I am currently trying to decide which route I would like to go when pursuing my masters degree in the future. I do not know if it is better to go the technical route and get my masters in Industrial Engineering or go the managerial route and get my MBA. Does anyone have any suggestions/ experience that could help?
The short answer is it depends. In my opinion, I think you should wait on getting an MBA since it’s possible that your employer would pay for it when the time comes. Regarding the master’s in Industrial Engineering – I’m in the accelerated program right now (Industrial Engineering with a focus in Systems Engineering and Analytics) and do not regret my decision at all. If you don’t have a job you want lined up after graduation, and if you’re willing to put in the work, I think you should definitely think about getting your master’s. Although my future job doesn’t necessarily require a master’s degree, it definitely helps you and gives you a leg up in the application process, and will also likely help you in the future in terms of promotions.
In my opinion, I believe a technical masters and an MBA could both really benefit your career. Therefore, it is not a matter of which you should take but rather a matter of when you should obtain each degree. For a technical graduate degree, I think it is best to take it as soon as possible because it is typically easier to get in as it does not require you to have any work experience and it is nowadays often offered as an accelerated program that can be finished in less than a year. Conversely, for an MBA program, if you want to get into an elite program you need some experience first. For most top business schools, the average age of MBA students demonstrates that they are about five years out of an undergraduate degree. Hence, depending on your circumstances, you should consider the timing at which you plan to take each program.