Mohamad El Chamaa
Many business students graduating this year are probably wondering what their next step will be. Some may decide to work directly, while others may want to continue their education. This article is meant to break down two different graduate programs: the classic MBA and the novel Masters in Finance (MF).
Both programs are offered at the Olayan Business School at AUB, and aim to prepare students to take on administrative positions. However, each program is unique. Differences include duration, course load, and admissions. To be admitted into the MBA program at OSB, the prospective student needs a score of at least 570 on the GMAT and a minimum of two years’ work experience. For the MF, no work experience is required and all you need is a 97 on the TOFLE (ibt) exam. However this only applies to people with a BBA, otherwise two remedial courses are needed in order to proceed with the program.
MBA students come from different educational and work backgrounds, while MF students are usually fresh business graduates. Completing an MBA requires 51 credits, while a Masters in Finance requires only 30. MF courses range from Security Analysis, Private Equity, Entrepreneurial Finance to Islamic Finance and Portfolio Management. The MBA, on the other hand, offers very broad courses, topics range from accounting to marketing to management. The price per credit is the same for both programs ($899 per credit), but since the MBA is longer than the MF, it costs more.
The Masters in Finance prepares students for occupations as analysts in banks and in investment firms, but it will also give the future graduate the same tier as third level CFA. MBA students are prepared for work in upper management jobs in wide range of companies, including but not limited to, banks, technology, automotive, and oil.
MBAs make more money than MFs, usually because they have more work experience than MFs. However due to the huge number of MBA graduates each year and the higher ranked university bias, MFs are more likely to find jobs than MBAs.
In this dilemma, a compromise arises. Clifford McCormick, Director of MBA admission at The University of Pittsburgh, recommends prospective graduate students with existing management and work experience to opt for the MF rather than the MBA. In doing so, the soon-to-be graduate student would be saving time and money on something she or he already knows, while standing out from a sea of MBA faces.