MIM vs MBA: everything you need to know


If you are set on a career in business management, there are two obvious choices you can make: a Masters in Management (MIM) or a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). These two courses might look similar, but are as different as chalk and cheese. To help aspirants, we break down the key differences between the two courses. 


Full formMasters in Management or alternatively Masters in Business Management.Masters in Business Administration –
AliasesThe abbreviation MIM does not represent an official degree such as an MBA or MSc. However the umbrella brand is being used by business schools who abbreviate their Masters in Management with ‘MIM’. Depending on different University traditions, marketing strategies or different curriculum and course designs, the actual degree name may differ.In India for instance, the MIM is known by the name PGP or PGDM. Other names you may come across – MSc in Management, MSc in International Business, Master in Business and Economics, MSc in General ManagementNo known aliases in USA, Europe. In India, different B-schools use different names for the full time MBA course. These include: PGPX (Post Graduate Programme for Executives), EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Programme), IPMX (International Programme in Management for Executives), PGPEX (Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives), PGPM (Post Graduate Programme in Management), One year PGP (Post Graduate Programme). (Despite the misleading names these courses are not be confused with Executive MBAs which are part-time programmes. Read this for more on this branding faux pas unique to India: Executive MBA? No. India’s first globally accredited MBA? Yes!
Popular coursesPopular MIM courses include those offered by B-schools such as St. Gallen, Oxford, Hult, Indian Institute of Managements (PGP/ PGDM), IE Business School.Popular courses can be one year or two year in duration. Some top one year full time MBA courses are those offered by INSEAD, IMD, IIMs, ISB, Cornell, Kellogg. Some top two-year full time MBA courses are those offered by Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton, MIT, Stanford. –
Who is it for?Fresh graduates or recent graduates  with minimal work experience ranging between 0 to 3 yearsExperienced professionals with minimum of 3 years of work experience and above. Average work experience in an MBA class is usually 5-7 years.Impacts your eligibility. You will have to gain substantial work experience if you have your sights set on an MBA. 
Typical age group of participants23 years27 to 32
Average work experience of participants0 to 3 yrs (25% of MIM students have 0 yrs of work experience)3 to 12 years –
The goal of the degreeTo help fresh graduates gain a grounding in business managementTo help experienced professionals transition to leadership rolesDon’t head into an MIM expecting managerial slots. Most MIM graduates land assignments as Management Trainees.   
Program length40 percent of MIM programs take up to a year to complete; 58 percent take more than a year but no more than two years. On average, full time MIM programs take 18 months to complete.Most European MBAs take about one year to complete and North American MBAs about two years. In India the MBA programme is of one year duration. Across Asia and Australia, many MBA prorammes are of one year duration. –
Tuition feeTypically an MIM programme is 63 percent cheaper than an MBA. Average fee EUR 12550 in Europe. Highest – and EUR 30000 .Fee in India for PGP/ PGDM programmes ranges between 2 lakh and 14 lakh depending on the institute.Higher fee. Average fee in Europe for One year MBA programmes EUR 33750. Highest – EUR 70700. Average fee in USA for a One year MBA $ 100000 and for two year MBA – $111000.An MIM is considerably cheaper than an MBA. But the salary on graduation are similarly far lesser than what you would make after an MBA. If you are touching the 2 to 2.5 years work experience level, you might be better off pursuing an MBA after crossing the 3 years work experience threshold.
Career path – on graduationGraduates join companies in entry level slots such as Management TraineeGraduates join companies in lateral management slots such as Senior Manager, General Manager, Vice president & CEO –
Career path – lifetimeSome organisations may prefer MBAs for top management slots.MBA is the established degree required for top officeDepends on maturity of economy and regulatory framework. In USA and UK, an MBA might be preferred for top managerial slots since it is the established degree. In India, B-schools have traditionally produced MIMs albeit branded as MBAs by virtue of accreditation granted by local bodies AIU and AICTE. Global accreditation awarded by AMBA, UK classifies these programmes as MIMs. Read about the accreditation at these links – (http://bit.ly/iimlaccreditation), (http://bit.ly/spjainaccreditation)  & (http://bit.ly/mdiaccreditation)  and the recent MBA accreditation granted to PGPEX at IIM C: PGPEX awarded MBA accreditation by AMBA. Only prog. at IIM C to make the cut.The industry in India is beginning to understand the value of true blue MBAs and with time might give preference to MBAs for top slots.  
Geographies the course is popular inEuropean countries and India. In India the 2 year PGDM/ PGP courses are extremely popular.Across the world –
EligibilityFewer eligibility criteria. For instance MIM courses do not require prior work experience. The primary entry requirements are a bachelor degree, proof of language skills, sometimes the GMAT or comparable tests, such as the GRE, and academic achievements during the undergraduate degree. About two thirds of theMIM programs worldwide accept graduates from all types of undergraduate programs whereas one third requires a business or economics degree. Higher number of eligibility criteria. Most B-schools require GMAT, a minimum of 3 years of work-experience and largely accept candidates with 5+ years of work experience. Some B-schools in India specify a certain age for aspirants, such as IIM A which requires aspirants to be at least 27 years of age. –
GMAT Requirements40 percent of MIM programs need a GMAT Score. Average GMAT Score of MIM Students is 610. In India, CAT is the exam used for admission to 2 year PGP/ PGDM programmes and the admission process is primarily score based unlike admission process in countries such as UK, USA and France which are more broad based.GMAT is a requirement at most B-schools. Average score of MBA students worldwide is 650. Average scores at top 10 B-schools in Europe, USA, India hovers around 700-720. 
The curriculumTheoretical grounding in general managerial concepts. Eg. How to design a consumer research study or how to create a profit and loss statement from a balance sheet.A lot of learning happens on the job after graduation.Practical application of general management concepts useful for a manager as MBAs are expected to hit the ground running. Course focuses on analysis and application of concepts rather than theory of how to do it: consistent with managerial job.Eg. How to analyse research findings and how to analyse a balance sheet and profit and loss statement to chart strategy.– 
Reputation (The programmes don’t compete per say as they are meant for different groups of students)Primarily known in Europe and India but the concept is catching up in other continents.Traditional management degree. The exception is India, where MBA courses gained traction in 2001 prior to which only MIM courses were on offer. In general, MBA courses are more popular among HR Managers worldwide. 
Job Level & SalaryAverage earnings – 55000 EUR per year. Average PGDM/ PGP salaries at top B-schools in India range between 8 lakh and 17 lakh. Roles on offer – Management Trainee, Assistant ManagerSalaries in USA ranges between $60,000 and $300,000. Average salary hovers around $100,000 across B-schools. In India, average MBA salaries at IIMs, ISB, XLRI etc range between 18 lakh and 33 lakh. Highest reported domestic salary in India stands at 1 crore domestic at IIM B.Roles on offer – Senior Manager, AGM, DGM, CEO, VP 


Top 35 MIM Programmes in the world as per Financial Times, UK MIM Ranking 2013

Rank in 2013
3 yr. rank
School name
Weighted sal. ($)
11University of St GallenSwitzerland80,0811100 (71)
22ESCP EuropeFrance, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy64,8003288 (62)
3WHU BeisheimFeatured business schoolGermany97,050795 (94)
44HEC ParisFrance76,1302496 (47)
57Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus UniversityNetherlands68,452589 (100)
5IE Business SchoolFeatured business schoolSpain79,0761694 (88)
74CemsSee table note62,672388 (47)
87Essec Business SchoolFrance73,4242192 (71)
913HHL Leipzig Graduate School of ManagementGermany88,4022095 (100)
1010Esade Business SchoolFeatured business schoolSpain66,2401092 (92)
118EMLyon Business SchoolFrance55,1594895 (78)
1213Imperial College Business SchoolUK60,5576082 (82)
1312Grenoble Graduate School of BusinessFeatured business schoolFrance56,2164989 (74)
1414Edhec Business SchoolFrance56,5805496 (92)
1416City University: CassFeatured business schoolUK56,1333872 (90)
1614Mannheim Business SchoolFeatured business schoolGermany75,970293 (78)
1722Università BocconiItaly58,5395796 (62)
1812Indian Institute of Management, AhmedabadIndia94,31369100 (100)
19Indian Institute of Management, CalcuttaIndia81,65068100 (100)
2029Eada Business School BarcelonaFeatured business schoolSpain54,8614089 (88)
20London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK69,6287092 (50)
2221WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)Austria55,1801198 (96)
2319Stockholm School of EconomicsSweden59,88914100 (73)
24Iéseg School of ManagementFrance48,1045278 (91)
2529Kozminski UniversityPoland53,5802891 (84)
2622Toulouse Business SchoolFrance49,0105188 (45)
2723HEC LausanneSwitzerland54,1591557 (72)
2826Louvain School of ManagementBelgium50,6582395 (65)
2929Skema Business SchoolFrance, US, China47,5555884 (75)
2932Vlerick Business SchoolBelgium58,682895 (96)
3125Audencia NantesFrance52,8784791 (81)
3127Solvay Brussels School of Economics and ManagementBelgium53,4401999 (90)
3332University of Strathclyde Business SchoolFeatured business schoolUK47,0384693 (71)
34Télécom Business SchoolFrance50,9423593 (64)
3534Aston Business SchoolFeatured business schoolUK51,7164288 (65)


Top 35 MBA Programmes in the world as per Financial Times, UK MBA Ranking 2013

Rank ’13
3 yr. rank
School name
Weighted sal. ($)
Salary inc. (%)
12Harvard Business SchoolUS187,223121
22Stanford Graduate School of BusinessUS194,645115
32University of Pennsylvania: WhartonUS180,772121
43London Business SchoolFeatured business schoolUK160,988124
56Columbia Business SchoolUS174,347123
65InseadFrance / Singapore153,99296
78Iese Business SchoolSpain146,049141
88Hong Kong UST Business SchoolChina132,685153
98MIT: SloanUS160,414117
1011University of Chicago: BoothUS162,363108
119IE Business SchoolFeatured business schoolSpain157,054117
1217University of California at Berkeley: HaasUS151,95298
1317Northwestern University: KelloggUS161,26999
1416Yale School of ManagementUS159,370118
1618Dartmouth College: TuckUS156,765117
1623University of Cambridge: JudgeFeatured business schoolUK145,16998
1818Duke University: FuquaUS145,147108
1917New York University: SternUS144,586106
2119HEC ParisFrance123,571109
2225Esade Business SchoolFeatured business schoolSpain126,699118
2329UCLA: AndersonUS147,125115
2424University of Oxford: SaïdFeatured business schoolUK136,60995
2426Cornell University: JohnsonUS147,799112
2616Indian Institute of Management, AhmedabadIndia171,188110
27CUHK Business SchoolFeatured business schoolChina103,423153
2838Warwick Business SchoolUK120,11189
2930Manchester Business SchoolUK114,769111
3028University of Michigan: RossUS140,19597
31University of Hong KongChina114,119114
3233Nanyang Business SchoolSingapore102,683132
3333Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus UniversityNetherlands105,546103
3422Indian School of BusinessIndia123,470152
3538University of Virginia: DardenUS142,657110


Final word

The Masters programme is for talented and ambitious young people with limited (if any work) work experience who would like to start a career in business. It is also more theory-oriented in terms of teaching style and more specialized in terms of content.

The MBA is usually for those who have already started their careers and want or need new knowledge, analysis tools and networking opportunities in order to change their line of business or secure a promotion.

Your career aspirations should decide your decision on which course to pursue. An MIM graduate will be hard pressed to find a managerial position upon graduating from B-school. MIM students lack the c.v. of their MBA counterparts and their work experience is limited. MIM graduate can expect entry level positions rather than managerial jobs. MBA graduates on the other hand are considered ‘experienced hires’, since they have been in business for several years prior to their MBA degree – consequently they are eligible to bag leadership or management positions.

MIM vs MBA: everything you need to know
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MIM vs MBA: everything you need to know
If you are set on a career in business management, there are two obvious choices you can make: a Masters in Management (MIM) or a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
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One Year MBA
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