MBA vs M.A. Leadership

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by pugbelly, Jul 30, 2006.

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  1. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

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    A curiousity question:

    How do the members of this board view the MBA vs. a M.A. in Leadership or the M.A. in Management?

    The market seems to now be saturated with MBAs. I don't see the 2 other degrees nearly as often as I see the MBA. It seems to me that a M.A. in Leadership might better prepare one for an executive/supervisory role and would certainly stand out on a resume. I'm beginning to see these degree options offered at the undergarduate level as well. For example, Bellevue offers a B.A. in Strength Based Management as an alrenative to the typical Business Administration or Management path.

    Thoughts?

    Pug
     
  2. iquagmire

    iquagmire New Member

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    What schools were you looking at for the M.A. in Management?
     
  3. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 New Member

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    Even though I'm not currently pursuing a management oriented degree, here is what I believe based on discussions with HR managers. If you already are a manager and you want to improve your management skills then by all means pursue a MS in Management or Leadership. However, if you are trying to break into management there is no comparison -- the MBA is the best degree. In general, you have to take 50% more credit hours to achieve the MBA and it covers a broader array of business oriented subjects outside of management.

    Having said that, I've already decided that if I pursue a management oriented degree, it will be a MS in Engineering Management -- not an MBA. My ambitions only go so far as managing engineers or R+D and a MSEM is a faster and more technically relevant path toward my goals. Of course as it sits right now, I’m more likely to pursue a MS in Systems Engineering or a PD or PhD in Computer Science.
     
  4. Pharm_Girl

    Pharm_Girl New Member

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    This is a timely question.

    I have been mulling this over myself as of late. I have been a manager at a pharmaceutical company for a few years now. Originally I was considering an MBA, but in the last little while I've been thinking more about something a little different, such as an MA or MS in Leadership, or Organizational Psychology, etc. The 2 main reasons for this are:
    1. It seems like EVERYONE has an MBA, and I've heard comments around the office to the effect of, "MBA's are a dime a dozen these days." Also, unless the university is a household name, questions inevitably arise about quality.
    2. I am mostly interested in learning how to lead my team more effectively, but the course content for many MBA programs seems more focused on areas like accounting, supply chain, etc. - in other words, "hard" skills, which I might never use, vs. "soft" skills, which are often an afterthought in MBA programs.
    What does everyone think? On the one hand I think a leadership degree would be most helpful to me on a personal level. On the other hand, I guess I worry a little bit that I might get a response like, "Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - what's that? Is it like a second-rate MBA or something? Why didn't you just get an MBA?"
    Comments/advice welcome!
     
  5. eric.brown

    eric.brown New Member

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    The MBA was right for me because I have a technical background and I would say that it has broadened my business knowledge.

    That being said, I think I would choose differently today if I had it to do over again...I would probably choose a MS in Leadership or Management because it would have allowed me to focus more on the areas that are more interesting to me (strategy, etc).

    An MBA is a great degree for someone interested in "general" business...but not so good if you are wanting to focus on a particular subject like Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Strategy, etc.
     
  6. BinkWile

    BinkWile New Member

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  7. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. Liberty and Fort Hays Also offer MBA-Leadership options.

    Pug
     
  8. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

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    I don't know if I can agree with that. I looked at about 10 or 12 MBA programs. Most required 36 hours, the same as the M.A. degrees. The exception would be those schools that are also AACSB accredited where 45 to 51 hours seem to be the norm. FHSU, currently RA but chasing AACSB, only requires 36.

    Pug
     
  9. eric.brown

    eric.brown New Member

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    True...many schools offer specializations...but most MBA specializations are 12 hours (some might be 18)...isn't the same as a full Masters (36 to 48 hours) of studying the subject IMO.
     
  10. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

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  11. Jigamafloo

    Jigamafloo New Member

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    Amberton also offers a an M.S. in Managerial Science that covers the skills you were looking for in an MA or MS in Leadership/Management. It's focused strictly on the "people" and leadership aspects of a supervisory role.

    36 credit hours, $200.00 per credit hour, solid reputation. Thinking over that one myself after I finish Touro's MSITM program.

    Best of luck!

    Dave
     
  12. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe New Member

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    I've juggled the same thing myself....here's what I found.

    Southwestern College has a Master of Science in Leadership that is top notch and they are a GREAT school. http://www.sckans.edu/msl/
    They also have an MBA but like FHSU, it is more traditional hard skills based.

    Then there is the Master of Science in Managerial Science from Amberton, great school and SUPER inexpensive. http://www.amberton.edu/MDegrees.htm

    and if you notice they also have MBA programs even in Leadership but all require a Business undergrad degree or 12 semester hours remediation.

    Lastly there is the big dog in my book, the MBA in Leadership from SJCME or (Saint Josephs College of Maine) which in my humble opinion, they are ahead of their time and ultimately have become my choice unless I can be persuaded otherwise....hard skills MBAs are a dime a dozen, but this MBA has no rival.
    http://www.sjcme.edu/masterbusadmin/mbanew.html
     
  13. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley New Member

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    Interested in grad school in leadership? Keep your eyes open to:

    * Fielding Graduate University. Also Saybrook Graduate School, and programs in Organizational Behaviour, even Psychology, and Human Resources all over.

    * Individualized liberal study programs in which you could design an impressive and wide-ranging inquiry around many a leadership interest - the Excelsior MA-LS is very flexible, affordable as they go, offers some very compatible courses; depending on each individual person's interest, Thomas Edison State College, Skidmore College (best known for for their residential undergraduate school: US News Liberal Arts-National Tier 1), Antioch University McGregor (which with its fellow Antioch schools also offers a Ph.D. in leadership), Vermont College of the Union Institute & University, Lesley University, Goddard College and Prescott College offer some quite wonderful options.

    * Related programs outside the corporate box: Take education, where master's degrees are on offer all over, and Educational Leadership a common designation. Why, you'd be asked, an education degree? Because you want to help make the company you work for the best it can be as a learning organization. And here's a way you could bring something high-quality, well-tested, but just a little bit different to the table. It might not sell everywhere: but where it would...

    * History, where you could focus on leadership. Literature. Religion. Philosophy. Political Science. A California State University, Dominguez Hills M.A. in Humanities. Consider the perennial class of business bestseller: Lincoln on Leadership. Shakespeare for Managers. Christ in the Boardroom. Immanuel Kant's 12 Steps To Sales Success!: Take These Pure Reasons To Close That Deal! :p

    * International research degrees from top-notch schools, in Business Administration, Management, and everything else listed above, where you could focus your research work on leadership.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2006
  14. javila5400

    javila5400 New Member

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    MBAs may be a dime a dozen, but having an MBA is better than not having one at all. As far as studying and obtaining an advanced degree in leadership, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that idea. However, I think a person who has had real-life leadership experience is more marketable than someone who just studied leadership. For instance, I would be more apt to hire an ex-military officer who was once a platoon leader and a company commander, than someone who is booksmart with all kinds of advanced credentials but never had leadership experience.

    "Money and equipment are managed; people are led." This is what the Professor of Military Science used to tell cadets at Norwich.

    If a person once to learn true leadership, the military is the place to be.
     
  15. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

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    I'm not knocking MBA's at all...I'm just wondering it it would be the right choice for me once I get there. I already have an executive leadership position in my firm, so to me it might make sense to add the leadership graduate degree to go with the experience. I agree that experience always matters more than the paper.

    Pug
     
  16. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

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    Pug,

    Even though I hold an MBA, I would agree with you. I decided to earn an MBA because I wanted to teach in Higher Ed, and the MBA has given me more flexibility in classes I teach. But I like the idea of an MA in leadership at the corporate level.
     
  17. Pharm_Girl

    Pharm_Girl New Member

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    I also did not mean any offense to MBA holders (or seekers!) Just trying to find a program that will set me apart and teach me the specific skills I'm looking for. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I actually received the Saint Joseph's College of Maine brochure that I'd requested in the mail last week, so I am already considering their MBA. Amberton, unfortunately, is not an option for me up here in Canada.

    Great thread... thanks for starting it, pugbelly!
     
  18. Jigamafloo

    Jigamafloo New Member

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    Pug, tying two of these inputs together, go for the leadership degree. I'm career military, Senior NCO, and I tend to be drawn more towards the programs that address the "intangible" but real world aspects of leading, managing, and inspiring people for the same reason as javila5400 pointed out. Quantitative skills get you in the door, but proven accomplishment speaks for itself.

    If you've already worked yourself into an executive leadership position, fer God's sake enter a program that expands the skills you already have and that you would enjoy/embrace more.

    Dave
     
  19. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

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    Re: This is a timely question.

    Well, if you are asked why didn't you get an MBA, you can turn on the charm and show off all those leadership, managment, and interpersonal communications skills that a MS - Management degree would offer. :)
     
  20. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

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    So many good responses on this thread!
     

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