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MBA for working professionals

MBA for working professionals


MBA is one of the most versatile post graduate degrees out there in the edu-verse. Not just because it caters to practically any candidate from any background who has and is willing to cultivate his management and leadership skills, in general or specialized fields. But also to any candidate at any stage of his professional development.

The MBA degree also comes in various options that makes it possible for working professionals to pursue an academic bend to develop their career, while also pursuing a career at the same time. Those are the options we will be discussing in this article – MBA for working professionals.

That is,

  • Executive MBA which offers a part-time curriculum to mid to senior level professionals.

    Classes are held on particular weekends or days pre-scheduled for a short duration. Candidates can arrange the time-off from their employers in advance without seriously disrupting their work.

  • Part-Time MBA which offers a weekend, or evening, option to working professionals at any stage of their career.

    Held over weekends or evenings, the curriculum is designed respecting the professional commitments of its students. As a result though, part-time program students take a longer time than their traditional full-time MBA compatriots to cover the same coursework.

  • Distance MBA which is MBA in a correspondence format doesn’t require a physical classroom presence. This includes Online MBA which provides the benefit of pursuing the degree at ones’ own pace, virtually.

    Classes are often held live online, or taught with pre-recorded lectures that are available to students enrolled in the program. Reading and other necessary material are sent over mail or virtually. Usually, progress is tracked using timed assignments or projects.

Each option carries its own merit when compared to the traditional full-time MBA format. But there are certain disadvantages, as expected and we will talk about the pros and cons before meandering into the best options for MBA for working professionals which also allows them to purse their career simultaneously.

Pros and Cons of MBA for Working Professionals


We have already talked about the difference between a traditional full-time MBA where either fresh out of school or professionally experienced candidates choose to dedicate the entire program time to the degree.

In that context, MBA for working professionals is a degree pursued in conjunction with a full-time employment or other commitments.

So, what could go wrong in such an arrangement? Let’s explore.

Advantages of MBA for Working Professionals

Continuity in career

The biggest argument in favor of EMBA, Online or Distance MBA, or Part-Time MBA, is the ability to continue ones’ profession while managing the degree on the side.

Not wavering from current job commitments also means that the students needn’t put themselves through the uncertainties of job search upon degree completion. They can continue with their jobs and aim for bigger better roles within the same organization.

Cost Saving

As a second advantage of “keeping your job” as an MBA student who is also a working professional, you will have much less dent on your savings as compared to a full-time MBA student.

Making a good buck while also shelling out the large pennies in tuition helps to ease any financing burden. In fact, a lot of EMBA graduates have their degree sponsored by their companies. Thus, alleviating the need for spending the rest of your working life paying off any student debt.


Part time contact sessions, whether classroom or distance, also take care of any issues with having to scramble for time within other job commitments. Most distance or online MBA programs can be easily tailored to ones’ requirements.

Whether one wishes to follow a slower and longer path to a degree, or wrap up the courses on their convenience is often totally managed by the MBA candidates themselves.

Disadvantages of MBA for Working Professionals

Time Management

This is a big concern for full-time employees who have to also juggle personal and MBA commitments in the same 24/7 schedule like any other. If time management is not your forte´, you should seriously reconsider your decision before going back-to-school.

What’s the worst that can happen? You can end up losing your credibility as a sincere employee and at the same time have very little takeaway from the MBA program you are looking to base your professional development upon.

Absence of classroom experience

MBA thrives on peer-to-peer interaction and networking. As a weekender MBA student, you will have limited opportunity to interact. Even less so for distance or online MBA students. This is a major disadvantage for professionals who are looking to expand their expertise through knowledge sharing.

Reputation among employers

Except for the popular EMBA programs, that have their own headhunter following, most correspondence, online or part-time degrees generally make less impression on recruiters as compared to traditional programs.

This is especially true if you have obtained a degree from a not-so-famous b-school off-campus. Accredited and well-reputed b-school off-campus programs still manage to turn heads, albeit probably less than on-campus ones.

How do employers view online degrees?

Top MBA for working professionals in India, Canada, USA, UK, Australia


We certainly can’t do justice by including every reputed MBA program for professionals, here in the tables below. Instead, we will list a few among the top available in India, Canada, USA, UK and Australia.

MBA for working professionals in India

Business School/Program Program Type Contact Sessions
ISB PGP Pro Executive MBA Alternate weekends & Online modules. 2 weeks of campus visit
ISB PGP Max Global Executive MBA 1 week every 4-6 weeks for 15 months
IGNOU MBA Distance MBA Printed, Audio Visual, and online course material. Duration 2-5 years
IIM Ahmedabad ePGP Online MBA Online sessions for 2-3 years
IIM Calcutta Executive Education Management Development Program (MDP) – Part-Time

Long Duration Program (LDP) – Distance

MDP – 3 days to 3 weeks of classroom sessions

LDP – Online plus short on-campus sessions

Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning Distance Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) Distance format over 2 years


MBA for working professionals in Canada

Business School Program Type Contact Sessions
York University Schulich (with Northwestern’s Kellogg) Executive MBA Every 3rd weekend for 18 months
Queen’s University Smith (with Cornell’s Johnson) Executive MBA Every 3rd weekend for 18 months
Western University Ivey Executive MBA 4 days a month or 15 months
Rotman School of Management Morning/Evening MBA Part-Time MBA Twice a week for 32 months
Queen’s Smith School of Business Accelerated MBA Part-Time MBA Alternate weekends for 12 months
McGill Desautel – Professional Part Time MBA Part-Time MBA Weekend classes over 28 months


MBA for working professionals in USA

Business School Program Type Contact Sessions
University of Pennsylvania Wharton EMBA Alternate weekend for 2 years
University of Michigan Ross EMBA Once a month for 21 months
Duke University Fuqua Global EMBA 8 weeks over 18 months
University of Chicago –Booth, Evening/Weekend MBA Part-Time MBA Evening and weekends in 2.5 to 3 years
Northwestern University – Kellogg, Evening/Weekend MBA Part-Time MBA Accelerated:

1–4 years to graduate (average time is 2 years)


1.25–5 years to graduate (average time is 2.5 years)

University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg Online MBA
Indiana University, Kelley Online MBA
University of North Caroline, Kenan Flagler Online MBA
University of Florida, Warrington Online MBA 1-2 years
Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim Online MBA 2 years


Part-Time MBA at UCLA and Berkeley Haas

UCLA FEMBA part-time MBA interview questions

MBA for working professionals in UK

Business School Program Type Contact Sessions
University of Oxford Saïd EMBA 16-18 weeks in 22 or 24 months
Warwick Business School EMBA Evening or weekends for 2 years
University of Cambridge Judge EMBA Weekends and 4 week block over 20 months
Durham University Business School Online MBA 2 years
University of Bradford School of Management Distance MBA 2-4 years
Imperial College Business School Weekend MBA – Part-Time 1 weekend every month for 21 months
Imperial College Business School Global Online MBA 2 years


MBA for working professionals in Australia

Business School Program Type Contact Sessions
Melbourne Business School EMBA 17- 4 day modules over 18 months
Melbourne Business School Part-Time MBA 2+ years
AGSM at UNSW Business School MBAX Online MBA

Also read,

– Southern Cross University Online MBA Review
– RMIT University Online MBA Review
– James Cook University (JCU) University Online MBA Review
– Victoria University Online MBA Review
Clearly, more research into programs will reveal many more options. We have assisted applicants to get into Executive and Part-Time MBA programs, apart from the regular full-time MBA.

If you are looking to advance your career with an MBA degree while working, we recommend you do your due diligence and contact us if you are in need of any professional help.

Contact us at info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com and good luck on your pursuits.
Also read,

Why I chose an Online eMBA over full-time

Best Online MBA programs in the world

Is a part-time MBA worth it?
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