MiM vs MBA

Almost all of us would have heard of MBA programs offered by the top colleges in the world. For the most part of the 20th century, MBA was the holy grail for all the wannabe managers or for those who are stuck in their careers and looking for an advancement. However, at the dawn of the new millennium, a new program, called the MiM emerged in the European academic landscape. The advent of the program was mostly due to the built up of demand for a management degree right after the graduation of students. Typically, the MBA programs abroad were designed for candidates with years of work experience and thus did not take freshers or aspirants with lower work experience. This led to a pent up of demand that gave way for the new course called Masters in Management or the MiM degree.

While MiM was predominantly a European phenomenon, the US colleges soon caught up and have started offering these degrees. The two programs sound similar but there is a stark difference between the two courses. Let us look at the differences from each aspect that affects an aspirant's decision.

Work experience

MBA program requires the students to have had a significant amount of work experience. The program is designed to cater to the need of mid-level managers or non-management personnel who would want to shift into management role after having had decent exposure in their line of work. Typically, MBA program from the top schools would want the applicant to have at least 3-4 years of work experience. MIM program on the other hand is designed for students who are fresh out of college or have less than 1-2 years of work experience. The program is designed to produce entry level managers. An MIM degree holder can consider an MBA program after 7-10 years of work experience. This second masters in management would propel the student to the higher echelons of decision making in the organization.

Age of Applicant

Because of the difference in work experience requirements of the MIM and MBA programs, typically, the age of MIM applicants range about 22-24 years where as MBA applicants have an age range of 27-32

Course structure

while both MiM and MBA are degrees, MBA is more holistic in nature and looks at preparing a mid-level manager get ready to face the challenges of the next step in his career. The course will have a mix of all aspects of management and would give exposure broadly to all areas.

MiM on the other hand is more focused on one business specialization such as accounting, finance, e-commerce etc. The students would get vast exposure to that business specialization and would be imbibed with all the theoretical knowledge that would help them in excelling in the domain.

Course pedagogy

MBA courses are designed to impart knowledge to the class based on real life case studies, mutual experience sharing (because of the work experience of the students) and hands-on approach to ongoing problems by integration them with their curricula.

MiM, because of the target audience with relatively less or no work-experience, focuses more on theoretical approach and introductory knowledge in the subject domain. Many programs would have strong Math courses as a part of the curriculum coupled with research based final dissertations. One needs to understand that the MiM would be in lines of any other Masters programs and will have a research aspect.

Entrance Exams

Most MBA programs offered by the top universities require students to have a respectable GMAT score. For the last few years, even GRE scores are getting accepted by the top colleges. The score requirement varies as per the college reputation and the profile of the applicant.

MIM programs offered by universities consider GMAT as well as GRE scores. Some of the universities have their own entrance tests too. Roughly 40% of the universities accept GMAT scores for their MIM programs.

Apart from the GRE/GMAT scores, the colleges take academic performance, extracurricular performance, interview performance of the applicants very seriously. Based on MBA or MIM, work-ex also has its importance.

Tuition fee

MiM programs have a far lesser tuition fee compared to MBA programs. This should be obvious when one looks at the target audience for both the programs. MiM is tapping into early stage careers or those who didn't start their career. The paying capacity here would be far lesser. MBA taps into mid managerial level people who would have higher ambitions and hence can pay on the higher side.

MiM programs can vary anywhere from $10,000 per year to $20,000 per year where as an MBA program varies in the range of $40,000 to $100,000 for the entire program depending on the country and the college.

To give a perspective of the price differences - the costliest MiM program and one of the best is from the Kellogg university costing about $52,000 where as the same institutes charges $132,000 for its MBA program.

Course duration

Full time MBA degrees have a one year or a two-year duration depending on the program offered by the institutes. MiM programs in general are fast paced and mostly last less than a year (10 months is most common). However, there are few European colleges that offer a more comprehensive MiM lasting over 15-18 months.

Career options

Both the programs give varied options to the students. However, the MIM graduates typically are taken into entry level roles whereas the MBA graduates are taken into mid-management or leadership roles.

Clearly, the pay packages of MBA grads are way above that of the MIM grads. But this once again should not be surprising given the nature of the applicants. MIM however gives the student the much-needed edge to dive into the management world at an early age. With the right planning and a MBA at a later stage in their careers, MIM graduates can end up doing better than an 'only MBA' graduate.

The salary of a MBA graduate from any of the top colleges in the world would average around $95,000-$100,000 where as that of an MiM graduate would fall in the range of $50,000

Now that there is some idea about the two courses, let us look at some of the top universities offering these courses.

MIM program -
  • 1. University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • 2. HEC Paris, France
  • 3. Essec Business School, France/Singapore
  • 4. CEMS, Europe
  • 5. Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands
  • 6. London School of Business, UK
  • 7. WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany
  • 8. ESADE Business School, Spain
  • 9. ESCP Europe
  • 10. Universita Bocconi, Italy
MBA Programs -
  • 1. Harvard University (730)
  • 2. London Business School (700)
  • 3. Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) (720)
  • 4. Stanford University (730)
  • 5. Colombia University (715)
  • 6. University of California - Berkley (715)
  • 7. Insead (705)
  • 8. Booth - University of Chicago (715)
  • 9. MIT Sloan (717)
  • 10. Kellogg (Northwestern University) (714)

*numerals in parenthesis are average GMAT scores needed