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MIM vs MBA-Which One Is Better?

MIM vs MBA, here are the 8 fundamental differences you should know, before making a decision that could lead you to a greatly rewarding career.

MIM vs MBA: Which one of them is a better choice for you.


We have all been at a stage in our careers when we have to decide the next step in our academic life, which carries the potential to boost our chances to build a strong profile in the long run, making steady progress in the desired profession.


The job market happens to be one of the most uncertain places. It remains highly unpredictable and sensitive to even the minutest arbitraries in the business world. Hence, it becomes increasingly difficult to commit oneself to a single plan and put all our eggs in the same basket.


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The business world, however, is a promising place. It provides ample opportunities and exposure to various aspects of an industry. Contrary to popular belief, many corporate jobs nowadays are flexible where employees enjoy beneficial bonuses and policies. Remuneration is often high which encourages healthy competition amongst workers.


Once you are an undergraduate and start looking for a versatile postgraduate program that would eventually ensure a robust career in the corporate world, then it is important to choose wisely. Deciding about which postgraduate program to pursue is a daunting task because more often than not, our future livelihoods depend on that decision.


For any individual who aspires to climb the corporate ladder, MIM and MBA are the most promising postgraduate qualifications. However, when it comes to opting for one, it is natural to face the dilemma; MIM Vs MBA-which one is better?


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MBA has been a choice of priority for students and professionals alike ever since it was first introduced at Harvard University in the United States almost a century back. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most viable and versatile degrees in higher education that can escalate the chances of a better professional career in the business world for any undergraduate.


Having said that, MIM is a fairly new postgraduate qualification that has recently gained some well-deserved popularity.


Before going in-depth about the fundamental differences between the two courses and addressing the key question: MIM Vs MBA-which one is better, let us run through a concise definition for both.


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What is MBA?


Masters in Business Administration, or in short, called MBA, is an increasingly popular degree of higher education which most professionals pursue if they aspire to become successful corporates and business leaders.


Although not mandatory in some cases, MBA is essentially intended for professionals with a few years of work experience before pursuing the program.


MBA programs are directed towards developing the practical knowledge of the students by applying learnings from real-life experiences of the candidates who have gathered business acumen over the years in their specific industries. MBA programs help to accelerate an existing career or bring a change in the career of a professional.


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What is MIM?


Masters in Management or MIM is a degree that has been designed for undergraduates who do not possess work experience, in other words, freshers. While MBA is more focused on strategic advancement in career by bringing personal growth and development and knowledge expansion, MIM leans towards assisting freshers to jumpstart their careers by providing comprehensive knowledge on business studies, building a strong foundation on management roles.


Several institutions, in India, as well as abroad, offer MBA and MIM programs or both. Although the bifurcation between the two is not distinct, you must consider different aspects of the programs so that it benefits you the most at the current stage of your career.


To help you find an answer to this predicament, here are 8 fundamental differences between the two programs to help you decide the impending question: MIM Vs MBA-which one is better for you at what stage of your career?




When it comes to eligibility to enter into a program, various aspects come into play. Certain requirements need to be fulfilled before you dive into either of the two. Some of these include work experience, age, and standardized test result scores to name a few.


MBA students typically come with 3 to 4 years of professional experience before opting for the course. They have a better understanding of business scenarios and are more likely to implement their real-life learnings to further gain a better insight into their desired industries and progress up to the next level of the professional ladder.


MIM students are typically younger than MBA students considering they are fresh out of their bachelor’s degrees and possess little to no experience in the business world. MIM is mostly opted by candidates who lack the necessary experience to secure a higher position in an organization as opposed to that of an MBA graduate.


The average age of MIM students is 23 years while that of MBA students falls between 27 to 32 years. Once you figure out which stage of career you are in and decide on whether MIM Vs MBA-which one is better for you, entering into either of the programs involves certain prerequisites and dedication to cut through standardized tests.


In India, CAT, CMAT, and MAT are some national-level entrance examinations that you can appear for to get into prestigious institutions that offer MBA programs. Other tests include XAT, IIFT, IRMASAT, etc which are university/ college level exams.


Renowned institutes in India including IIT Bombay, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, etc offer MIM courses, which accept test scores of CMAT, ATMA, etc to allow admission into their MIM programs.


Several foreign institutes, mostly European, offer MIM postgraduate programs. These management schools accept GMAT test scores to accept students into their postgraduate management program.


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Curriculum and content


While comparing MIM Vs MBA-which one is better, it is not easy to conclude upon certain dissimilarities. Even though the course content of both MIM and MBA are quite similar, the methods of delivery of the programs differ. MBA programs are inclined towards the practical application of real-life learnings on genuine complications faced by business organizations.


MBA students are required to apply knowledge from their work experience to contribute further to their curriculum. It offers a combination of classroom lectures, case studies, industry visits, debates, and discussions to gain perspective on different business problems and prepare candidates to constructively approach solutions.


MBA programs are more analytical, where students are required to consider a real-life situation from the perspective of a manager and look for a creative solution. Instead of a dissertation, MBA students might be required to present a business plan or engage in a concrete business project in an actual company.


MIM, on the other hand, is purely based on theoretical knowledge to gain insights on management roles through classroom lectures. It involves engaging the students in strategic discussions, role play, case studies, etc which requires active participation and hence, prepares them to face real-world business complications.


At the end of the program, candidates might be expected to undergo an internship in the desired industry and present a dissertation to summarize their learnings throughout the program.


Course duration


Since time is of value, the length of the course plays a vital role while deciding upon MIM Vs MBA-which one is better. Management programs come in various formats, designs, and means of delivering the course, and hence, are bound to influence your decision. MIM programs are usually fast-paced since they are targeted to equip students with management skills so that they can enter the business world promptly.


The duration of MIM programs offered by most top foreign institutions such as London Business School, ESADE, IE Business School, Singapore Management University (SMU), etc is 10 months. Some business schools, like HEC, also offer longer and more elaborate programs whose duration range from 18 to 24 months.


The duration of MBA programs also varies across different formats of the course. While some business schools offer the traditional full-time 2- year MBA, others come with different formats such as full-time one-year MBA, executive MBA, and part-time MBA. Part-time MBA takes the longest to complete which is 26 months, which is then followed by Executive MBA (20 months) and full-time MBA (18 months).


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Course Cost


The cost of pursuing a degree is one of the first things that come to an aspirant’s mind while looking for probable options. Because more often than not, budget constraints tend to play a dominant part, apart from college and program ranking, while concluding on whether MIM Vs MBA-which one is better for them.


MIM programs typically cost less than MBA programs. Needless to say, the most expensive MIM programs come at half the price of an MBA degree. It is mostly because of the difference in the intended group of individuals. Since MIM programs target undergraduates, aspiring to kick start their career in the corporate, and haven’t had the opportunity to earn a robust income yet, the tuition fees are kept at an affordable rate.


Unlike MIM candidates, however, MBA students, who have already set foot in the business world and have had work experience in selected fields, typically have a substantial income and savings to pursue an expensive program. Hence, top-ranking management institutes keep their tuition fees on the higher shelf.


Not only this, MBA programs aim at boosting already existing professional careers, and serve as a pivot in the business field. Engaging students in real-life business scenarios through special lectures, industry visits, etc involve extra costs.


Career opportunities


Unlike course content, there is quite a clear-cut difference between the two courses when it comes to career opportunities. This crisp difference is the most straightforward aspect while determining whether MIM vs MBA-which one is better for you based on where you are in your career.


MIM programs help candidates get into management roles and introduce them to the business world early in their careers. Since MIM programs target at providing relatively inexperienced aspirants with enough business knowledge to jumpstart their corporate careers, most MIM graduates start their careers with entry-level roles or junior managerial positions. With experience and gathered acumen in the industry of their choice, such candidates can then climb up the corporate ladder through appraisals and promotions.


Contrary to MIM, MBA students, who already possess the required industry expertise and have enough business prowess, are typically placed at mid-level or even higher-level managerial and leadership positions. MBA students are more experienced recruitments hence, are more suitable for companies to put in advanced jobs.




Much as career opportunities, the remuneration that one draws after graduating from a high-budget program, shapes the mind of any potential candidate while comparing MIM vs MBA-which one is better for them. Keeping in mind the points we have covered so far since MBA students are placed at either mid or higher-level business roles than MIM students who mostly acquire entry-level jobs, these graduates usually demand a higher remuneration than the MIM graduates as they already possess years of experience.


Considering their thorough understanding of corporate and maturity in addressing real-life situations alongside the level of intricacy of their roles in the organization, MBA graduates are paid heftily by many companies.


Nevertheless, having a MIM degree doesn’t prevent a candidate from obtaining an MBA degree later in life. Therefore, it is only a matter of performance, dedication, and time that MIM students rise to the level of MBA graduates.




Bearing in mind the details, the debate of MIM Vs MBA-which one is better might longer remain a riddle. But simply deciding which one is better might not be enough, because depending upon where you live or planning to set your base in the future, the scope of both programs might vary.


MIM has its beginning in Europe, hence, is immensely popular in European countries. Countries such as Spain, Belgium, France, and Ireland are considered best for pursuing this degree and have a lot of scope in the job market. Even though it has its roots in Europe, it is gaining quantum in the US. Top management schools such as Kellogg and Duke in the US, are offering MIM programs, and have a good recruitment rate.


Not as popular as the MBA, only a handful of colleges offer MIM in India, which includeJamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management (JBIMS, Mumbai), Thakur Institute of Management Studies and Research (TIMSR, Mumbai), and Welingkar Institute of Management ( We School, Mumbai).


Even though the popularity of MIM programs is yet to gain traction in countries outside of Europe, it is expected to gather momentum once alumni of such programs start making their hold in the market and can create and maintain strong business profiles




Although MIM is a fairly new phenomenon as compared to MBA, which has been around since the early 1900s, and has maximum popularity in Europe only, chances are many recruiters are impervious to its existence. MBA remains a more popular qualification than MIM in countries outside Europe.


However, it is logical that with the increased globalization, MIM programs are going to expand their reach to untouched grounds sooner than expected. It is also apparent that the target groups for both courses are relatively different: while MBA targets experienced professionals, MIM targets fairly inexperienced undergraduates.


Well-informed prospective recruiters are likely going to handle each independent target group in a separate light. It is now understood that MIM and MBA programs are rather alternatives than substitutes, which will encourage employers to recognize graduates of both as different degree holders and consider them for different positions.


Quality assessment of Institutes and Management Programs


As a result of the popularity of postgraduate programs, a plethora of institutes now offers MIM and MBA programs of their own. Since there is no dearth of options nowadays, it is mandatory to be attentive towards certain points.


Now that we have gained enough clarity about the programs, it is also imperative to know how to determine the quality of the business programs before opting for one. Following are a few things that you can check to evaluate the credibility of the school of your interest and the management programs offered by them.




Once you have the answer toMIM Vs MBA-which one is better, accreditations play a vital role in assuring a candidate that the program they intend to pursue is a distinguished certification and has worldwide recognition and will help them open many a door to better job opportunities. International accreditations are essential as they ensure the highest quality of education.


International accreditations in the management field are handled by certain agencies. Following are some internal accreditations and details about what they mean:



AMBA stands for the Association of MBAs (AMBA) which provides international accreditations to postgraduate programs of management institutions. AMBA also certifies doctoral programs in the management field and assigns accreditation based on students, faculty, curriculum, etc.



The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) was founded in the year 1916 and serves as one of the oldest accreditation agencies in business management. Apart from certifying business and accounting programs, AACSB also certifies doctoral-level programs of business schools.



The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) is an internal accreditation body that is operated by EFMD Management Development Network, a Brussels-based non-profit organization for the development of management studies across the globe.


Business schools, which boast of having international accreditations from all three agencies mentioned above are called Triple-Crown B-Schools. Currently, IIM Calcutta and IIM Indore are the only Triple-Crown business schools in India.


Institute and program ranking


Ranking of MBA and MIM institutes and programs serves as one of the key determinants while deciding on a post-graduation course. Sources like The Financial Times Global MBA ranking, The Bloomberg Business Week ranking are some of the immensely credible ranking sources of MIM and MBA programs, internationally.


These sources publish various reports which one can peruse to gain a better understanding of business schools and their programs. One can also look into specific reports to gain insight into the standards which are considered while ranking these schools.


In India, The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Business Today, and Outlook are the most reliable sources of B-School and MBA program rankings.


Potential future employers


You should have the answer to certain questions before choosing a school such as whether the recruiters are aware of its existence, or whether they have hired students from the school before and take active participation in the campus recruitments. If the institute you are aiming to enroll yourself into is a genuine and management school, chances are that employers would know about it.


Also, the career trajectory of the students offered by recruiters conveys a great deal about both the institute and the employers.


Alumni Base


Keeping in touch with the alumni is a good practice in general. Building a strong professional relationship with the alumni of the institute of your interest might be one of the most powerful ways to gain thorough knowledge about the institute and its programs.


Only alumni will be able to give you an unbiased opinion on different aspects of the program and the benefits they have received after graduating from the academy and receiving certification. The dilemma of MIM Vs MBA-which one is better is an eternal debate and will probably continue to create confusion in the minds of aspiring candidates.


To summarize everything, these programs aren’t substitutes but can be complementary. MIM and MBA programs are both post-graduate qualifications to leverage your entry into the corporate world. Even though there is a fine line between the two, each is going to benefit you differently at different stages of your career. This article is intended to clarify the key differences between the two qualifications to assist you to understand the pros and cons of the courses and conclude upon MIM Vs MBA-which one is better for you considering the phase you are in in your career.


The takeaway from this is that even though one might have the answer to MIM Vs MBA-which one is better, getting into a prestigious and credible business school is a hard nut to crack and requires considerable effort from aspirants. A good score in entrance exams such as the CAT (Common Admission Test) in India and GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)for colleges abroad, is essential to gain entrance into a reputed management school.


If you are an aspiring candidate and need guidance to prepare for admission tests, then there are numerous preparation programs available online and offline which can guide you through the entire process. Career Launcher offers elaborate online and offline preparation courses which are extremely thorough and have good reviews by students as well. Career Launcher is present in many cities throughout the country.  One can also visit their site careerlauncher.com to avail of their online courses at the comfort of their homes.


Another such site for test preparation Is Grade Up which offers several comprehensive courses which include daily live classes and mock tests. You can visit their website grade up to check out their program.

Priyanka Dutta Barua is an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Tezpur Central University, Assam. She also holds a B.E degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu. After a career in sales and marketing and working for prestigious companies post her MBA, she is now following her passion for writing. In addition to that, she also nurtures a predisposition towards entrepreneurship, which she is determined to pursue subsequently. She is also extremely fond of reading, traveling, music which includes Assamese folk, and possesses immense love for the art of calligraphy.

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