The general perception is that the best U.S business schools offer two year MBA programs. Candidates looking for a good one year MBA consider options from the U.K (Cambridge, Oxford) as well as Europe (INSEAD, IMD) and Asia / India (ISB, IIM) among others. A one year MBA program in India or abroad may appeal to many as it is a financially viable option due to lower fees, living expense and opportunity cost among others. Also, those who wish to resume work early to avoid a feeling of disconnect from the professional world may opt for a one year MBA program. In this post, we will explore the lesser known one year MBA programs in USA (also known as accelerated MBA in the U.S.).
Some of the top U.S. universities offering a one year MBA.
We shall evaluate one year MBA programs in USA and compare it with the traditional two year MBA, to highlight the key differences, advantages or drawbacks of each:
The main difference between these two programs is that with an accelerated MBA, the summer internship option is not available in most cases except in Cornell which offers a short two-week MBA internship. A lot of companies hire students working as interns. For those wishing to leverage their MBA internship to get a foothold in an entire new industry, this golden opportunity would not be available.
The accelerated one year MBA may not be ideal for those who wish to explore various career options and move into a completely unrelated arena (though several manage a career change as well) because it does not provide much time and scope for the same. The MBA internship option is unavailable to try out and hone your skills in a new area.
The accelerated MBA would perfectly suit those who already have a clear picture about their future career goals and wish to continue in the same industry or would like to return to their former employer. It is a great option for professionals looking to acquire the desired business skills from a reputed brand within a short duration of time. It would also be recommended for entrepreneurs or those already into an existing family business.
The work experience criteria required for applying to an accelerated MBA program tends to be on the higher side, the average work experience ranging from 4 to 10 years depending upon the school whereas for a two-year MBA from the U.S., the experience may be much lower.
Schools expect candidates to have an advanced knowledge in quantitative fields or an undergraduate degree in business or economics to keep up with the rapid pace of an accelerated MBA program. The qualifying criteria would vary for each school.
The fees for a one-year accelerated MBA program would be roughly 75% of the fees of a two year MBA program though you may have expected it to be half. Working part-time in a graduate assistantship role to gain some extra money and reduce the overall MBA cost is tougher due to the nature of the program. The real cost advantage lies in reduced living expense due to shorter program duration and getting back to work faster.
The opportunity to network with students from previous and next batches is also limited for a one-year program. Students doing a two-year MBA, in the first year, get the opportunity to interact with their seniors in the second year and after entering the second year, they can get to know their juniors in the first year. So your network spans across three different batches.
With a one year MBA in USA, those keen on working in America., now have a good chance to tap the employment opportunities available locally. If you were to take a one year program in the U.K, cross country recruitment would have been really difficult.
Some have an impression that with a one-year MBA, you cannot expect a salary as high as you would after a two year MBA program. However combination of a good brand and higher experience and knowledge of the candidates taking an accelerated MBA program results in a high salary.
In majority of the b-school, the accelerated MBA program begins in summer and once the summer quarter is completed, students are merged with the second year of a 2 year MBA program.
As we always recommend, talk to current students who are attending the program or have gone through the drill, to get a better picture of what to expect if you decide to apply to a one year MBA in America. If you need support with the applications you know where to reach us.