MBA vs Master of Engineering Management: Which one to choose? (Updated 2019)

Source: CUBoulderEMP

It is our human nature that we are always dubious of taking a decision. We always to look around and see what other options are there and which one is better. Earlier, according to data, we could see that a large number of engineering graduates used to pursue MBA in addition to commerce graduates. 

But these days, we can see that to stick on to their engineering field, the popularity of MEM or Masters in Engineering Management is on the rise. And, we get a lot of queries from students who need help in choosing between MBA and Master of Engineering Management for higher studies.

What to choose between MBA vs Master of Engineering Management?

Hence, we thought of writing this post for those engineers who want to do their higher studies in Management field but confused about pursuing either MBA or Master of Engineering Management. If you are one of those, then to decide between two courses, it is important to understand the qualities and details of each course.  As MEM is a relatively new field, let us see what it is about.

Some factors you may consider:

1. Graduation Degree

MEM is suited for graduates in Engineering, Science, Technology and Math fields. But for doing MBA, students from any background can apply.


2. Investment

If you are also looking at cost point of view in doing MEM or MBA, then MEM would be a better option. Because, in the USA, a student may complete MEM course in 12-15 months mostly, with the cost of $50,000-$60,000. Whereas for doing MBA course, a student needs $1,00,000 for tuition fees. In addition to these costs, as we know you will have other expenses like living cost etc. As duration is also lesser for MEM, in cost terms, it can be a better option than doing MBA.


3. Return

After MEM, students can get placed in a job with a salary from $78,000 to $110,000. Where after MBA, salary is highly variable and can be between $46,000 and $224,000. So, you may yourself do a Return on Investment calculation before joining a course and decide.


4. Your work experience

There are many MEM programs offered international which can be applied by freshers. But if you want to apply for MBA, in a nation like the US, you would need to have work experience of at least 2 years. So, if you are a fresher, and want to go for management studies, then MEM will be better for you.


5. Career after course

After MEM, you may work in sectors of Scientific Research and Development Services, energy, healthcare/pharma, Analysts or associates in scientific consulting firm, consumer goods, database engineering, manufacturing and design, quality assurance.

After MBA, you can work in areas of finance, marketing, strategy, operations, technology, or human resources.


6. Qualifying Exams

For doing MBA abroad, you are required to have a good GMAT score. For MEM, most colleges accept GRE or GMAT score.

What is MEM or Master of Engineering Management?


In simple terms, it is a combination of Management and Engineering. In this course, you will be learning how to apply Engineering principles and techniques in a business structure. To pursue MEM, you are required to have basic technical knowledge. Hence, it can be pursued by Engineers as well as Scientists who want to learn about managerial aspects of their work. 

In this course, you will get a chance to enhance your skills in communication, technical knowledge, project management and financial planning.

The syllabus has been comprised of technology and business courses. In technology courses, you will have courses in Engineering statistics, project management, foundations of engineering management, quality systems, Six Sigma, information systems engineering. MEM course is known by different names like MSEM (Master of Science in Engineering Management),  Masters in Technology Management (MTM) and SDM (System Design & Management)


What is MBA or Master of Business Administration?

For doing MBA, you are not required to complete graduation in commerce field or any other particular field. For MBA, students from a variety of fields can apply. MBA course helps you to explore non-technical aspects of a business like marketing, finance, operations and so on. During MBA, you will have courses in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Human Resources, Statistics. MBA can help to complement vast knowledge of an experienced Engineer. If you are keen on developing marketing, financial planning skills and interpersonal communication, then MBA will be better for you.

With MBA, you will have to deal with banking, sales and advertising, and investment consultancy in which you may not have to apply your technical knowledge received during engineering degree.


Which one to choose? MBA or MEM?

In choosing between MBA and MEM, there are


Whether you want to do MEM or MBA, you have to choose your decision wisely analyzing all the factors.

Hope our post was of some help to your queries.

Kindly do post if you have any feedback, comment or suggestion.

In case you feel that you would require our expertise’ help in selecting the best course for you, always feel free to reach out to us @ [email protected] or +91-120-653-3966.

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About the Author

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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