Skip to main content
I’m interested in…

MBA vs Masters vs Short Business Courses

Should you enrol in an MBA, master’s degree or a short business course? It ultimately depends on where you want to take your career. 

Each type of qualification comes with unique benefits but deciding which option is right for you takes careful consideration. 

To find the qualification that best aligns with your ambitions and lifestyle, we can help you decide which qualification comes out on top when it deciding between an MBA, other master’s degree or short business course. 



As one of the most renowned degrees in the world, the MBA is popular among aspiring business leaders. Many professionals opt to do an MBA for its international standing and prestigious reputation, to give them a competitive edge in the corporate world. 


  • Increased wages – According to a 2019 Financial Review article, executives who graduated from Australian MBA schools over the past three years saw their salaries increase 28% to an average of $157,000 upon graduation. 
  • Career advancement – An MBA can help you climb the corporate ladder by increasing your chances of being considered for advancement opportunities. In its 2019 Student Exit Survey, the Executive MBA Council found that 53% of students surveyed received new responsibilities at work while studying, and 40% of students reported being promoted. 
  • Flexibility – Now that MBAs are available online and via part-time delivery, it’s become much easier to balance your studies with your career and other commitments. 

If you’ve decided an MBA will help you achieve your career aspirations, the University of Adelaide offers flexible programs for busy professionals. Our 100% online MBA will help you build on your existing expertise and give you the skills needed to take on leadership roles. Download a course brochure or enquire about our online MBA. 


Master’s degree 

Master’s degrees cater to students looking for a higher level qualification to advance their job prospects. While MBAs are ideal for professionals with extensive experience in their field, master’s programs are suitable for students still in the earlier stages of their career. 


  • Employability – Completing a master’s degree can make you more likely to land jobs upon graduating. The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey by Quality Indicators for Teaching and Learning found that the full-time employment rate for postgraduate coursework graduates was 86.9%. The full-time employment rate for undergraduate coursework graduates was 72.9%. 
  • Opportunities to specialise – If your undergraduate degree covered a broad area of learning, doing your master’s is a great way to focus on a more specialised subject. 

If you'd like to find out more about Masters degrees that appeal to your area of interest, use our degree finder to find out more. 


Short business courses 

Don’t have time to finish a university degree? Doing a short business course can help you develop strong foundational skills and knowledge through a short but intensive learning period. 


  • Affordable – Short business courses tend to be less expensive than degrees, making them ideal for candidates looking to minimise their student debt. 
  • Fast learning schedule – Taking far less time to complete than an MBA or master’s program, short business courses usually only run for a few months.

If you'd like to find out more about our short courses, visit our Executive Education course page to find out more.