Masters Info

MIM vs MBA – An Analysis

mim vs mba

So you have decided to go in for higher education in business and management and wanted to know a detailed analysis on MIM vs MBA. Good call!

Now, you’ve got to figure out which of the zillion available courses you want to do. Even after you have narrowed down your field of interest to business and management, there are still too many options to choose from.

It is very important to choose the right course to fit your needs and your profile. If you don’t, your chances of getting an admit will reduce drastically. Unfortunately, even if you do get into a course you aren’t apt for, it will not help you and you will end up wasting invaluable time and money.

If you’re looking to understand the differences between MIM and MBA to figure which one to choose for yourself, you’ve come to the perfect place.

Here are the most frequently asked questions in this regard:

  1. What is the MIM course?
  2. What is the difference between MIM and MBA?
  3. What is the salary difference between MIM and MBA?
  4. Can I do an MBA after MIM?

In this article, we will answer all these questions and give you all the information you will need to know if you should go for MIM or MBA.

So, let’s begin!

What is the MIM course?

MIM stands for Master’s in Management. It is a postgraduate degree course that typically takes about two years to complete. It is a relatively new course as compared to the MBA which has been around since quite a long time now.

The MIM postgraduate degree is mainly academic in nature. It involves the study of management theories and a fair amount of quantitative analysis. As the name of the degree suggests, the main focus of its study is on management and not on business as a whole. As such, it is a more nuanced and more academically rigorous course than most other management courses.

Students with an academic background in science or STEM fields tend to do well at MIM.

This is mostly because MIM involves dealing with complex theoretical concepts and, as stated before, quantitative analyses, which are both common features of STEM studies.

Now that we have a rough understanding of the MIM course, let’s move on to the next question.

What is the difference between MIM vs MBA?

There are many differences between MIM and MBA – not all very clear.

So, let’s compare a few examples.

London Business School



Duration: 15, 18, or 21 months
Format: Full-time
Work Experience: 3-15 years
GMAT: Mandatory. Average 707. GRE accepted.
Fees: £82,240 (including Student Association fee of £240)
Duration: 12-16 months
Format: Full-time
Work Experience: Less than 2 years
GMAT: Mandatory. Minimum 600. GRE accepted.
Fees: £32,620 (additional fee for the optional 4th term – £7,500)

ESCP Europe



Duration: 10 months
Format: Full-time
Work Experience: 5 years
GMAT: Mandatory. Average 710. GRE and Tage Mage accepted.
Fees: €36,000 (not including the €180 application fees)
Duration: 2 years
Format: Full-time
Work Experience: Not required
GMAT: Mandatory. 600+ preferred. GRE and Tage Mage accepted.
Fees: €54,000 (not including the gap year annual registration fee of €850)

Duke University



Duration: 2 years
Format: Full-time
Work Experience: 5.6 years average
GMAT: Mandatory. Average 700. GRE accepted.
Fees: $68,200
Duration: 10 months
Format: Full-time
Work Experience: Up to 1 year
GMAT: Mandatory. Middle 80% range 560-740. GRE and Tage Mage accepted.
Fees: $52,980


Since MIM is a fairly new addition to the unending list of postgraduate degrees in management, you may not find readily available information regarding some of these factors.

Pay close attention to #3 and #7, they matter more than you may think!

  1. Work Experience
    As hinted above, the MBA has a hands-on, managerial kind of perspective while the MIM takes the perspective of an observer or analyst. This means that an understanding of real-world dynamics is more important for an MBA than for MIM. Professional work experience is therefore far more important for an MBA than it is for MIM.

    While almost all MBAs have a minimum professional experience requirement, MIMs don’t need any. In fact, most MIM students have a maximum of one year of work experience before they begin studying for their MIMs.
  2. Tuition Fees
    The MIM is meant for fresh graduates with little to no work experience, which is an audience that hasn’t worked for long enough to have sizeable financial reserves. On the other hand, MBA aspirants usually have at least a few years of work experience under their belts. So, on average, MIM fees tend to be lower than MBA fees.
  3. Teaching Style
    The tools used to teach MBA students are similar to those used with MIM students, but the way they’re used is slightly different for each of these. Both courses have a general overview of management topics, both use case studies, both foster teamwork and both simulate real-life scenarios to help students learn in a more involved, experiential manner.

    Here’s what’s different.

    For example, MIM students are likely to have an overview of management topics to help them understand how a business environment would work in real life so that they know what to expect. MBA students study the same so that they can learn what they should do when in similar situations.
  4. Age
    This may seem like a trivial issue to hold as a difference between the two degrees but it has a rather huge impact. To put things in perspective, the average age range of MIM students is usually 23 to 27 years of age while the same for an MBA is 27 to 32 years.

    The implied meaning is that the target audiences for both these degrees are vastly different. Therefore, these degrees are not competing against each other, they’re fairly exclusive in their own rights.
  5. Curriculum
    This is probably the biggest of the differences between MIM and MBA. The two courses come with very different intentions and therefore prepare students for different things.

    The MIM curriculum is highly academic in nature, with an intention to train academicians. This means that it involves a lot of mathematical calculation and theoretical analysis. The MIM tests your ability to handle data, deal with quantifications, research and to understand, recall, and accurately use theoretical knowledge.

    An MBA, on the other hand, requires you to build on your existing business acumen. It is significantly more practical in its approach since the intention is to create managers and leaders in business. It has a higher emphasis on the development of soft skills and your ability to work with people. MBA does not test raw knowledge; it is more about how you use what you know.
  6. Admission Criteria
    MBA colleges lay heavy emphasis on entrance exams such as GMAT and GRE. Although around 40% of the institutions offering MIM have also started taking these scores into consideration, previous academic performance and the score earned on the latest degree holds more weight.

    Furthermore, MBA programs are open to candidates from all walks of life. MIM programs are much more specific than that. Roughly one-third of the world’s MIM programs only accept students with a business or economics undergraduate degree.Of the remaining two-thirds, some are open to such students as well as those from other backgrounds that involve strong methodical structures (for eg. psychology, anthropology, or physics). Some accept students from all backgrounds, like MBA programs, and some others look specifically for students who don’t have degrees in business or economics.
  7. Awareness and Career Prospects
    MIM is a relatively new field of education, which casts shadows on the abilities of those who hold this degree. On the other hand, MBA graduates are looked upon with high regard because the degree itself is quite popular and has been around for a long time.

    In addition to this, MBA graduates are generally older, more experienced people somewhere in the middle of their careers while MIM graduates are freshers for all practical purposes. The two groups of graduates tend to look for very different kinds of jobs in terms of job descriptions as well as positions in the hierarchy.

All in all, you can safely say that MBA and MIM are not alternatives to each other. Even though both courses deal with business and management in general, they are very fundamentally different from each other in nature.

Let’s dive further into discovering MBA vs MIM salaries.

MBA vs. MIM Salary

Salaries are based on many factors, the most important of which are education and work experience. As noted before, MIM graduates tend to be younger, with lesser or no work experience at all in comparison to MBA graduates, who generally have at least three years of work experience before opting to get an MBA.

Naturally, post-MBA salaries are higher than post-MIM salaries.

The real test is to do a more balanced comparison, using weighted salaries. Weighted salary means the average salary earned by alumni three years after graduating, at US$ PPP equivalent, with adjustments made for variations between multiple sectors. It presents a much more balanced image than the comparison of direct numbers.

According to the Financial Times 2017 Rankings, even when weighted salaries are compared, MIM graduates from the top 10 B-schools earn $75,000 to $81,000 less than MBA graduates.

Clearly, the MBA has a sharp edge over MIM in terms of salary.

Now, here is the answer to the final question in this matter.

Can I do MBA after MIM?

Well, you most certainly can go in for an MBA after MIM.

Depending on why you want to do an MBA, your MIM degree might play to your benefit. The one thing you can be certain of is that you will have to do more than your competitors to get into an MBA after MIM.

When Admission Committees, or AdComs as they’re called, look at your profile and MBA application, they expect many things. They want to know if you know what you’re looking for, if their course is likely to give you that, and if you will be a good addition to the batch. Your MIM degree is likely to turn that last point in your favor but you still have to prove the first two points strongly enough to beat your competition.

With an MIM degree in your bag already, you may look like you don’t need the MBA; you may not get admits.

Every MBA Application will ask why you want to do an MBA and what your post-MBA goals are. As an MIM graduate, you will need to be clearer and more specific about exactly what you want as compared to the others. The reason is that the AdComs will expect you to have a better understanding of management and business, allowing you to know the nuances of what you’re after.

Here’s how you can get admits to an MBA after MIM:

In these ‘Career Goals’ and ‘Why MBA’ sections of your applications, make sure you write clear, coherent and compelling answers. Be as specific as you can about what you want, why you want it, and how you think an MBA will help you achieve it.

There isn’t enough data on the Internet to help us figure out whether an MBA after MIM will help fetch you greater salaries as compared to MBA graduates who don’t hold an MIM. In time, such data may reveal to us the true value of an MIM as far as an MBA goes.


All in all, you can safely say that a comparison between MBA and MIM reveals the two to be very different from each other; that they are not substitutes for each other and should not be considered as such.

Each one of these two postgraduate degrees has its own set of pros and cons. Each requires a unique kind of profile for success in the respective fields of study. Each hones a distinct set of skills and requires a separate set of intrinsic traits.

MIM and MBA cannot be compared to each other because they share almost nothing in common except for being business and management degrees.

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