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By Srishti Oberoi
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The MBA Umbrella- The Different Types of MBA Programs

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13th March, 2019

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Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) are highly recognized and accepted courses across the world. The beauty of these management courses lies in their design and formats, which can cater to the needs and requirements of the companies and the management aspirants. After completing graduation or gaining some professional experience, people plan to pursue MBA or PGDM for their own various reasons. Be it, career advancement, procuring a better corporate position, securing a better paying job etc. The management institutes have recognized these reasons & needs of doing an MBA and thus came up with various types of MBA programs.

Unlike the conventional full-time MBA, we now have a wide variety of other formats and types of MBA. Each one has its merits, limitations, purpose, pattern, duration and other attributes which an MBA aspirant must take into consideration while picking the course. The best or the most suited option may differ for all the management students. They must select the right type of MBA based on their needs, career goals, time & money investment.

In this post, we list the different types of MBA programs, the key differences among them and other facts which may help you assess these well and select an appropriate MBA type for yourself.

Key Differences Between the Types of MBA Courses

To help you understand better, we have summarized the key differences between the various types of MBA programs in the following table:

Types of MBA Programs

Duration of MBA Program 

Average Professional Experience

Schedule of MBA Programs

2 Year Full Time

2 Years 3+ Years

Full-Time, Regular classes

1-Year Full Time

11 – 16 Months 3+ Years

Full-time, Regular classes with less time in between semesters

Executive MBA

2 Years 8+ years Classes are conducted on the weekends or evenings to accommodate a full-time work schedule
Part-Time MBA 3+ Years 0-3 Years

Classes are often conducted in the evening, allowing students to earn a degree with a full-time career

Online MBA

2+ Years 0-3 Years Curriculum to be followed from home or remote location, all learning material to be studied online.
Distance MBA 2+ Year 0-3 Years

The curriculum is followed from home. All learning material is delivered home.

 

Full-Time MBA Program (2 years)

A majority of MBA aspirants go for a traditional, full-time MBA program which usually lasts 4 semesters spread over the course of 2 years. This type of MBA program provides an unparalleled business school experience to management aspirants. The first year of a full-time MBA program fulfils the general course requirements along with developing the core skills needed to become corporate ready. The second year, however, dives deeper into the discipline of one’s choice, giving the flexibility to set the course of the career.

A full-time MBA program offers the maximum opportunities to students for experiential learning in the form of industry visits, internships, and networking. Also, it gives free way to career services, social and professional clubs, interaction with leading business tycoons, counselling and many such other advantageous activities. However, the time commitment that this MBA program type requires, binds the student for two years.

 

Full-Time MBA Program (1 year)

There are many management aspirants who seek to advance their career in their industry but find it difficult to commit for two years. Such aspirants go for a different type of MBA program that is usually completed in 11-16 months time. This type of MBA program, however, has strict requirements for work and academic experience since the extensive MBA curriculum is being compressed in such a small time frame.

This accelerated MBA program focuses mainly on enhancing the managerial skills of the aspirant since a majority of candidates opting for such an MBA program are experienced working professionals. Thus, a full time (1 year) MBA program offers an intense and immersive B-school experience. However, internship opportunities may be limited with such an accelerated MBA curriculum.  

 

Executive MBA

An executive MBA program is tailored for professionals who want to take the next step in leadership and focus on career broadening. The curriculum of the program, hence, concentrates on the major business disciplines that enhance skills like leadership, strategy, communication and management.

Unlike traditional part-time MBA programs, an executive MBA program can be completed in two years or less. Students generally meet for classes on Fridays and Saturday and often on alternate weekends. These classes offer an immersive experience with learning taking place both inside and outside classroom premises. Also, the experience gained from an executive MBA program type is intensified by constant interaction with faculty and industry experts.

 

Part-Time MBA

A part-time MBA program is geared towards full-time working professionals who don’t yet hold any leadership experience. This is a different type of MBA program that offers flexibility and balances to help the student reach their goals. The program generally runs year-round, with classes scheduled outside of normal working hours, either in the evenings or on the weekends.

Usually, the students opting for Part-time MBA program share the same faculty as their full-time counterparts. Moreover, students face less competition than full-time program takers and have the flexibility to take longer than two or three years to complete the course. However, there are few to no internship opportunities for students and comparatively less industry exposure.

 

Online MBA

An online MBA program is the most convenient way out there to gain an MBA degree while maintaining both your learning style and lifestyle. An online MBA program is the most flexible option for a student since it allows the student to fulfil the demands of their busy schedule while enhancing their skill set to move ahead in their career.

Such types of MBA programs allow the students to spend their cost and time over a long period of time, as per the convenience. This allows the students to attend classes as per their own pace along with a schedule that works with their personal and professional arrangements.

An online MBA program includes a variety of course formats including recorded lectures, live web conferences and online tests and assignments which could be accessed by the student as per their schedule, thus offering utmost flexibility.  

 

Distance MBA

Many times management aspirants find it difficult to relocate for their choice of MBA program from their desired college. Also, the cost of relocation, MBA tuition fees and the additional costs involved for travel to attend the classes may not be viable for many. MBA aspirants with such personal or financial constraints opt for a distance MBA program that gives them the liberty to not be physically present for the classes, yet gains their MBA as per their convenience.

Students pursuing an MBA degree as a correspondence course, get the course material delivered to them in a printed format. In addition to this course material, there are some audio/visual learning aids provided to the students via post. Studying in this format requires a lot of dedication as there are no classes, thus self-study is the only option left. In the end, students are evaluated through assignments and exams. However, there is no internship and placement opportunity given to students by the institute.

By Srishti Oberoi

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