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List of Career Alternatives to MBA in 2019

Written by  Piyush Bhartiya, MBA

Published on Fri, February 9, 2018 12:56 PM   Updated on Wed, July 21, 2021 2:08 PM   10 mins read

Source: Real Men Real Style

Gaining an MBA allows you to learn how to successfully manage, lead, organize and adapt in a variety of business environments. But in few years students have faced lot of challenges even after doing MBA. Below mentioned are few alternatives to a MBA Program.

List of courses alternative to MBA

    • Specialized Master’s Degree

    • Masters in Management

    • MSc in International Business

  • MSc in Marketing

Specialized Master’s Degree

Initially, full-time general MBA was the most common business degree. An MBA program does not necessarily lead to students choosing a career related to their specialized field. Because of this specialized master’s degree programs are gaining ground on MBAs in recent years.

Students who wish to enter in a particular business field only, specialized master’s degree programs are designed for them.

These programs are much narrower and much more focused program than an MBA. Once one completes the program, He/she get a job in his/her area of expertise.

Job after the Course

Top companies like Google, eBay, Microsoft, and Apple are interested on recruiting MSc in Marketing students to work as a market analyst, market consultant, digital marketing specialist, sales manager or media associate.

Top Salary

Candidates land up with an average salary of 67000 EUROS.

Masters in Management

It is a postgraduate program that provides advanced general management knowledge for Business Bachelor’s graduates. You will graduate a Masters In Management program with either a Master of Science or a Master of Arts degree. It is a cheaper alternative and is considered the precursor of MBA programmes which provides introductory knowledge on entrepreneurship and leadership.

Jobs after the Course

Initially you can get an internship into the area which you are interested in and then later can do job.

Masters in Management Graduates can expect entry level roles such as Management Trainee, Financial Services Analyst, Graduate research analyst, etc. in mainly Consulting, Finance, Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Logistics in that order.

Also, top companies such as BCG, Mckinsey in Consulting, L’Oreal , LVMH, P&G in Marketing to BNP Paribas, KPMG in Finance are preferring Masters in Management graduates because of the multidisciplinary skills they attain during their course.

Top Salary

Masters in Management Graduates can expect salary of $61,000 in US, Rs. 800,000 to Rs. 100,000 in India and in Europe it is $68,000 to $98,000.

MSc in International Business

Masters in International Business provides international students with the knowledge of how to compete in the global business market. This course also prepares students for career opportunities on the international level in the field of management, digital marketing, corporate finance, and trade.

Jobs after the Course

A lot of options, including the posts of a Management Analyst, International Accountant, International Economist, International Banker, Human Resource Adviser, Global Marketing Manager, Global analytics leader etc. could be considered for anyone who has done specialization in this course.

Top Salary

It could vary, according to the industry. $58,000 could be regarded as the average annual salary. However, if you perform exceptionally well, you could expect an increment of up to $124,900.

MSc in Marketing

The MSc in Marketing Management is designed for young, passionate, graduates and professionals seeking to expand their global work experience, or make a career change to marketing management. Through this holistic program, you will gain advanced knowledge of the marketing discipline and be given the chance to supervise real-time projects through close cooperation with global companies.

Jobs after the Course

One can opt for job in domains like Financial Accounting, Data Analytics, Digital Business, and Sales Management.

Top Salary

The average salary of every candidate is 38K Euros.

Why not to do MBA?

The degree has become diluted.

If a person wants to stand out in the crowd MBA is not at all a good option. MBA has become the most popular postgraduate degree in the U.S. A person does not need an MBA to understand the basic concept of supply and demand. Employers are targeting the top MBA programs only. It is the main reason that so many MBA’s find themselves squeezed out of the MBA job market, seeking lower-level jobs and being told they are overqualified. One thoroughly needs to look into specialized programs geared more towards your particular career goals.

You won’t make more money.

One won’t make more money or at least not as much as one think he/she will. For years, overall wages for MBA’s been stagnant and only recently saw a small increase. There are also a lot of misconceptions about just how much of a pay raise you can expect from your MBA.

The debt puts you risk averse at a time you should be trying things out.

Getting an MBA degree is an expensive task .Spending a few more years in the workforce can help one to  figure out if an MBA is truly the right path for him/her, and he/she can pay off debt and build his/her savings in the meantime.

Other Skills you can acquire rather than MBA

1. Increase and Improve Your Knowledge of Sales 

The ultimate goal of any business venture is to ‘sell’. Whether it’s a product, a service or even an idea the goal is to sell it to the public for a price and that too wisely. So, in any businesses average performers who can ‘sell’ always outperform exceptional performers who cannot.


Writing a good quality code can teach you a lot about running a business believe it or not. Programmers draw flow charts to break down a complex problem into smaller ones; this can be relatable to business too. The logical thought process one experiences while making business and life decisions can be compared to the flowcharts that are drawn by coders.

Business is all about analyzing the problems, view it from various perspectives, and predict outcomes.. Learning the coding skills can benefit you in several ways but if have an inclination towards.

 3. Learn a New Language

Learning a new language will help you be successful in your career. But it is not any language that will do the trick so one need to choose the right on wisely. It all depends on where the business partners and clients are located, where your company has set up regional operations and where your customers are located. 

Advantages of learning a new language:

    1. It is a great way to gain the trust and confidence of your clients and customers.
    1. Knowledge of a language is likely to make you a favored employee and, you might even get you an overseas posting.
  1. It could help to make you a part of sensitive meetings 

4. Gain Proficiency in A New Domain 

Gaining Proficiency in A New Domain would help you to get good hands-on experience, it will help you to get an excellent knowledge of how companies and businesses run as opposed to the highly theoretical knowledge you would gain in a classroom, can also find your field of interest with experience, etc.

5. Alternative Study Programs

Instead of spending two years acquiring these skills in an MBA program one can do certified courses for Chartered Financial Analyst or a Certified Merger & Acquisitions Advisor. Every field of business has some certified courses available and there are courses that will suit your career path.

The benefit of doing a certified course is that you could give our career a boost opt for certifications more directly related to your area of expertise Many companies will pay high for your certification course and The probability of promotions increases dramatically.

FAQs for alternatives to MBA

Q.1. What is the highest paying job with a masters degree?

Highest paying job with a masters degree are :

    1. Chief Executive Officer
    1. Director of Nursing
    1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
    1. Clinical Therapists
    1. Architectural and Engineering Manager.
  1. Financial Manager. Image Source.

Q.2. Which master degree is most valuable?

Most valuable Master Degrees :

    1. Petroleum Engineering.
    1. Mathematics.
    1. Political Science.
    1. Marketing.
    1. Healthcare Administration.
  1. Computer Science.

Q.3. Do masters make you more employable?

Further study does have a career benefit. Graduates with a Masters degree are considered as more employable. For postgraduates higher overall employment is obviously good news if one is considering a Masters degree.

Q.4. How much does a masters degree increase your salary?

If we compare, graduates of master’s degree programs in elementary education earned an average starting salary of $48,600. Accountants with bachelor’s degrees earned average starting salaries of $53,000. Accountants having master’s degrees earned an average wage of $62,700. So, That’s substantial.

Q.5. What is a MOOC certificate?

A massive open online course i.e. MOOC is an online course that aims at unlimited participation and open access via the web. MOOC certificate is the one which a participant gets after successful completion of the MOOC.

Q.6. What is the scope of Masters in international business?

MIB is a highly specialized course which gives emphasis exclusively on issues related to international business with a cross-cultural perspective, and includes language and culture classes. It will enable the candidate to delve into international issues in great depth.

Q.7. Which is better MTech or MBA?

For several BTech graduates who are planning to pursue higher education, it is primarily a choice between MBA and MTech programmes. Both the qualifications offer good placements and a stable career  therefore, the decision should be a well-calculated one.

Q.8. Which is better MTech or MBA?

For several BTech graduates planning to pursue higher education, it is primarily a choice between Master of business administration (MBA) and Master of technology (MTech) programmes. While both qualifications offer good placements and a stable career, the decision should be a well-calculated one.

Q.9. Does an MBA guarantee a good job?

Survival is all about adaptability, innovation and skills that are not taught or assessed in an MBA curriculum. Nothing ever can guarantee a good job after all it all depends on the individual and what they want.

Q.10. Will an MBA boost my career?

While enrolled in an MBA program one learns about leadership, business, and management philosophies that can be applied to almost any leadership role. But not everyone will end up on a higher salary once they have their MBA, the statistics suggest it does help increase your earning potential always.

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About the Author & Expert


Piyush Bhartiya

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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