We often get the question: "Is an MBA a license?". To begin with the short answer: no, an MBA is not a license. Therefore, it is recommended that those who have obtained MBAs list their degree not under the "Qualifications" section of their resume but under the "Academic Background" section. The "Qualifications" section is meant to list certifications issued by business and governmental organizations—such as driver's, boating, CPA , doctor’s, nursing, and pharmacist's licenses—for professions and activities where a lack of accreditation could lead to incidents and disastrous results (such as social work, mental health work, and caregiver work on the government-accreditation side). The section is also used to list certifications from private organizations, such as language proficiency test and GMAT scores.
The reason an MBA is so often mistaken for a license in Japan is that qualifications for admission to a school, to take a test, or to get a job are relatively widely described in Japanese society using a term (shikaku), which, in the Japanese language, can also refer to a license. In fact, one of the qualifications ("shikaku") for taking the admissions exam for the University of Tokyo's graduate school doctoral program is the "possession of a Master's degree or other professional degree." Returning to the subject at hand, though: an MBA is not a license. An MBA is a graduate-level degree in business administration. Higher-level degrees focused on business administration issued by institutions of higher education include:
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
- Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Management (MSc)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Finally: while this is not especially pertinent, as far as I know, at universities in Scotland, the usage of the terms "Master's degree" and "Bachelor's degree" is reversed. Therefore, beware: while university graduates in Scotland may be labeled as "Masters" of their major, they may not hold graduate degrees.