MBA programs provide a comprehensive business scope that covers the development of both hard and soft skills. The hard, or technical, competencies learned in an MBA program relate to the building blocks of business. Students typically study coursework such as accounting, economics, statistics and marketing. Abilities in these subjects can allow professionals to analyze business environments and improve company operations. The soft skills practiced through an MBA include effective communication, teamwork and problem solving – all traits that can enable individuals to build productive relationships with colleagues, stakeholders and customers.
Most notably, developing strong leadership abilities is a significant component of any MBA program. The degree aims to provide students the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to effectively lead others. MBA programs are geared toward individuals who are determined to take on management, executive or other supervisory roles at organizations.
Key learning outcomes of an MSBA
Analyzing data is crucial in today’s business world. Therefore, MSBA programs focus on equipping students with the skills needed to analyze complex data sets from which to derive informed business insights. Students can develop in-depth analytical skills by learning coding languages, data mining techniques, data quality management and analytical modeling to influence business strategies.
The goals of an MSBA program are to not only teach students how to analyze data, but also how to effectively communicate their findings to key stakeholders. By using techniques such as data modeling, which can condense complicated data into easy-to-digest formats, as well as effective communication skills, professionals can translate their interpretations of information into business recommendations to achieve organizational goals.
Though both degrees can help prepare students to improve business strategies, MBA and MSBA programs have different curriculums that reflect the MBA's emphasis on a holistic education and the MSBA's focus on analytic skills.
MBA programs often include courses on business communication and ethics, organizational psychology, entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, marketing, business law and strategic management. In comparison, MSBA programs are more technical in nature and provide courses related to data mining, coding, information technology, business analytics software, analytical modeling and programming. Such classes teach students how to use coding and programming languages like Python, Hadoop and SQL, as well as software programs that may include Microsoft Access, AzureML and Decision Suite.
In terms of coursework, both online MBA and MSBA programs may require students to complete group projects, participate in online discussions and pass exams. They also often include an applied project that summarizes what a student has learned during the program or delves into a specific area of interest related to the student’s career goals.