MBAs come in all shapes and sizes – Full Time (FT), Executive, Dual, Distance, Short Term and Part Time (PT). [Read – Types of MBA Programs]. But taking the more common full-time MBA courses, for comparison, the way part-time differs from it is mainly in the execution. Part time courses are usually offered as evening, or off-office-hour courses, covering essentially the same amount of coursework but over a longer duration.
They are offered by the same schools, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
|University of Chicago||#1|
|University of California Berkeley Haas||#2|
|Northwestern University Kellogg||#3|
|New York University Stern||#4|
|University of California Los Angeles Anderson||#5|
|University of Michigan Ann Arbor Ross||#6|
|University of Minnesota – Carlson||#7|
|University of Texas Austin McCombs||#8|
|Carnegie Mellon Tepper||#9|
|Emory University Goizueta||#9|
|Indiana University Kelley||#9|
So part time MBAs are legitimate and respectable, and certainly not a conspiracy by some shady back alley enterprise, looking to con you off your money. It provides an alternative way to seek an MBA to further your career. And much like anything you buy, or invest in, you need to evaluate the pros and cons of enrolling in such a study. How effective is it? Is it good, bad or ugly when compared to a traditional full time course? Will it be purse friendly? And the all encompassing, is the part-time MBA worth it or not?
Is a Part-Time MBA worth it?
In this article we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of a part time study, for you to infer its potential success tailored to your situation. To begin with, let’s start with the good news before moving on to the bad one.
What are the benefits of Part-time MBA degree programs?
Part time MBAs are designed for working professionals who want to continue with a steady flow of income whilst getting their degree. They also have the advantage of sticking around, at your job, and not having to start afresh, like full timers have to. A lot of companies offer to purse the program in view of an opportunity for employee growth.
Part time MBAs seem to provide a pretty flashy ROI, based on an alumni survey by GMAC, the company that conducts GMAT. We do have to keep in mind that this GMAC survey was conducted based on responses from 14,279 graduate business alumni out of which 6,961 provided valid financial data for the ROI calculations. A larger data set might give a bigger better picture. But you get the idea.
Median Investment and ROI at various stages, after graduation, for different kinds of Business degrees (Class years 1986 to 2012). Source: 2016 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey Report
On top of the apparent monetary relief, they also give an opportunity to mingle with similar working professionals, thereby increasing the pool of your professional network.
But as you might have guessed, not all is golden in the world of part timers. There are certain aspects you should keep in mind before taking the night train to college town.
What are the possible drawbacks of getting a Part-time MBA?
Well, for starters, most part time MBA students are not eligible to avail the On Campus Recruitment service. Now that may not be as important given the fact that these students are already with jobs. However the chances of shifting careers, or jobs, become a bit unstreamlined.
There is also a general sense of unwantedness in Investment Banking and Consulting Firm companies. Their recruiting processes are quite rigorous and they usually offer jobs to successful interns.
And internship is yet another facility usually unavailable to PTs. They are usually employed in finance, wealth management and other sectors. So if you are specifically targeting a Wall Street banking career, then PT might not be the right move for you.
Also to keep in mind is that recruiters often rely on the traditional highly selective admissions process that full timers are subjected to. Compared to that, part time MBAs are much less selective about their enrollment.
But these are highly unmeasurable and subjective reservations. There are also quite a few people, among recruiters, who know what kind of candidate, they want, and are able to easily filter them out, irrespective of whether a degree was obtained before or after sunrise. In other words evaluate your situation against your goals.
The final, more personal, disadvantage of enrolling in a part time MBA study is the huge onus on time management. Most of these students are working professionals, with a family and other responsibilities. Factoring in all of them, it is hard to downplay the significance of time. So if you are looking to attend evening classes, you may need to organize your life for everything else, while keeping yourself from burning out for the duration of the course. Difficult but doable.
The conclusion of this discourse is for you to derive. There are aspects that may not have been covered in this article, but you can get a general sense of what can you expect to gain, or lose, from the more flexible part time MBA. Hope you are able to decide well and do let us know whether it was worth it, for you!