What is a Part-Time MBA Program?
Part-time MBA programs have equivalent curricula, academic requirements and accreditation to their full-time counterparts. However, classes occur on weekends or evenings outside of normal working hours, and students usually take three years or longer to earn their degrees. While full-time MBA programs are often considered more traditional, only 20% of MBA students currently enroll in such programs. Students ordinarily maintain a full-time job while enrolled in the graduate program, and aim to advance both professionally and academically through the course of their studies.
Advantages of Part-Time MBA Programs
Part-time MBA programs deliver an education equivalent to full-time MBA programs
without halting your professional work. As a result, you have daily opportunities to apply what you learn in class to your own workplace, internalizing academic knowledge while immediately using it to improve your performance at work. Continuing to work while pursuing a degree also offsets the cost of tuition significantly, and, in some cases, a student’s employer will pay for part or all of the MBA program. Because a part-time program does not require you to leave your job, you can also avoid the risk and difficulty of job hunting after graduation.
Disadvantages of Part Time MBA Programs
Part-time programs risk providing less immersive academic experiences and create less cohesive student communities. Thus, it is important to search for a program that provides networking experiences and opportunities, even if it is a part time MBA. For many individuals, balancing professional and academic responsibilities also poses a challenge, particularly if other responsibilities claim a portion of the student’s time. The part-time nature of the program lends itself to a long timeline, and it can take several years of study to earn the degree.
Online Part-Time MBA
Candidates looking to enroll in a part-time MBA can reduce the hassle of frequent commuting by applying to an online program
. Earning your MBA online can allow you to keep your job without being limited to just the business schools in your immediate vicinity. Taking classes from home can also reduce commuting time, giving you more of your free time to devote to the course material itself. Just like part-time programs, online MBAs
are critiqued for having a less involved student community, so for students looking to learn the core MBA skills on their own schedule while keeping their current community but embracing new networking opportunities, an online part-time MBA program with a focus on such interactions is a must.
Is a Part-Time MBA Program Right For Me?
The choice of an MBA degree program depends on a number of factors that will differ according to each individual’s situation. However, a dominant view is that part-time MBA programs best serve professionals who want to advance quickly within their current career paths. A part-time program allows unparalleled opportunities to acquire knowledge vital to your career advancement and apply it in real time to your professional work. At the same time, the part-time MBA program allows you to benefit from the support of your employer in the form of a salary, job security and possibly even funding for your studies. Evaluate your situation and weigh these advantages against those of the full-time MBA, and if you’re having trouble deciding, speak with an admissions counselor of a school you’re interested in to learn more.