree. Try to avoid unnecessary purchases, and if you really do need to buy something, check if it can be found cheaper elsewhere. With some discipline, you can stretch your money further.