So you’ve considered the many benefits, researched potential career paths, calculated the ROI, learned about the application process and decided it’s the right time to pursue earning your MBA. Now you just need to figure out which type of program is best for you.
As you weigh the alternatives, consider these four major factors: admissions requirements, time commitment, cost and career goals.
- Admissions requirements vary greatly among programs. While some require little to no work experience, others require at least three years of post-undergraduate professional experience.
- How quickly do you want to earn your degree? The time to complete an MBA varies from as little as 12 months to four years or more.
- An MBA is a major investment. How you plan to cover the cost could help determine the right program type for you. Consider whether scholarships are available or if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement program.
- Are you striving to climb the ladder at your current company or are you looking to change careers? The time commitment involved could play an important role in selecting the right program type for you.
Keep these factors in mind when evaluating the different types of MBA programs, their key differences and benefits.
Two-Year Full-Time MBA Program
Designed for those with three or more years of work experience, these programs usually consist of four semesters spread out over two academic years with a full course load. It offers a more immersive learning experience and is well suited for those looking to change careers. Some scholarship money may be available to help offset expenses.
One-Year Full-Time MBA Program
This accelerated program can be completed in 12-18 months. It includes a full course load but is compressed into a shorter timeframe and is a good option for candidates seeking to advance their career in their current industry.
Executive MBA (EMBA) Program
The executive program also spans one to two years but is designed for seasoned professionals with eight or more years of experience, including management roles. Classes generally meet on the weekends to accommodate students’ busy work schedules. Some employers may cover all or part of the cost of an EMBA program for those who aspire to achieve a core leadership position within the company.
Part-time MBA Program
Part-time programs are designed for those with three years or less of professional experience, have less stringent admission requirements and provide more flexibility with evening classes to allow students to continue working full-time. Although it takes three to five years to complete, this may be a more suitable option for those with financial barriers or other commitments like work and family.
Online MBA Program
While the work experience requirements vary among schools from none to three years or more, most online programs mirror the full-time version but with the added benefit of taking classes at your own pace. Although it offers maximum flexibility to accommodate personal and professional obligations and allows you to spread the cost and time commitment over a longer period of time, completing an online program requires a high level of self-discipline and time management.
Learn more about the MBA programs offered by some of the top business schools around the world by attending an MBA Tour virtual event. Registration is free and is a great way to connect with multiple schools all in one place, to find the best match for you.