Consider the Benefits of the MSBC vs an MBA

Applicants to the Master of Science in Business Communication (MSBC) often ask how it is different from the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Both the MSBC and MBA are degree options for employees seeking to advance their careers. However, one-third of students pursuing graduate business-related degrees are opting for something other than an MBA. Why? The MBA is not for everyone and often lacks the interpersonal skills employers want from their employees.

In 2018, The Education Advisory Board (EAB) identified the top emerging skills and attributes organizations will seek of potential employees with a graduate degree in business-related fields. Many of the skills sought by industry are those that the MSBC is specifically designed to develop – e.g., leadership and social influence, emotional intelligence, complex problem-solving, creativity, and initiative.

MBA coursework typically emphasizes the functional areas of business – e.g., marketing, accounting, finance, HR, operations management, etc. Courses in economics, finance and statistics are also quite common among MBA curricula. Given the emphasis on business functions, an MBA degree has always seemed well-suited for those beginning careers in functional areas or for those pursuing or holding positions responsible for the full range of business functions, such as an entrepreneur.

The MSBC program was developed for both the new professional and those already established in their fields. For the new professional, the curricula provide the business know-how employers expect, but the interpersonal skills developed differentiates our students from other employees. It gives them a strategic advantage. Many people have already launched successful careers and established their technical competency in a particular field. The challenge employers’ face is to move beyond their technical expertise to assume increasing levels of managerial responsibility and to demonstrate greater leadership in an organization. This is where the MSBC degree shines – by emphasizing high-demand, “soft skills” in management, leadership, and communication.

In addition, the MSBC is inclusive of any student with a completed bachelor’s degree in any discipline, with no remedial courses required. MBAs, however, require those without an undergraduate degree in business to complete remedial courses that do not count towards the hours required to complete the degree. Most MBAs still require the GMAT, whereas the MSBC does not require either the GMAT or GRE.

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