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Masters in Economics or MBA?

SolomonmSolomonm Posts: 326Registered User Member
edited June 2009 in Business Major
I'm currently a Junior at USC majoring in economics. USC has a progressive degree program where for 1 extra year (6 classes) you can earn your masters in economics.

I know that I definitely want to earn a graduate degree (a personal goal of mine). However, until recently I was unaware of this progressive degree program and just had my eyes set on earning an MBA. For the progressive degree program I have to formally apply this semester in order to be elligible so the decision is rapidly approaching for me.

If I don't get my masters I will most likely have to work 2-4 years then put my career on hold and go back to school for 2 years in order to earn the MBA versus just sticking around for 1 more year at USC.

So far the consensus I am getting is that the masters is the better choice. That it will make me very marketable and its worth it especially with the progressive program. Conversely I've heard that an MBA is viewed with higher esteem and the masters in economics is seen as more of a degree leaning towards academia.

As far as my career prospects. I'm planning on entering the fields of either investment banking or financial planning/wealth management.

To sum it all up I guess my question is which degree should I pursue, the masters or the MBA? Or should I get my masters, see where the road takes me and possibly get the MBA as well somewhere down the line?

Thanks ahead in advance guys

-Michael
Post edited by Solomonm on

Replies to: Masters in Economics or MBA?

  • VectorWegaVectorWega Posts: 1,872Registered User Senior Member
    This is not an either/or decision. The MBA (given that it's from a top school) is far more valuable than a Masters in Economics. It's not even comparable. The real comparison you should be making is between the bachelors and masters in economics. Will that extra year of school be worth it in terms of job prospects?

    Regardless of whether or not you get your Masters, you can go back for your MBA in a few years if you think it's in your best interest at that time.
  • USCguy07USCguy07 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    hey Michael, which USC you go to? cali or carolina? i sent you a pm but dunno if it went through or not
  • SolomonmSolomonm Posts: 326Registered User Member
    I'm at southern california. So are you recommending that I get the masters and then go back for the MBA at a later date? It just seems like the masters would really help jumpstart a career. Higher entry pay, more likely to secure a position, etc. for just an extra year.
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    As someone who hires for a BB ibank, a masters in econ, especially from your undergrad school, would not matter to me. I don't care about MBAs either for the sake of the education, what I want is people who formed the great networks you get in top MBA programs.

    USC is not at the top of any banks target list. For banking your boost would come from a degree from a target school. PWM is a totally different game and maybe your clients with appreciate dept of knowledge in econ.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Posts: 1,872Registered User Senior Member
    I'm at southern california. So are you recommending that I get the masters and then go back for the MBA at a later date? It just seems like the masters would really help jumpstart a career. Higher entry pay, more likely to secure a position, etc. for just an extra year.

    I don't know because I don't know the types of jobs you get with the Masters as opposed to just the Bachelors. On the one side, it seems like a waste to get the Masters when you are just going back for your MBA in a few years anyways. On the other side, 1 year really isn't much in the big scheme of things. Also, if you feel it will help jump start your career then it could be well worth it (in terms of helping your profile when you apply to MBA programs).

    On a side note, I might recommend the masters, just so you get 1 more year in college (unless you think it will be all work and no play, in which case that purpose is defeated).
  • SolomonmSolomonm Posts: 326Registered User Member
    hmom5,

    would it matter if I am focusing my career prospects in Los Angeles (where USC is based). I have no real desire to leave the region as that is ultimately where I want to end up.

    I had always assumed for a career in Los Angeles that USC/UCLA were among the best choices of where to go for an education with the exception of those extremely elite universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc. which I had absolutely no hope of getting into.
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