MBA vs. MPA – Making the Best Selection

Considering an MBA (Master’s of business administration) or MPA (Masters of public administration); there is a lot to be said for both. They are both professional master level degrees that provide management training in economics, policy, statistics, organizational management and finance. This post will help you decide which choice is most appropriate for you.

What Does Each Do?
MBA programs focus heavily on a monetary bottom-line, private sector management, and market analysis. They deal a great deal with investment banking, recruiting, analyzing the marketplace, and achieving measurable outcomes. The MPA focuses on social missions, non-profit or public sector organizations; while also emphasizing the skills required to obtain funding for organizations and firms. They tend to become policy makers, grant writers or program producers.

Clear Cut vs. Innovation/Public Sector vs. Private?
If MBA programs study the market, then MPA programs try to solve market failures – and there’s an obvious difference between studying and solving. In the former, it’s been figured out; you’re just learning how to do it. In the latter, there’s a large-scale problem to be solved. MBAs are hired to make an individual company more profitable, and the funding is a component of profit generation. MPAs are hired to take action to lead their firm in affecting change in the marketplace for a better future of both community and business. The literature in MPA programs is not nearly as abundant and the tone is less certain. This degree can be ideal for the nonprofit sector of business or finance as well, because the “need” and the way people communicate and connect is always evolving.  People working in public sectors with MPAs usually deal with funding generated by donations, foundations, and government grants. There is certainly no better degree in this case- You need to look at how you want to pursue your future finance career to determine whether an MBA or MPA is a better fit.


What Are Your Priorities?
Signs are pointing toward the need for corporate environments to take on social missions – or at least some corporate social responsibility. As such corporate environments are changing ever so slightly that would make way for more MPA’s to have affective roles in a firm’s mission statement. Another thing to consider is tuition fees. According to, MPA tuition fees are much lower than that of business tuition fees. MBA’s lean toward jobs in accounting, finance, taxes or business administration. MPA degrees are a little more flexible, especially if you’re looking for something in the public sector. Weigh all of your options before deciding.

Pridestaff Financial knows the value of a good degree, but we also understand the importance of a great fit. Getting a Master’s degree is a proud achievement and something to not be taken lightly. It’s your future and the decisions you make today help shape your future tomorrow. Contact us today to learn how we can help!