Study MBA or PhD?
The MBA is a Master of Business Administration qualification. It is gained after following a post graduate course which students of business and finance often choose to undertake to further enhance their career. It is an internationally recognised qualification and can significantly boost earning potential. The UK MBA courses and qualification are most advantageous to people working in managerial or executive roles.
A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is a post graduate degree, also known as a Doctorate. Generally, an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree need to be achieved to be able to study a PhD.
Making the Correct Choice
The choice of whether to study a MBA UK course or PhD should be made in a logical and sensible manner.
To ascertain which degree to undertake depends upon several factors, which are the:
• length of the degree
• amount of commitment required for each, and
• job one is aiming to do post completion
Types of MBAs and PhDs
There is a wide variety of MBAs and PhD course in the UK that can be undertaken. Common MBA programs in the financial sector include the CIMA and ACCA courses. These and similar qualifications gained would all further enhance your career. However, within the financial sector, it is generally regarded that a PhD is more suitable for a consultancy role.
How Long Does Each Qualification Take?
There are many different types of MBA degrees which can be studied. A typical MBA programme takes two years (four semesters) to complete. Assessments (coursework and exams) will be set at regular intervals during this time. Alternatively, a fast track MBA degree can be undertaken. This degree can be completed more quickly; however, the workload will be much higher. Providing one is able to handle this, the course may prove a viable option.
The main disadvantage of partaking in a fast track MBA is that a business internship will not be able to be secured within this time. Also, there will be less time for work; therefore, a salary will have to be compromised. If you study a part time MBA, this will take three or more years to complete. This method is more costly. However, this degree will allow you to uphold a job whilst attending classes during the evenings or at weekends.
A PhD tends to take between three and eight years to complete. Some students decide to do a PhD program part time and this will, of course, take longer. Those who self-fund often tend to opt for part time study whereas a funded degree necessitates the student to study full time.
Cost of Each Degree
Costs can vary considerably. A reasonably priced MBA can lie anywhere in the region of £18,000 to £60,000. The cost is dependent upon the quality of the institution and the length and type of program undertaken. Although this is a lot of money, participating in the right program can lead to not only recouping the investment in a short period of time but also significantly boosting your income.
When it comes to PhDs, some are fully funded, others are not and some may even pay - provided some additional research is carried out. A non-funded PhD can cost approximately £4000 a year full time or £2000 a year part time. The cost of this degree again fluctuates depending on the study style, institution and length of course.
When considering the cost of either degree, there are other factors that must be considered. These include the:
• cost of the investment of personal time
• whether an employer is prepared to partially or fully subsidise the costs of the degree
• costs of learning materials (books etc.), and
• 'opportunity cost', i.e. how much money is being sacrificed in order to complete this qualification
Naturally, it is recommended that one secures funding for whichever program is undertaken. However, even without this, choosing the correct UK MBA or PhD program to study can be the best decision ever made in terms of increasing one's future income and career prospects.