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MBA vs PMP : Which Is a Better Career Move?

PMP vs MBA comparison

What is MBA?

MBA (Master of Business Administration) refers to a type of professional master’s degree in business administration. The establishment of this degree aims to cultivate pragmatic, compound and applied high-level management talents who can meet the needs of senior management of industrial and commercial enterprises and economic management departments in the future.

MBA is a degree highly sought after by entrepreneurial students looking to gain an edge in the business world in a variety of different markets and corporations. The program is designed to develop a person’s skills in many areas of business, providing them with an extremely broad knowledge as well as acute abilities. Courses in finance, leadership, organizational behavior, marketing, management, government, and economics are some of the required courses typically found in an MBA curriculum. Elective courses offer a person the opportunity to develop specialized skills, such as a concentration in the healthcare business.

The completion of an MBA in the United States takes approximately two to three years after attaining a bachelor’s degree. The allotted time for completing this degree is slightly less in most European countries. Subordinate degrees are usually not required to be accepted into a program, but many students begin their academic careers with an MBA in mind. Many schools offer MBA programs along with other academic majors, and some focus only on business degrees.

Although universities that offer MBA programs have their own specific requirements for admission, generally, before a person is accepted into the program, he or she must do well on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Other common requirements include work experience related to business administration, involvement in extracurricular activities and community, and a basic understanding of business terminology.

For people who have already begun their career in the business world, including upwardly mobile executives who wish to attain an MBA, many schools offer special programs that differ slightly from the typical curriculum. The Executive MBA is a part-time program designed for those who already have extensive business experience. Working around their careers, students in this program have the opportunity to share their practical business experience with others, as well as immediately and directly apply their academic work to their careers.

What is PMP?

PMP (project management professional) refers to the certification of project management professionals (personnel). The PMP certification examination held by the American Project Management Institute (PMI) has been promoted in more than 190 countries and regions around the world. It is the highest gold content certification in the field of project management. Obtaining a PMP certificate not only improves the project management level of the project manager but also directly reflects the personal competitiveness of the project manager. It is a symbol of the identity of project management professionals.

As a project management qualification examination, PMP has established its authority internationally:

  1. PMP has trained a large number of project management professionals for the United States, and the project management profession has become the “golden profession” in the United States.
  2. PMP certification has become an international certification standard, and the certification examination is conducted in nine languages such as English, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese;
  3. There are over one million certified PMP in the world.
  4. Countries have followed the project management certification system of the United States, which has promoted the development of project management in the world.

What is the difference between PMP and MBA?


The following are the differences between PMP and MBA:

  1. MBA pays more attention to the cultivation of enterprise management theory and knowledge, focusing on theory; PMP focuses on the application of the 10 knowledge areas of project management to solve the practical problems of the project.
  2. MBA generally needs to pay 50000-200000 yuan (approximately 8000-30000 US dollars) of tuition, which takes 2-3 years (excluding preparation time); PMP costs only 5-7000 yuan (approximately 800-1200US dollar) and takes only 2-3 months.
  3. MBA is a “certificate of education”, which is basically a master’s degree. PMP is the same as international licenses such as international auditors and accountants. It is an internationally recognized “certificate of ability”.
  4. For some countries and regions, the local MBA degree may not be recognized by other countries; The PMP license is recognized in more than 190 countries around the world, so it is convenient for multinational managers to dispatch their manpower and apply for local work visas.
  5. International large-scale projects or customers do not require manufacturer representatives to have an MBA degree; However, a PMP license is usually required.
  6. After obtaining MBA, their professional development depends on their own efforts; PMI continues to provide PMP with the world’s most advanced management methods, which can continuously maintain the improvement of the management knowledge and ability of the certificate holders.
  7. MBA is aimed at internal management, focusing on personal management ability; Project managers usually face the needs of customers or within the company, so the talents who have obtained PMP pay more attention to how to integrate resources, develop teams, apply management skills to achieve project objectives and satisfy customers.

PMP vs MBA: Which one is better:

Well, based on the above information, some conclusions can be generated as follows.

PMP is a professional skill certificate, which belongs to industrial ability certifications.

MBA is proof of academic qualifications, which is a type of master’s degree. After you get it, your education level will be updated. You can go up to another floor. Professional advantages are obvious – Business Administration, but not for project management.

These two qualifications cannot be confused because they are not the same certificate or even the same type. No way to compare.

PMP can be admitted at any time within a year with sufficient preparation time.

MBA is once a year. If you missed a chance, you would have to wait for another year.

If you have a disadvantage in education degree, you can’t be promoted. You can choose MBA.

If you have no disadvantage in education, or if you are a novice in the workplace, you want to be a project manager for project management. PMP can be selected.

In conclusion, if you just want to be a professional project manager, there is no need for you to apply for the MBA qualification (Just think about all the money and time you would have to invest!), in this case, PMP is a much advanced and much better choice.

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