Management Degree vs. MBA?

What is the difference between our management degree and a traditional MBA? Program director Laura Wilcox answers this question and more for you here.

What is the difference between our master's degree in the management field and a traditional MBA program?

The difference is primarily in program length, price, cohort structure with built-in community, and flexibility/accessibility.

1. We offer many, if not all, of the same core course topics that one would find in a traditional MBA program: accounting, communications, economics, finance, leadership, marketing, operations, organizational behavior, and strategy. The MBA, however, is ordinarily 20 courses and our program is 12. It is shorter, but we also attract working professionals with at least 7 to 10 years of work experience. Much more than the 2 to 3 years of work experience that students ordinarily have in traditional MBA programs.

2. The price for an MBA is roughly $60,000 (or much more for top tier programs); our degree is roughly $30,000. We offer students an outstanding educational value.

3. MBAs are usually full-time, on-campus, cohort programs that offer few part-time and online learning opportunities. Our courses are offered in the evenings or online so our students can continue to work. They don't need to give up their jobs (and the annual income that goes along with those jobs) to earn a master's degree. Our students can immediately apply what they learn in class to their jobs so they can put their education to work for them right away.

Top MBA programs offer structured cohort experiences that lend itself to community and networking. Our students may need to be more proactive in networking, but many appreciate the flexibility in choosing groups based on their interest or joining any one of the student organizations that support community building (Harvard Extension School Business Society, Harvard Extension Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Association, and Harvard Extension Management and Technology Society).

4. Our curriculum is flexible and accessible. We can easily add a new course in response to changing market needs and we try to make sure we have a number of courses offered in different formats to support learners of all types. We’re also fortunate to have excellent instructors from academia and industry who enjoy teaching our students. Harvard Extension School is highly regarded by employers and we offer all the relevant management courses at a convenient schedule and competitive price.

In sum, we believe that we offer the best continuing education management program in the country inspired by and designed for you, the working professional.