The Telegraph
Thursday , April 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
Short and sweet

A few years ago, a new business degree — masters in management (MiM) — was born in Europe. Spreading far from its roots, the MiM found its way to the United States. With many aspiring for an American business education, this degree is a welcome addition to their options.

“The masters in management is popular with international students because it is a shorter commitment than a regular MBA,” says Jeffrey Durgee, associate dean for academic affairs, Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The masters programme in management varies between nine months and 15 months as opposed to the two-year MBA. It focuses on special subjects beyond the regular thrust areas such as human resources, finance and accounting, to name a few. For example, a master of science in management (MSM) will have a concentration of marketing and new product development. Compared to an MBA student, an MSM student takes a higher proportion of courses in a special area. However, Durgee points out that MSM is light on general management area courses.

Money is always a concern when it comes to studying abroad, but the relative short duration of the masters in management courses makes things easier. An entire year’s accommodation, health insurance and daily expenses can be saved. University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business offers several masters in management programmes of varying duration. The school offers merit-based aid to over 75 per cent of incoming students each year. Awards begin at $5,000 (around Rs 2.6 lakh) and can cover full tuition fees in some cases. Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is another top B-school that has included masters in management studies (MMS) on its programme list. “Our MMS courses are taught by the same professors who teach our MBA students, providing MMS students with a jumpstart to business careers,” says a spokesman for Fuqua. The school’s 10-month programme prepares students for finance, marketing, consulting, or general management.

Harleen Kaur Maini, a bachelor in electronics and communications from Thapar University in Patiala in 2008, chose to do masters in management studies at Fuqua for several reasons. First, for the 10-month programme as opposed to two-year MBA courses. Second, because of the diversity of the courses. Her third reason was that unlike other US MBA programmes, Fuqua did not require any work experience. “For an MBA at a top US business school, I would need four to five years’ work experience on an average,” says Maini, who works as a financial analyst in New York. Priyanka Jeevanandam chose the same route for similar reasons. She plans to work in the US healthcare industry when she graduates in May.

Jatin Rai attended Simon School after completing BTech from India. “I wanted faster career progression,” he says. “I was able to achieve my goals quickly — in much less time than an MBA would allow me.” Rai is glad that he could be part of the workforce after just a year’s gap instead of two.

Despite several advantages, the masters in management programme is yet to become popular in the United States. As Maini puts it, “It is essentially an European concept and only some business schools offer the programme till date.”

Jeevanandam says some students find it difficult to explain the programme to potential employers because it is fairly new. She says as the duration of MiM is short, students intending to pursue it must be prepared for the fast-paced programme. But students can choose from a world of options. They can choose entrepreneurship, join the corporate world or pursue doctoral studies.

Dean Mark Zupan of Simon Graduate Business School sums it up. A one-year full-time degree programme provides outstanding return on investment while offering exposure to an international network that will provide value throughout one’s career.


Schools offering a masters in management degree in the US

  • Simon Graduate Business School
  • Fuqua School of Business
  • Lally School of Management and Technology lIndiana Wesleyan University

Money matters

Costs vary between $45,000 (around Rs 23 lakh) to $62,000 (around Rs 32 lakh), including room and board