Entrepreneurial Leadership Masters vs. MBA in Leadership: Which is Right for You?

Are you thinking about going back to school for a graduate degree? If so, you’re in good company.

The number of graduate students has tripled in the past 50 years in the United States, says Harvard Business Review. Moreover, 27% of employers now require master’s degrees; where previously an undergraduate degree alone was sufficient.

Most would-be graduate students know about the MBA, but many are surprised by the many different specialized masters degrees business schools offer.


Applications are currently being accepted for all Babson College graduate programs. Learn more about our entrepreneurial leadership masters programs, the Babson MBA, and more, and take the next step toward a Babson graduate degree.


What Is A Specialized Masters in Entrepreneurial Leadership?

Unlike a traditional MBA, or even an MBA in Leadership, an entrepreneurial leadership masters program is hyper focused on helping students develop into entrepreneurial leaders. In Babson’s two entrepreneurial leadership masters programs, classes go deeper than what is typically found in general business programs. Professors focus on both the hard and soft skills entrepreneurial leaders need.

Individualized, experiential learning is the cornerstone for both of Babson’s entrepreneurial leadership masters programs. Students in the Masters in Entrepreneurial Leadership (MSEL) program take Creating You: Building your Professional Life, a course that includes opportunities to coach aspiring high school entrepreneurs along with skill building and personal reflection.

In the Masters in Advanced Entrepreneurial Leadership (MSAEL), faculty mentors coach students through a personal project at the end of the program. Students make measurable headway on a transformation project for their organization, in collaboration with a stakeholder from their employer.

Why Choose an MBA?

Sebastian Fixson, Babson’s Associate Dean of Innovation, has described the MBA degree as a comprehensive education in business administration.

“As a result,” he says, “an MBA requires taking classes in all business disciplines, collectively called the core.” At Babson, the MBA core forms one third of the program, and includes classes in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, accounting, finance, strategy, marketing, business analytics, and operations and information management.

All Babson MBA students complete significant group project work prior to graduation, including a capstone project. According to The Princeton Review, 71% of MBA students envision themselves in leadership roles as their career progresses. Group work throughout the MBA provides leadership opportunities, real-time feedback on project management skills, and resume points.

Of course, electives, concentrations, intensity tracks, and other options abound for putting your own spin on this generalist’s degree. Though there is no formal MBA in leadership at Babson, there are many opportunities to lead ventures, serve as leaders on non-profit boards, and take the lead in student organizations.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Masters or MBA – Which is Right for You?

A running joke in business school that the right answer to every strategic question is “it depends.” When it comes to deciding which graduate program to pursue, it all hinges on your future goals, and nobody knows those goals better than you do.

That said, there are significant differences among the programs that appeal to different students:

  • A Masters in Entrepreneurial Leadership is a masters degree in leadership that’s designed for students right out of college, without the 3-5 years of work experience many graduate programs require. It’s a full time program and students form close bonds.
  • A Masters in Advanced Entrepreneurial Leadership is a brand new, 100% online master in leadership. It’s designed for experienced professionals and stakeholders from your work are involved in your final project, making this an extremely tangible, real-world degree.
  • A Master’s in Business Administration will equip you with a broad skillset for solving problems. Whether you enroll full time or part time, you’ll graduate with a suite of tools and the experience to know how to use each one.

Interested in talking with an expert about which program might be right for you? Babson’s Graduate Admissions team would love to hear from you!

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