Why Earn a Masters Degree in Management?

In the US economy, there always is a substantial need for effective managers in most industrial sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that employment in all management occupations will increase by 6% by 2024, but for many industries, the job growth for managers should be even higher.

As the economy is recovering from the recession, and more new businesses are being created, you can expect that more management jobs will be created. There also will be substantial competition for those jobs.

An effective way to qualify for good-paying, high responsibility management roles is to have your master’s degree in management. While the MBA is the better known business management degree, you should also carefully weigh whether the master’s in management might be a better fit.

Master’s in Management – An MBA Alternative

A master’s degree in management (MIM) can be an excellent stepping stone for experienced business professionals to move up the career ladder. A master’s in management can also be appropriate for a recently graduated business student who wants to focus strongly on management.

This degree focuses strongly on management, business, sociology, economics and strategy so that you can understand how business operations function from the ground up. You also will have a deep understanding of organizational behavior from many perspectives.

The Master’s in Management is a good alternative to the popular MBA. The MBA focuses largely on a step by step analytical process to making business management decision. Meanwhile the master’s in management has more of a holistic approach to business, and it focuses more sharply on developing high level business management skills. However, some students students may choose to attend an MIM program for a year, then transfer to an MBA program.

It depends upon the university and program, but some MIM programs are designed for senior business professionals with more than a decade of managerial experience.

Also note that another benefit of many MIMs is that they are less expensive than many good MBA programs. If you are funding your own education, this is an important consideration.

Why Earn a Master’s in Management?

Earning a master’s degree in management is very important if you want to enjoy the highest amount of career and salary growth possible. For example, Fortune magazine states that the typical MBA graduate sees a $45,000 increase in salary in the five years after he or she earns their degree.

A master’s in management graduate also will likely experience a similar increase in salary after several years.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission can vary a great deal, but you can expect to need to have these qualifications to be considered for entry to a quality MIM program:

  • Updated resume that describes all of your management experience and accomplishments
  • A complete transcript of your bachelor’s program and any other graduate work you have done
  • Personal statement
  • Three professional or educational references
  • GRE or GMAT scores often are required
  • 75 GPA or higher
  • A minimum of five years of managerial experience; 10 may be required

Curriculum and Courses

There are many excellent MIM programs across the US that serve as excellent alternatives to the traditional MBA program. If you want to focus your career strictly on management and leadership, this type of degree makes sense.

A good choice for an MIM program, for example,  is the Master of Management program offered by the University of Michigan. This is a two year, online program that features these classes:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Business Economics
  • Business Law
  • World Economy
  • Operations Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Management of Organizations
  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Applied Business Statistics and Analytics

This is a mostly online master’s program, but you will need to go to the summer term kickoff in June. You will complete three core classes that are important for success in the program. You also will need to show up on campus for one weekend interactive session in the second year.

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

Some job titles that you may enjoy after earning your master’s degree in management are:

  • Senior executive
  • Project manager
  • Director
  • Senior manager
  • Vice president of operations
  • CEO

Managers with this degree can enjoy long and rewarding careers in private companies in most industries, government, colleges, consulting and even the military.

Job and Salary Outlook

With the advanced management skills that you have acquired in your graduate program, you can tackle most upper level management positions successfully. Some of the most lucrative and in demand include:

  • Management Analyst – A management analyst is an excellent possible role for an MIM graduate. This type of position also may be described as a management consultant. Whatever the name, your job is to devise ways for organizations to improve efficiency and profits. Management analysts also advise managers and upper level executives on how organizations can make more money and reduce their operational costs. As a management analyst, you will have the option of being a self employed contractor, or working for a consulting company. Many skilled managers start off at consulting firms, and eventually work for themselves. This occupation will see a 14% increase in jobs by 2024, which is much faster than average. Note that growth will be strongest in smaller consulting companies that focus on specific problems or industries.
  • Top Executives – Strong management and leadership abilities are vital to be a successful top executive at any company or public entity. You will be responsible for devising effective strategies and policies to ensure that your organization meets all of its goals. You also will need to plan, direct and coordinate vital operations of the organization. There will be a 6% growth in jobs in this field by 2024, with the median pay coming in at $175,000 per year.
  • Administrative Service Managers – These highly paid managers plan, direct and coordinate the various administrative and operational services in a company or organization. Most often, they handle the very important tasks of maintaining the facility itself and providing supervision for the administrative activities done by others, including keeping records, distributing mail and keeping the office and building in order. All of these roles and tasks are of great importance so that the organization runs efficiently. This job will experience 8% growth by 2024, with the median salary coming in at $86,000.

Scholarships and Grants

To assist you with the financial burden of your master’s program, consider these scholarships and grants:

  • Colorado Tech University: This online university offers scholarships for professionals who are earning degrees in project management or management. You need to attend this online program full time to qualify for consideration for the various scholarships.
  • The Project Management Institute: Offers many scholarships for business and management students both at the master’s and bachelor’s levels.


As you are considering your master’s degree options in management and business, please review these additional, related resources:

  • The Management Association: This national association is devoted to assisting managers and organizations deal with HR challenges and to meet their management goals. Whether you manage an entire HR department or just a small number staff, you will find that your HR management practices will be more efficient by belonging to this association.
  • American Management Association: If you are looking for training solutions for your company, you should belong to the American Management Association. This highly respected trade association provides business training for individuals, government agencies, nonprofits and more.

Additional Resources