MBA versus MEM- How to pick the ideal degree?

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

Over the course of the last several decades, it has been observed that pursuing an MBA (Masters in Business Administration), which is a business management graduate degree, is the standard for career advancement for engineers and graduates of science-related programs.


But in recent years, instead of an MBA, engineering graduates find themselves more inclined towards studying the MEM or Masters in Engineering Management program.


If you are in two minds about which one- MEM or MBA- would be a better choice, then this article is for you. In order to help you figure out which one is the right fit for you, we have enlisted several parameters and contrasted them for the two programs. A thorough evaluation on these lines will leave you determined about what you want to pursue.


Let’s get right into it.


First, the education background.

The MEM program is mainly chosen by undergraduates with a degree in science, technology, engineering and math-related degrees. MBA, on the other hand, invites graduates from all backgrounds. Do you have an undergraduate degree in engineering or a STEM field? Put a check-mark on MEM. Is your bachelor’s degree more business-related and less science-related? It’ll be an MBA for you.


Next, the objectives and focus of the program.

This might be the most important consideration for anyone thinking about doing the MEM degree versus the MBA. If you’re someone who has a strong, passionate core for engineering and technology and want to stay within that vertical tier, you’ll want to do MEM. A MEM course will broaden your engineering knowledge and bridge it with management and business skills.

A traditional MBA degree, on the other hand, will help you expand your horizon within the business foundation concepts, operations, and human resource exclusively.


Third, the work experience requirement.

If you’re planning to head straight to enrolling in management courses as soon as you can with no work experience, you can target schools offering the MEM program. For applying to the top early-career MBA programs, you need to demonstrate leadership experience through internships, paid work or extracurricular groups for at least 2-3 years. Accepted candidates, however, have an average of 3-5 years of work experience.


Next, the duration and cost of the program.

Most of the MEM programs have a duration of about 12-15 months. The tuition fees would be somewhere between $50,000 to $60,000. Also, the cost of living would be manageable due to the shorter duration of the course. However, a two-year full-time MBA offered by reputed US B-schools would cost close to $1,00,000 or above for the tuition fee, in addition to the cost of living.


While MBA and MEM programs share similarities in shaping competent leaders through a curriculum in economics, marketing and operations, students with MEM degrees are better fits for today’s tech-based companies- they’re prepared for specific challenges and opportunities in the engineering management industry. In contrast, MBA produces graduates with a non-technical business education, which can be applied to any field.


In a nutshell, both programs are prestigious and have market value. You need to pick your choice on the above criterion and work your best to get the best out of the chosen degree!

f you further want to know what fits you better, don’t worry. We’re here to the rescue. All you need to do is get in touch, and Team Pegasus will help you out. Do a free profile evaluation test here, and we’ll get back to you!

Share this post:

More Articles

Specialized Masters Programs

Graduate students and young professionals are eager to take up “specialized” master programs more than the regular masters’ programs like Masters Program in Computer Science,

Masters in Management

MIM or Masters in Management is a premium post-graduate degree meant for individuals who have just graduated or are young professionals.   Why would you