MS Engineering vs MBA


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2008
    Hello : )

    I plan to start my own tech-companies and trying to decide between MBA and MS engineering.

    I feel that engineers tend to have the right skill set needed to come up with ideas and the right motivation to do something useful for humanity. MBAs on the other hand i don't trust so much. Too focused on getting rich. So i am not sure if i am going to be better of doing MBA or MS engineering in terms of meeting the right people for the team.

    I want to run businesses but at the same time i want them to be closely related to technology. I want to be the guy coming up with all the ideas and delegating execution to someone else.

    What do you guys think is the right degree for that? Thanks.


    Senior Member
    15+ Year Member
    Mar 24, 2005
      Well if you want to start your own tech company, I'd say MBA. You will find more students with similar goals to network with, and a lot of programs have entrepreneurial classes targeted toward this. I'm applying right now, and that's my take on it at least. The fellow engineers I've met in med school are too busy with playing the game to match well... no time for other stuff.
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      Perpetual Student
      7+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      Jan 6, 2004
      Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
      1. Medical Student
        From my (limited) experience in an IT company. I got an MS in comp sci and worked for a couple of years as a programmer.

        From what I learned, if you want to go on the technical management track, an MS in engineering may help you more than MBA in part because there are less of them. And in a tech company, showing a good knowledge of your technical expertise goes further than showing the 'softer' skills that an MBA demonstrates.

        That said, an MBA is more flexible. If working at an IT company doesn't work out, an MBA could help you in other places.

        Another thing to think about is it's easier to get your MBA later on in your spare time than to get your MS---although you can do both. But typically, the more technical degree takes more time. I know friends who did their MBA part time while working. It's harder (but doable) to do the same with MS in engineering, but more work involved.

        Sol Rosenberg

        Long Live the New Flesh!
        15+ Year Member
        Feb 12, 2006
        Living in America
        1. Attending Physician
          I assume that you have had no non-academic work experience yet.

          Therefore you NEED the MS in engineering to be able to get the technical experience that will cause people to take you seriously when you look for funding to start your company. At least in Electrical Engineering, a BS will get you no meaningful job experience, unless you are extremely lucky. After you have an MS and 10+ years experience, people might take you seriously (if you have a good idea, business plan, etc.) Tell your employer in those 10 years that you want to go into management and get them to pay for your MBA, if you really think that you still want one. Most good MBA programs (an MBA, in and of itself, is a worthless degree, UNLESS it comes from a top program) want at least 5 (maybe even 10 -- I forget) years of experience.
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