Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive
Types of MBA Programs
An MBA can be earned in a part-time, full-time or executive program. Deciding which program is right for you depends on a number of factors such as your current job and income, your company's potential sponsorship of your degree, and your level of experience, to name a few.
Full-Time MBA Programs
Full-time MBA programs are typically two-year programs. During the summer between the first and second years most students obtain paid internships in the field in which they are interested in working. Many schools also offer a twelve-month option which allows students with strong quantitative background (i.e. scientists and engineers) to earn an MBA in one year.
Generally people who decide to go to business school full-time believe that they are making an investment of time and money that will pay dividends immediately after graduating or further down the road. Arguably, attending a full-time program (when possible) is the best option. It allows you to focus on your studies, participate fully in extracurricular activities such as clubs and social events, and build relationships with your classmates and professors. For career-changers, a full-time program offers the advantage of a summer internship and the ability to take a number of elective courses.
Although there are many advantages to attending a full-time program, there are also disadvantages - primarily the cost of paying for school and forgoing income. In today's economy, prospective and current MBA students also cite as a key disadvantage the risk of not finding the job they want. Most students agree, however, that the degree is well worth the investment, particularly in the long run.
In addition, to help ease the financial burden, business schools offer a wide range of financing options including loans, fellowships, and scholarships. And since the business schools want their accepted students to succeed, they do everything they can to help them get the necessary funding and provide resources for job-hunting and recruiting through the career services office.
If you decide that earning an MBA in a full-time, two-year program is the right choice for you, Go4Bschool can give you your percentage chances of admission at any of the top 50 full-time U.S. business schools to help you decide which top MBA program to focus your time and money on for the best results.
Part-Time MBA Programs
People generally chose a part-time business school program for one primary reason: money. Either their company is going to foot the tuition bill for a part-time but not a full-time program or the potential applicant does not feel that he can give up his current income to be a full-time student. Recently, the popularity of part-time programs has grown as a result of the poor economy and general employment uncertainty. Some prospective students fear that after quitting their jobs and making a large investment in a full-time program that they may not get the position they expected or dreamed of.
Of course, there are pros and cons to earning an MBA part-time. Perhaps the most obvious con is that juggling work, school, and life is a challenging and exhausting experience. In addition, part-time programs typically last longer than the two-year full-time programs.
On the other hand, those who opt for a part-time program are likely to incur less debt if they continue to earn their regular salary and/or their company foots the bill for all or some of their expenses. Allowing your company to pay for some or all of your MBA may also have a downside, since, in many cases, you have an obligation to work for your employer for a certain time period. Even if you do not have an obligation to your employer, you are at a disadvantage in finding a new job compared to your full-time counterparts. Typically, part-time students are not allowed to participate in on-campus recruiting. Since the part-time students' companies often sponsor them and want them to or require them to stay onboard at the company, the company does not want their "investment" looking elsewhere.
If you took the GMAT and are concerned about your scores but still want a degree from a top program, then a part-time program at a top school may be the way to go. Often part-time programs are easier to get into than their full-time counterparts. It is debatable whether employers view part-time programs as less competitive. Some employers, however, feel that people who can handle a top part-time program while working have exceptional dedication and time management skills. Part-time students are also able to immediately apply the course content to their current job.
Students who attend full-time programs often comment that the most rewarding part of their experience was getting to know and working with their classmates. Unfortunately, part-time programs do not offer the same kind of bonding experiences as full-time programs. Although it is nice to make new friends, the real benefit of a full-time program is the networking opportunities that will present themselves in the future.
Executive MBA (EMBA) Programs
Contrary to what some may think, an EMBA program is not an online MBA program; rather, it is a program for working professionals with significant experience. EMBA students possess several years of significant, post baccalaureate career experience. Many students are sponsored both financially and through release time by their employing organizations, and all continue to work full time while enrolled in the program. Schools vary, however, on sponsorship requirements for specific programs. To ensure optimum benefits to participants and the sponsoring organizations, class size and class structure facilitate close interaction between faculty and participants. EMBA students are typically required to complete their degrees in two years or less while working full-time.
A unique aspect of an EMBA program is the collective professional experience of its participants which greatly enriches the educational environment. A team approach is often used to allow for the sharing of diverse perspectives on various topics.