How Much Time Does it Take to Complete an MBA?

When you think about it, an MBA program is a big commitment of time and money. For example, some students who enroll in college on a full-time basis leave their current jobs and go to school, while others choose a different path and decide to attend school on a part-time basis.

The challenge of becoming an MBA student is to weigh the pros and cons of part-time versus full-time MBA programs. MBA Colleges across the country offer both programs, and you can choose the one that works best for you. Some colleges even offer online programs that allow you to study from home.

Pros

Let’s start with the pros of both types of programs. If you decide to attend school on a part-time basis, you can work during the day and study at night. Most students who enter a full-time program quit work and go to school. Obviously if you go to school full time, you can complete the program much sooner. For example, many motivated students complete their degree within a year.

Cons

Full-time and part-time programs both offer their own advantages and disadvantages.

Part-time MBA students choose to go to school and work at the same time. Those students choosing a part-time program are often burdened with a busy schedule, with little time left to spend with friends and family. The ability to keep earning a salary while going to school can prove to be a better scenario for some students, however.

Since it can take up to two years to complete an MBA on a full-time basis, you may lose up to two years’ salary, which can add up to a lot of money over time.

Whether you choose a part-time or full-time program, an MBA provides you with the tools that enable you to open doors in the business world. The payoffs for an MBA degree are greater than ever before. However, as a potential MBA student, you’ll need to commit a lot of time to the program, and you need to decide which one works best for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Full-Time MBA Program

How Much Time Does it Take to Complete an MBA?

Whether you’re looking to change careers or increase your chances of moving into a management position, a full-time MBA program may be the answer. Full- time MBA programs require a two-year commitment?over a total of four semesters. These programs include a business internship as well.

Much like any other major commitment, a full-time MBA program offers advantages and disadvantages, and it’s a good idea to weigh them out before making a major decision. Depending on the school you choose, tuition fees can range from $30,000 to $90,000 (or even higher at private schools) each year, making it an expensive proposition.

Some MBA Colleges require you to relocate, which adds even more expense for students. To help you make the right decision, the following are some advantages and disadvantages of a full-time MBA program:

Advantages

For those who are willing to make the commitment, the advantages of a two-year MBA program include opportunities for very extensive business and management training. During your MBA program, you’ll also create many long-term relationships and business contacts.

Throughout the course of your full-time program, you’ll also learn a lot about networking. With a full-time MBA program, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to attend a variety of networking events inside (as well as outside) the university.

Some MBA Colleges offer opportunities abroad in order to get an international perspective of your program. You can take summer classes in a different country or you can do an internship outside the university as well. If you’re one of the lucky ones who work for a company that offers tuition reimbursement, then you should take full advantage of that benefit. As long as you continue to work for the company for a certain period of time, chances are they’ll pay for part or all of your tuition. Some companies will even grant you a leave of absence for a specified period of time.

After your two-year commitment in an MBA program, you can look forward to a challenging and rewarding career with the company and industry you choose.

Disadvantages

In order to ensure that your full-time MBA program pays off in the long run, you’ll need to focus on your studies during school. It’s also important to create a plan for achieving future goals in the workplace.

As a full-time student, you won’t have much time for work or family matters. In addition, you’ll also need to figure out how to finance your education. To help pay for school, you may want to look into a government loan, grant, private loan, or scholarship. The biggest advantage of a grant or scholarship is that you don’t have to pay them back, but if you’re planning to pay for your schooling with a loan, be sure you have solid plans for employment after graduation.

Have You Considered a One-Year Program?

A few MBA Colleges offer a full-time, one-year MBA program. The main advantage of this specialized program is that you can focus on curriculum that applies to your business of area of expertise. With much less coursework (required by two-year programs), you can complete the program within a year or less. You’ll also have plenty of opportunity to network with other people within your profession.

Since many employers require you to complete a full-time MBA in order to move onto leadership roles, you may want to seriously consider a two-year or one-year MBA program.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Part-Time MBA Programs

If you’ve decided to go back to school for an MBA but still need to work, a part-time MBA program might be the right solution for you. In terms of education, employers continue to raise the bar for managers, requiring them to go back to school and sharpen their skills.

The following are some advantages and disadvantages of a part-time MBA program:

Advantages

Part-time MBA programs are designed for working professionals. If you work during the day, as most people do, you can take classes at night, outside of normal business hours. Furthermore, most part-time MBA Colleges offer year-round classes.

Part-time MBA programs usually take somewhere between two and three years to complete, but some may take up to five. Regarding curriculum, part-time programs typically offer fewer courses than full-time ones, thereby allowing you to finish school sooner. Since you can earn a part-time MBA on campus or online, these programs are perfect for those who can’t relocate or commute.

For the most part, part-time MBA programs are less expensive than full-time programs. As a student, you can take out a student loan and spread out your payments for years after you get your degree. You can finance your education easily through loans, grants, and income. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement to those seeking higher education. If you’re looking for tuition reimbursement, employers generally favor part-time over full-time MBA programs

As an added bonus, you can integrate learning with other professional activities and family commitments during the day. All in all, part-time MBA programs offer great flexibility, plus there’s no need to quit your job while attending classes.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of pursuing your MBA degree through a part-time program is that you can apply what you learn while you learn it.

Disadvantages

The biggest obstacle when it comes to part-time programs is that not all schools offer them, which means that you may not be able to attend your first choice for a school. As a result, you’ll need to investigate several MBA Colleges before making a final decision. In addition, your credits may not be transferable if you decide to transfer to a full-time MBA college later on.

Depending on your course workload, a part-time program can take up to five years to complete. Part-time MBA programs take longer to complete, and you’ll need to do to your homework in addition to your already-hectic life. People who work and go to school on a part-time basis often feel worn out. They also wind up spending less time with family and friends.

Overall, the part-time MBA program offers a very popular option to those who are willing to make the commitment, and once committed, you need to follow through and complete the program.