Should You Get an MPA or an MBA?

You want to hold a management position, but with the many degree options available, it’s tough to decide which degree path is right for you. Two options that you have are a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA). Read on to discover which one is a better option for you.

Benefits of an MBA

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One of the largest benefits of an MBA degree is that it opens up countless doors in numerous fields. Today, the MBA is the most popular master’s level degree. With that comes high public awareness of MBA programs, which means that many employers are listing MBAs as educational requirements for a lot of jobs. In fact, a 2014 report showed that 80 percent of employers plan on hiring MBA graduates in 2014. That means that there are lots of career opportunities for individuals with an MBA major.

The MBA degree is best for people looking to enter the business sector. Coursework focuses on enhancing business leadership skills, understanding market trends, learning how to increase profit, and determining areas of growth.

Benefits of an MPA

The drawback when it comes to MBA programs is that they’re simply not for everyone. When you take a look at their core curriculum, does it feel like the majority of the classes are applicable to you and what you want to do? If not, then you might consider pursuing an MPA degree instead.

Individuals who graduate from an MPA program often end up working in government or non-profit organizations. MPA graduates make excellent candidates for projects focusing on important social issues like renewable energy or healthcare.

Unlike an MBA that has a high focus on the business sector, an MPA will prepare you for implementing public policy. Your curriculum will cover the skills necessary to write documents vital to implementing public policy, teach you how to manage a team effectively, and discuss the importance of ethics and responsibility involved in public administration.

Which One Should You Choose?

Both MBA and MPA degrees have their benefits and consist of similar factors that make it tough to choose. For instance, they take the same amount of time and money to complete. When it comes down to choosing which degree to pursue, it’s all about deciding what kind of changes that you want to make and where you want to work.

If you’re more of an entrepreneur at heart and have an interest in the economy, then an MBA is perhaps the better option for you. This is also a good choice if you’re looking for lots of employment opportunities but still aren’t sure what you want to do with your degree. If you aren’t interested in profit-building habits and know you’d rather inspire social change through positions in government and non-profit agencies, then an MPA will suit you better.

Are you on the fence between deciding what master’s level degree to pursue? Tell us which way you’re leaning and what you’d like to do with your degree after graduation.

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