Do you need an MBA or a certificate?Do I need a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree? Maybe a general accounting or a business management certificate is a better idea. To decide, one must consider more than just “what” he/she will study, but also “why?”

The MBA is a management degree –administration.  The accounting certificate is a technical credential specific to the business process of debits and credits.  The corollary extends to other degrees and certificates.  The degree-holder has spent much longer in school dabbling into a variety of topics from managerial accounting to management information systems, to marketing management before zeroing in on a concentration in one of the myriad business functions like finance or project management.  It’s a wide–angle view of business.

A certificate program deeply develops a student’s expertise in one facet of business.  Notice how the MBA courses had “manage” in their titles? Well, a certificate will sound like a different alliteration depending on the concentration. Instead of managerial economics and strategic management, a student working on an International Business Advanced Certificate will take InternationalBanking and Finance, International Business Management, and International Organizational Development Strategies.

The MBA holder has a fundamental understanding of all the elements of business and is responsible for overseeing the specialists, professionals more likely to have certificates, who get down to the nitty-gritty and take care of the detailed work. Businesses can’t function without one or the other, so the question to answer is which function do you want to do? In other words, why are you pursuing further education? Do you want/need to learn a little about a lot <of topics> (a degree) or a lot about a little (a certificate)? Let the academic counselors at University of the Potomac help answer these questions.


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