When you think about graduate degrees in business, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is probably the first one that comes to mind. However, while an MBA can be a great option for many professionals, it’s far from the only option available to those interested in developing their skills and business acumen.
In fact, a Master of Science in Management (MSM) is becoming an increasingly popular option among those interested in furthering their career and setting themselves apart. At The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), we’re happy to offer a master’s in management degree through our renowned Gary W. Rollins College of Business, offering the quality education you expect in a convenient online format.
Is a Master’s in Management Worth It?
With many graduate degrees in business to choose from, you may be wondering, “Is a master’s in management worth it?”
Ultimately, the answer boils down to your career aspirations and what you want to learn. It also helps to have a solid understanding of exactly what a master’s in management is and what sets it apart from a more traditional MBA.
A master’s in management degree is a graduate degree that prepares students for careers in business leadership, human resources, and managerial roles across all industries. Compared to an MBA, an MSM tends to require fewer credit hours and can thus be obtained in less time.
From a curriculum standpoint, a master’s in management tends to focus more on practical human capital management skills, project management, and strategic leadership and is lighter on the business functions that directly apply to day-to-day operations of a business and its finances. A master’s in management degree also tends to be more focused on business culture, drawing upon insights from global business leaders and offering accessible programs for students worldwide.
With all this in mind, a master’s degree in management may be worth pursuing in lieu of an MBA if you’re looking to fast-track your graduate studies while focusing on practical leadership and management skills. This program is suitable for those who have recently completed an undergraduate program or are already working in their respective fields.
5 Reasons to Consider Upskilling for a Career in Management
There are many benefits to pursuing a master’s degree in management, especially if you want to advance in your career and work your way up the organizational ladder.
1. The Evolving Business Landscape
Consider the dynamic nature of today’s business landscape. Employers are constantly looking to fill managerial and leadership positions—but there aren’t always enough qualified candidates for these roles. If you’re looking to take advantage of the business management career opportunities out there, having a master’s degree in management can help you meet qualifications and prepare you for this type of work. This is especially significant when you consider that many employers now prefer a minimum of a master’s degree when hiring for important managerial roles.
2. Leadership Development
When you enroll in the right master’s in management program, you’ll enjoy a curriculum focused on building the leadership skills you need to be successful in key management roles. These are skills employers will be seeking during their hiring processes. Even if you already have some leadership experience, a master’s in management will help you refine your own leadership style and improve upon your skills so you can best inspire, motivate, and lead teams of all scopes and sizes.
3. Staying Competitive
For many employers, a master’s degree in a related field is a key qualification for management job applicants. Having a master’s in management can help you stay competitive when it comes time to apply for managerial jobs or even work your way up within your current company. These days, employers aren’t necessarily looking for applicants with MBAs; seeing an applicant with a master’s in management and leadership skills may actually catch an employer’s eye and help you stand out from other applicants. Additionally, the more focused and practical nature of a master’s in management program may even make you a more suitable candidate for the position.
4. Financial Rewards
In addition to preparing you for management work and setting you apart from other job applicants, having a master’s in management can yield a higher salary and increased earnings potential. This is apparent when comparing the average earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree to the earnings of someone with a master’s degree.
Research has shown that employees with a master’s degree make an average of 20% more than those with undergraduate degrees alone. If you’ve been looking to land a management position while also increasing your earnings, then a master’s in management could help you do just that.
5. Meeting Organizational Needs
Companies of all sizes (and across all industries) need skilled, knowledgeable, and confident managers to lead them and help make the right business decisions. With a master’s degree in management, you’ll be prepared to meet your organization’s needs with confidence.
Key Skills Gained From a Master’s in Management Degree
So, what are some of the skills gained from a business management degree? Exact takeaways will vary depending on the program and school you select. However, there are a handful of skills you can typically expect a master’s in management program to focus on.
- Strategic Leadership and Decision-Making – Managers and leaders must have the experience and knowledge to weigh potential business decisions and, ultimately, recommend the right choice for the long-term success of the company.
- Change Management – Business managers also need to understand the principles of change management and how to implement change within their own organizations. The right degree program will equip students with strategies to implement change management seamlessly and effectively.
- Advanced Project Management and Operations Optimization – At the end of the day, the success of a business can hinge on the outcomes of specific projects and operations. Business managers and leaders play an important role in tackling advanced project management and optimizing operations. These skills are covered in a master’s in management program so future business leaders can better manage and optimize operations processes with confidence.
- Ethics of Contemporary Business Environments – More than ever, ethics are an integral part of doing everyday business. Business leaders and managers must weigh not only the practical effects of their decisions but also potential ethical implications. A great master’s in management program will prepare students to weigh important ethical considerations in today’s contemporary business environments, empowering them to make the right decisions.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making and Analytical Skills – Analytical skills are crucial in any management position, but the ability to understand and interpret large amounts of data is increasingly important—especially when you consider that businesses collect massive amounts of data. With the right data-driven decision-making and problem-solving skills, future business leaders will be equipped to make decisions based on real data and figures.
- Financial Acumen – Basic financial acumen is an essential skill for any business leader or manager. A master’s in management degree will provide students with the foundation to understand not just the basics of business finances but the nuances that can help them better perform their jobs.
- Global Perspective – It’s a global market, and business leaders across all industries need a global perspective if they want to be successful. The right management degree will help prepare students to maintain this kind of thought process in their own work.
- Entrepreneurship – Future business leaders are those who actively develop their entrepreneurship skills, and a great master’s in management program will focus on exactly that. With out-of-the-box thinking and creativity, today’s students will be tomorrow’s most successful business owners.
- Communication – Strong verbal and written communication skills are also a must in any business leadership position. Being able to effectively communicate with teams, individual employees, and stakeholders will make all the difference in a manager’s success.
Leveraging a Master’s in Management Degree in the Job Market
Perhaps one of the best things about a master’s in management degree is that these programs are designed to teach students practical management and leadership skills that are applicable to a broad range of positions and industries. Therefore, graduates can more readily leverage their degrees when applying for positions that interest them.
Meanwhile, having a master’s degree in management opens the door for higher-level job opportunities by providing the foundational skills graduates need to confidently lead and make business decisions.
The Advantage of an Online Masters of Science in Management at UTC
If you’re ready to take your business career to the next level but don’t want to spend years pursuing an MBA, it may be time to consider a MSM. At UTC, we offer an online master’s in management that’s versatile enough to suit your busy schedule. Plus, when you become a student at UTC, you’ll enjoy academic advising, career development, and student success services to help you grow your career prospects.If you’d like to learn more about our online MS Management degree, contact us today to request more information. Ready to get started? Begin your application to get the ball rolling on your graduate degree!