When you decide to get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), you’re choosing a flexible and versatile degree that will offer a lot of options in the business world. And one reflection of that flexibility can be found in the variety of MBA degree formats that are available.
Even if you choose a highly-specialized area of focus for your MBA, you will still probably find that you have several options for how the degree program is structured. Whether you’re interested in attending your chosen b-school full time or online, we’re here to help you sort out all of your options.
Read more about MBAs at our MBA homepage.
Full-Time MBA Programs
The most traditional MBA programs are full-time, on-campus degrees that typically take about two or three years to complete.
Because a full-time MBA poses significant time and workload demands, these programs are usually best for students who can afford not to work full time while they are in school.
For this reason, the MBA students who are most likely to go the full-time route tend to be younger on average, and often have recently finished their bachelor’s degree.
One of the chief benefits of an intensive full-time degree is the opportunity to connect and network face-to-face with other students, as well as with faculty. According to US News, one of the top four reasons to get an MBA is the access to these kinds of networking opportunities, making the degree well worth the investment for many students.
Part-Time MBA Programs
Part-time MBAs are typically geared toward students who are already working, and these programs offer classes in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate students’ work schedules.
According to Investopedia, a typical part-time MBA student is aged around 24-35. They are already working a full-time job, and they are pursuing their degree in order to move into a management or leadership role.
For students who are already working in leadership roles, but want to take their career to the next level, some business schools offer an Executive MBA program, or EMBA. These programs are intended for students who have significant work experience, so they tend to attract an older cohort, typically in the 32- to 42-year age range.
Like other part-time MBA programs, these are designed to allow students to continue working while they pursue their studies.
These programs are often very expensive, but these students’ employers often provide significant tuition assistance. This means that the price tag for an EMBA program isn’t as much of a deterrent as it would be if most students were paying out of pocket.
Online and Blended MBAs
Another option that can be particularly attractive to working adults is the online MBA degree. If you are highly disciplined and can motivate yourself to complete your coursework without face-to-face interaction, you could be very successful in an online program.
The benefits of online MBAs include:
- Flexible schedules
- Lower tuition
- No need to commute or relocate
- National or international networking (replacing face-to-face interactions)
And for the best of both worlds, a blended or hybrid MBA program could be a great option. Students in these programs conduct most of their courses online, but they attend campus a few times each year to connect with faculty and students face-to-face.