Masters of Science in Economics or Finance or Accounting
The Masters of Science in Economics / Finance / Accounting is a degree for those seeking to learn specific skills relevant to economic or financial spheres. The degree is generally one-year and made up of narrowly focused courses in either economics or finance. The degree enables students to quickly develop expertise in a single field, and thus to move more quickly up the ladder in that field.
Some courses may overlap with an MBA program that has a finance concentration, but the MBA also provides more time for exploration outside of a single interest area and the development of more comprehensive leadership and management skills than the Masters of Science does. For some, the broader focus of the MBA may be helpful, for others, who already have gained management training or are interested in a PhD, or are just starting out, the Masters of Science might be a better choice.
The Masters of Science attracts people at a different point in their careers than MBA, EMBA or part-time MBA degrees.
· On average younger than the full-time MBA student, candidates are not necessarily required to have work experience. Thus it attracts more recent college graduates.
· Not as interested in learning to manage. The degree is more academically focused, teaching skills that are relevant to a particular track.
Though certainly varying from program to program and degree to degree, post-graduation many go into banking, some to economics, or development economics, and some to PhD programs.
Also of interest, in Europe the Masters of Science in Economics or Finance is considered particularly valuable and almost a more traditional path than the MBA. Graduates of Masters of Science programs are seen as skilled but also more flexible in terms of management style and thus companies can train individuals as they see fit.
Your first year of business school is likely to be a busy one. Adjusting to a newplace, meeting new people, learning new things, and opening new doors will make it an exciting, even thrilling experience. Yet, the best way to ensure that you will enjoy your first-year of business school is through preparedness. There are essentially three key ways in which to prepare, and thereby easily clear some of the main hurdles of the first-year.
1: Math Prep
Before you arrive on campus, you should focus on academic preparedness for the Math aspect of business school. If you feel a little weak on your quantitative skills prior to beginning your MBA, you are not alone. Approximately a third of MBA entrants need a full Math review course before they begin classes, and an additional third are weak in some area—whether accounting, statistics or excel spreadsheets—and need to spend some time working on it in the summer prior to beginning school. This does leave an additional third—these engineers, accountants or “traditional” candidates, who have been working in the finance industry prior to starting their study. If you fall into this category, you are unlikely to need much additional quantitative before your first-year classes begin. There are also diagnostic tests you may consider taking if you are uncertain of whether or not you are ready for MBA math.
o Many business schools offer a math camp or quantitative review to students prior to entering the fall semester. Check with the school you will be attending to see what summer programs they offer. (It’s also a good networking opportunity.)
o GMAC sells a Quantitative review program called MBA Survival Kit, including 4 CDs covering finance, accounting, math and statistics skills. Each CD may be purchased separately. Available for $60 each or $155 for the complete set.
o MBA Math is an online math review course modeled on the Math Camp at Dartmouth University’s Tuck Business School. It’s available for $99.
o Seek out a program that is approved or recommended by the school you are going to attend. Many schools offer their own Math Camps during the summer.
o If you do fall into a category like “career-changer” (those out of practice in terms of quantitative skills), take a course. Not doing so will leave you in a position of having to catch up with your classmates, many of whom are accustomed to using analytical or quantitative skills daily. Not taking the time to review will make your first-year a much less pleasurable experience—academically, professionally, and socially.
In an analysis of a b-school application, it is certain that some traits are going to be viewed positively by business schools across the board, for example, high GMAT scores or a high undergraduate GPA. However, certain schools such as MIT Sloan are looking for more particular characteristics in those they accept.
MIT Sloan seeks applicants with a background in Economics or Accounting. This may provide additional insight into the type of students that attend Sloan. In a similar vein, Sloan sees the Quantitative score on the GMAT as being particularly important in their evaluation. Certainly, if you do not see these parts of your application as being particularly strong and have your heart set on applying to Sloan, these facts alone should not deter you. Sloan also prefers a student body made up of people who have engaged in a range of professional sectors and have unique personal interests too.
Overall, it’s good to keep in mind that Sloan is about more than technology; it’s about creativity as well. So show in your application an ability to creatively reflect on who you are and if you are invited to interview, be prepared to respond spontaneously to an interviewer’s unconventional approach.
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