MBA vs Mim : 11 Key Differences that matter for you | Choose the Best!

12 mins

The “What is the Masters in Management (MiM)” question can be considered by comparing it with the MBA.

Over the years, like the Masters in Management has been gaining prominence, it has often been confused with a type of MBA.

But on closer scrutiny, we can see several differences between the MBA & the MiM.

The MiM vs MBA infographic should have given you a clear picture of how the two degrees differ. We will now attempt to dig a bit deeper into each topic:

MBA vs MiM: Who is it for?

The Target Audience ( Seasoned professionals vs Recent Graduates )

Top MBA colleges have high requirements and require their students to pass through its stringent criteria such as having a certain amount of work experience, strong professional achievements, academic distinctions etc. Though this improves the quality of the applicants pursuing an MBA, it also leaves many young, smart people disgruntled. They will have to work and accumulate years of experience before earning an MBA.

This work experience requirement is one of the key differentiators between the MiM and earning an MBA. The Masters in Management (MiM) realises the importance of work experience. Still, due to the nature & goal of the degree, work experience is not a major deciding factor in the admission criteria.

Several top business schools appreciate and encourage some work experience of up to 6 months. But if one accumulates too much work experience, they are urged in pursuing an MBA. Unfortunately, most US MiM schools have a cutoff at one year of work experience, after which they are disqualified from applying.

So, while the MBA targets the experienced class of people having three or more years of work experience on average, the MiM is meant for fresh graduates or people having less than two years of work experience who want to have a fast-track career growth plan.

For example, if we consider the case of LBS MIM vs MBA, we see an average work experience of 5 years for the LBS MBA during an average experience of less than a year for the MiM.

Average Age of applicants ( 27+ vs <24 )

As a result of the extra years of work experience, candidates pursuing an MBA tend to be older than MiM ones.

Usually, the average age of earning an MBA is around 28 years, ranging between 25-32 years. Of course, some applicants are younger or older, but they tend to be very few.

For the Master of business administration MBA, the bar on the work experience limits the age range to about 25. So, usually, MiM applicants have an average age of 23, and the age range varies between 21 to 25.

Some schools, such as LSE, accept applicants with up to 5 years of work experience. So, the applicant age tends to be higher. But in 98% of cases, applicants are within this age range.

Goals of the applicants ( Career Progression vs Kick Starting their career )

The MBA is an ideal degree for people who want to take the next step in their careers. This can be in the form of switching career fields, boosting their chance for a promotion, switching to get a high paying job or becoming more qualified for a leadership or management position, among other things.

Hence an MBA is ideal for people who are looking to take their game to the next level.

On the other hand, people are just entering the job market or working for a little time to MiM or MSc in Management. Therefore, it is ideal for people who want to gain advanced business and management skills or change from a non-business field to a business one.

It allows students to equip themselves with relevant skills that the job market desires and put their careers on a fast track. Many applicants enter the Master of business administration MBA to break into the consulting or the financial fields, which most are successfully able to do.

Ultimately, it’s about career start vs career development. The Masters in Management provides a way for graduates to increase their career entrance options. While the MBA, in contrast, is a degree for people seeking career development.

MiM vs MBA: The Degree Structure

Tuition Fees ( High vs Medium-Low )

The tuition fees charged by the two degrees is another major difference in the MiM vs MBA comparison. With its strong and rich background, the MBA has proven its ability to get students placed in top-level companies. Hence charges premium tuition fees ranging anywhere from 50,000$ to 100,000+$ per year. This amount may vary, but this range seems to be constant in the top-ranked colleges.

On the other hand, the Master of business administration MBA tends to be an attractive alternative for youngsters. It offers top-quality education at about half of that of the Average MBA. Thus, one can easily get a Masters in Management degree with an investment of anything between 18,000$ to 35,000$ per year. The cost varies from school to school. German schools being the most cost-effective, schools in the US and the UK make the upper end of the tuition fees range.

The cost may be a deciding factor for young students and recent undergraduate degrees who don’t have the resources stored up or do not want to drown themselves in student debt. In this case, MiM packs a lot of punch for the buck. The ROI can be great with the average salary packages of top schools ranging around 50,000$ per year.

For example, the tuition at HEC Paris MiM vs MBA differs. The fee of an MBA is cheaper than the fee of MiM at HEC Paris.

Both MiM and MBA offer significant scholarships which students can avail to lessen the financial burden.

Teaching style ( Practical orientation vs Theoretical focus )

A more hands-on approach to case studies & real-world examples of business and management issues includes the MBA trend. The students explore and work on these while in groups. This kind of experiential learning gives students a chance to use their years of work experience and logically analyse & investigate business and management scenarios.

This practical learning means that you get to work with different financial tools in an MBA. But you won’t be required to know or be taught the origins or the derivations of those tools; rather, the focus will be put on the application part.

The Masters in Management also shares a considerable amount of syllabus with the MBA. It has between 40-60% of course similarity. Still, theoretical and critical thinking is encouraged and focused on.

Via classroom lectures, case studies & group projects, students get a fine mix of theoretical knowledge and soft, practical skills.

The course is fraught with team projects which nurture public speaking, team building, and leadership.

Almost every classroom course has a team project built into it. This caters for a high percentage of the final mark.

Apart from this, exams test the theoretical elements. Therefore, students need to have a strong grip on fundamental business theories and elements.

Some schools also have a final research thesis or a company project requirement.

The popularity of the degree ( Worldwide recognition vs Growing Popularity)

The MBA continues to be the most sought-after degree in the world – and for a good reason. It offers a truly international experience & a strong post-graduation opportunity.

Most of us know by heart the names of the top 10 schools which dominate the MBA rankings. Schools like Havard, Stanford, Wharton, HEC, LBS are brands in their own right. People prepare for years to get admission into these top schools. Further, a strong alumni base, strong exchange opportunities, good recognition worldwide and strong recruitments make MBA a truly global phenomenon.

The MIM, on the other hand, is more regionally based. The MiM started mostly in European universities and has in recent years grown exponentially. Additionally, several universities are starting to offer it in English.

With a MIM, the location matters. Therefore, it is much more recognised in countries where it has been prevalent for a long, such as France, Germany, Italy, to name a few. Hence most of the MiM schools are located in the EU region.

The US top business schools are still staunch supporters of the MBA. However, in recent years, famous schools such as Duke Fuqua, Michigan & Kellogg have started offering the MiM and are attracting many students from all over the world. Renowned schools offering MiM in Asia are NUS, Fudan University, and Melbourne, to name a few.

It is already gathering momentum as an internationally recognised degree. It is seen as a very attractive alternative to the MBA. As a result, the number of students enrolling in it is increasing year by year.

Below you can see the top 80 MBA & MiM schools (FT Rankings) split by their location.

The regional dominance of the MiM’s in Europe is very visible here.

Course Curriculum ( Specialized Knowledge vs Building a Foundation )

MBAs are focused on building on top of the existing practical knowledge of their students. It expects students to bring to the course the vast number of experiences and learnings they have accumulated.

After covering core subjects on managerial functions such as finance or accounting, students concentrate on more integrative courses. They also analyse business cases from the advantageous position of managers. In-company projects, business plan competitions etc., are also common parts of courses.

Further, a wide range of specialisations and electives are available to students. This allows them to dive deep into an area of their interest.

MiM, on the other hand, focuses on building a business foundation for its students. Most of whom are from different backgrounds.

A strong theoretical business base is built via core business courses such as accounting, finance, project management, strategy and marketing. In addition, via team projects, leadership, teamwork & other important soft skills are fostered, which are necessary to manage people and engage stakeholders.

Most Masters in Management’s don’t offer many electives and concentrate on the core courses. Unfortunately, this does not allow students to dive deep into specialised areas like MBA students can.

For example, while the full time MBA online programs offered at the University of St. Gallen offers almost 30 electives in 5 functional areas. On the other hand, students in the school’s Master of Arts in Strategy & International Management (SIM) program can choose from fewer than ten electives.

Likewise, Duke’s MMS program students’ study many of the same core topic areas as those in the Fuqua full time MBA programs offered. But they cannot focus on specialised areas.

Also, many MiM schools have built-in internship online programs or encourage internships to put the business fundamentals learned into practice.

Course Duration

The duration of the course is another minor difference.

While MBAs, as a rule of thumb, have a 1–2 year course structure (owing to the comprehensiveness of the degree)

The MiM offered by most top business schools is much more fast-paced, aimed towards giving you the necessary skills and helping you enter the job market fast.

Though the average course duration is about ten months, there are Masters in Management schools that offer a more comprehensive curriculum with core courses, varied electives & specialisations. Such schools have MiM, which last between 1.5- 2 years. Examples- HEC, LSE, ESSEC, ESCP

For example, at INSEAD MiM vs MBA, the duration of both the courses is ten months, but MiM offers 4-6 months of professional exposure.

From the comparison below, we can also notice that while MBAs in the US are much longer than the MiM, the trend is reversed in Europe.

MBA vs MiM: Post Graduation Opportunities

Kind of jobs applicants get ( Mid-level jobs vs Entry-level jobs )

In the MiM vs MBA battle, there is a clear differentiation in the types of jobs applicants get.

While an MBA implies significant work experience and can immediately lead to a higher-level position, a MIM often leads to an entry-level position.

So, while full time MBA online programs let you take your career to the next level, MIM programs offer you more competition as you enter the business job market and help you accelerate the initial stages of your career.

Hence, MBAs are usually considered “experienced hires” for companies and apply for more advanced jobs, such as leadership or management positions.

MiM is ideal for starting level positions such as analysts or undergraduate degree trainees. Being highly skilled and new to the job market, companies then pick them up to groom them into future managers and embody the company’s values, which is hard to develop inexperienced professionals.

Salary upon Graduation ( High vs Medium )

The MIM vs MBA salary in India difference is another very important question everyone wants to know about.

Owing to the different positions MBA & MiM students are hired for, there is a very visible difference in the MiM vs MBA salary in India. Further, the country you work in also dictates the salary to a considerable extent. For example, salary in the US is comparatively higher than that given in the EU.

The difference in MiM vs MBA salary in India upon graduation gets noticed by comparing the average salary of some top-ranked MBA and MiM schools.

Reception by companies ( Very High vs High-Medium )

The HR departments of almost all global businesses recognise MBA as a degree. Further, MBA degree holders are present everywhere in companies big and small and usually have respectable positions. This further improves the recognition and value of the degree.

MiM, on the other hand, is especially popular with European firms, as the Master in Management is often thought of as a European concept. However, outside of Europe, the MiM is still relatively new, and MiM students may have to formally introduce what their degree is all about, especially if they are targeting a job outside Europe.

But as the number of students is increasing year by year and the alumni network is getting increasingly diverse with graduates penetrating all areas of society, the time is not far when the name MiM will register similar recognition and respect associated with the MBA. Additionally, as MiM colleges are making partnerships with universities worldwide, the MiM name is gaining a formidable reputation.

Further, statistics show that MiM awareness is growing rapidly among HR departments. This is because they recognise the MiM as a source to attain high-quality individuals & groom them for future upper management roles.

Big names from every industry such as BCG, Mc Kinsey or Strategy& Consulting, L’ Oreal, LVMH, P&G in Marketing to BNP Paribas, KPMG in Finance prefer MiM undergraduate degree the multi-disciplinary skills they attain during their course.

In the end, it will turn out that both MiM and MBA have their legitimacy because they attract different target groups with different needs.

The MBA has a more experienced candidate profile while the Master candidate has a younger profile, and companies have a place for them both.


In conclusion, the MiM vs MBA comparison has no clear winner.

Both MSc. in Management (MiM) & MBA are phenomenal degrees having their target audience & unique selling propositions.

We at MiM-Essay, having been MiM students ourselves, can vouch for the degree and the opportunities it opens.

But at the end of the day, it is up to the applicants to determine which degree would be a better fit for them.

Irrespective of the choice, the future is bright for the applicants.

However, remember that both MBA and MiM are very competitive and require a strong profile, a good GMAT (think 700+) and well-crafted essays that talk about your strengths and how you will be a valuable addition to the school.

So make sure you get these basics right once you zero in on a degree.


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