Difference Between MBA and MPA: Which One is Better?

To make a better choice between Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters of Public Administration (MPA), you need to understand their differences. Although MBA and MPA have some key similarities, they’re also different in their own way.

While both degree options offer advanced education on how to run an organization, the two have distinctly separate areas of focus: the private versus public sectors. Deciding which to pursue hinges greatly on where you want to take your career.

Difference Between MBA and MPA

Difference Between MBA and MPA
Difference Between MBA and MPA

What is an MBA Degree?
An MBA is a versatile degree program that focuses on educating future business executives of the private sector. Students gain a firm understanding of business fundamentals, such as management, economics, finance, and marketing.

The MBA curriculum spends time reinforcing business skills leaders need to understand, such as market trends, anticipating areas of growth, increasing profitability and driving change.

Traditionally, it takes 2 years to complete an MBA degree, however, there are accelerated 1-year programs available. Executive MBA programs are also available for those with professional work experience.

MBA Jobs

Graduates with an MBA can also work in the public or private sectors and typically take on a managerial role. Graduates may also pursue careers within their particular concentration area of business. Some specific job titles for those with an MBA include:

Marketing manager
Financial manager
Human resources manager
Nonprofit director
Operations manager
Health services manager
Management consultant
What is an MPA Degree?
An MPA is an advanced degree designed to boost skills in public administration and governance, preparing students for leadership roles in nonprofits and government. The MPA degree prepares students to manage people, projects and resources in nonprofits, government agencies, international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), social enterprises and private corporations.

The curriculum of an MPA is specifically designed to increase knowledge of the political system, instil public service values, and promote complex decision-making skills. The MPA program places a strong emphasis on policy implementation, program management and ethical leadership.

Traditionally, it takes 2 years to complete an MPA degree, however, there are 1-year programs available. Students may also pursue an MPA degree on a full-time or part-time format. Executive MPA programs are also available for professionals already working in the field.

MPA Jobs
Graduates with their MPA can work government jobs, non-governmental jobs, and for non-profit organizations and usually pursue administrative or managerial positions. Some common career options for those with an MPA include:

Law enforcement administrator
Emergency management director
Administrative services manager
Community development director
City manager
Department head
Government relations officer
Public health administrator
Health department manager
Head of a nongovernmental organization (NGO)
Operations manager
Which is Better Between MBA and MPA?
Both MBA and MPA degrees instil leadership and management skills for career advancement. While one is geared towards a corporate environment the other focuses on the community.

Choosing the better fit for you depends on your desired educational focus and career aspirations. There’s no comparative advantage of one over the other. They’re just designed to serve a different purpose.

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