The energy sector is changing rapidly, and energy professionals who want to advance their careers need to keep up to compete. On one hand, growing demand for energy, the increasing interest in renewables, and the ever-changing array of technology used in the industry mean there are plenty of opportunities. On the other, the academic or professional experience that served you well in the past may not be enough to take your career to the next level. Going back to school for a master’s degree is one way to get up to speed on the latest trends and tech in energy. The question you need to answer is: “Which degree?”
An Energy MBA might seem the obvious choice if you have experience in the energy industry and want to move into administrative and executive roles. Some Master of Business Administration programs across disciplines even accept recent college graduates. Before you start filling out applications, however, take a look at Master of Management in Energy programs. Part business degree, part science degree, the Master of Management in Energy is a great option for people who dream about lucrative careers in traditional energy, nuclear energy, renewable energy, or energy consulting.
In this guide to a Master of Management in Energy, we’ll cover:
Both of these degrees prepare students to step into leadership positions in the energy industry. The core coursework in these two programs can overlap considerably, although, of course, it varies from school to school and from program to program. In some cases, MBA and Master of Management programs look nearly identical. The biggest difference between these master’s degree programs, where it exists, is in emphasis.
The Energy MBA is a masters-level business degree. Most programs will have more in common with traditional MBAs than with energy degrees. Many Energy MBA programs have more core business classes than classes focused on energy delivery or technologies, making this a better option for professionals who might want to transition out of energy in the future.
MS in Energy Management programs also cover core business concepts. However, they tend to devote a lot more course time to technology, quantitative methods, and management fundamentals relevant to the energy industry in particular. That makes it a more appropriate degree for professionals who know they want to work in the energy sector throughout their careers.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers predicted an average starting salary for 2019 MBA graduates of $84,580—provided those graduates found jobs in computer science, engineering, science, or business. (
Students considering an MBA or graduate business degree can choose from varied career paths, including those focused on financial management, data analytics, market research, healthcare management, and operations management. The analytical skills and problem-solving techniques gained from graduate level business degrees are in high demand across business sectors. ( )
|University and Program Name||Learn More|
MS in Energy Management graduates are qualified to step into a variety of mid-level roles in the oil, gas, renewables, and electricity industries. With this degree in hand, you can be a manager, analyst, researcher, or consultant. Here are some jobs you may want to check out after earning a Master of Energy Management degree:
Unlike Energy MBA programs, MS in Energy Management programs typically don’t require applicants to have relevant professional experience to apply. You may not even need to have earned a bachelor’s degree related to the energy industry. Most universities simply require that applicants hold a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet, consider majoring in one of the following subjects:
Most schools ask applicants to show either GMAT or GRE test scores, a résumé, and college transcripts, though some will waive the usual application requirements for applicants with exceptional work experience. You may also need to submit a statement of purpose or a video essay, and meet with an admissions officer for an in-person interview.
An academic and/or professional background in engineering management, environmental science, energy, or business administration can make you a more attractive candidate when you’re applying to MS in Energy Management programs. If you don’t have either, you can differentiate yourself from other applicants by completing one or more internships with companies in the energy industry.
The commitment required for earning a Master of Management in Energy varies from program to program; degree requirements can vary significantly. There are accelerated 10-month programs, full-time one-year programs, and multi-year part-time programs—all of which are structured differently. Only you can predict how long it will take to earn an MS in Energy Management because only you know how much time you can comfortably devote to pursuing this degree. Most Master of Management programs are designed to be completed in about a year, but that doesn’t mean every student earns a degree in that amount of time.
Most MS in Energy Management programs dive straight into topics related to management in the energy industry. Students take courses like:
These programs typically don’t offer students a lot of elective options or general management courses, which is why they can usually be completed more quickly than Energy MBA programs.
One thing that will jump out at you when you’re searching for energy management master’s programs is that a lot of them are outside of the US. Energy MBA programs are much more common in the US, which means just a handful of American schools offer this degree.
Of these, Tulane’s 10-month program is probably the best, but if it’s flexibility you need, the program at Oklahoma City University can be completed part-time, online. Whatever you do, don’t choose a university based on name recognition alone. Finding the right Master of Science in Energy Management (or Master of Management in Energy) program is all about knowing what to look for.
That depends. There are typically very few, if any, general business courses in MS in Energy Management programs. Everything you’ll learn when you pursue this degree will relate directly to your future work in the energy sector. So, if you’re looking for the kind of deep-dive business content you’ll find in an MBA program, then probably not. If you want to go all-in on energy, however, or you’re just that passionate about oil, gas, coal, electricity, or renewables, then you’ll probably get a lot out of this degree.
Questions or feedback? Email email@example.com