The Cheaper, No Work Experience Required MBA

I woke up this morning to very exciting news: I had been invited to interviews at both HEC Paris and ESCP Europe for their Masters in Management programs!!! I am now in the admissible stage, meaning my resume, transcripts, and GRE/GMAT scores have met their requirements. The interview at the end of February is the last stage to ensure I am the right fit for their program. 

Moving to Paris just got a whole lot more real, so I decided to take a closer look at pursuing an MiM in lieu of an MBA.


A Master in Management (MiM) is a two-year business school curriculum very similar to the Master in Business Administration (MBA). They are both graduate level degrees for students from any discipline wishing to study business management. However, they are critically different in the following ways.

1. WORK EXPERIENCE. The MiM is for students with little to no work experience, while MBA students have worked at least 3-5 years. This means that MiM students are in their early 20s while MBA students are older. From a recruitment perspective, MiM students are really just beginning their careers while MBA students are most likely changing and/or developing their careers.

2. COST -$$$. An MBA costs 2x as much as an MiM (50-60,000 USD/year vs. 20-45,000 USD/year - tuition only). 

3. REPUTATION. The MBA is the "default" business degree in the US, while the MiM is more popular in Europe. This means US recruiters may need to be educated about a European MiM degree. That being said, the MBA has been forming at many institutions in Europe (for the last few decades) while US has also begun to develop MiM programs as well (more recently). For example, Duke as well as MIT have developed a similar MiM programs, and Harvard has created the 2+2 Program to meet the demands of students who want to attend business school at a younger age. Business school will continue to evolve to fit the current educational landscape, and it would not be surprising to see the MiM become increasingly popular in the future.

4. CURRICULUM. The MiM is a Master of Science degree while the MBA is (as the name implies) a Business Administration degree. This means an MiM may focus more on theory while an MBA will focus more on practice. That being said, many students say there is no real difference in the curriculum, and MiM programs invest heavily in student internship and job prospects after graduation as do MBA programs.

5. SALARY +$$$. The MBA graduate will earn more than the MiM graduate. In 2012, the average HEC Paris MiM graduate salary was 90,000 USD (65,700 Euros) while the average Harvard MBA graduate salary was 120,000 USD. But this difference makes sense when you take into consideration that the MBA graduate is on average 4 years older than the MiM graduate (27 vs. 23) with significantly more work experience. 


Average Age: 23

Nationalities: 37

Median GMAT: 710

Female: 47%, Male: 53%

Avg. Salary: USD 90,000


Average Age: 27

Nationalities: 60

Median GMAT: 730

Female: 41%, Male: 59%

Avg. Salary: USD 120,000


In my opinion, getting an MiM or MBA will depend on each person's situation. For me, an MiM is a 1) low cost way to 2) get business school out of the way at a younger age while 3) becoming fluent in a third language and 4) getting international study and work experience.

Other advantages for me include:

5) I plan on having kids in my mid-to-late 20s and do not want to be in school at the same time.

6) I personally prefer a more theoretical/academic curriculum over a more "practical" one because I feel the material may be more thorough. 

But at the end of the day in business, it is not what kind of degree you have that matters, but what you make of those opportunities. 

Both the MiM and MBA are graduate/advanced business degrees. Both offer tremendous learning and networking opportunities. While some recruiters may prefer seasoned MBA candidates with lots of work experience (while others prefer younger professionals who are cheaper and easier to mold), it is the individual who will have the most impact on his or her job prospects depending on the opportunities he or she seeks out, the people he or she meets, and the effort and attitude he or she puts forth towards advancing their career. 

Just like college, business school is not the be all end all, but rather a training ground that teaches one how to effectively think and operate in the ever changing world of business. 


Further Reading: