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By Srishti Oberoi

Full-time or Part-time MBA: How to Pick the Right One?

19th March, 2019

The management colleges of India are delivering different types of MBA programs, which can broadly be divided into full-time or part-time MBA. The full-time management program demands the regular presence of the student in the classroom, where they have to meet the criteria of having a certain percentage of attendance. On the other hand, the highlight of a part-time MBA program is time flexibility. The part-time MBA program can be delivered online or through evening or weekend classes. The part-time MBA course has been designed especially for the working professionals who wish to pursue an MBA but without leaving their job.

With the existence of such a variety of MBA program mediums, it gets difficult for the management aspirants to pick the right one for themselves. Mainly, the choice that the candidates need to make is between full-time or part-time MBA. The candidates must take into account their reasons for pursuing a management course, flexibility in terms of time & money, personal constraints and a lot of other factors before choosing the right MBA channel for themselves.

Full-time or Part-time MBA: How to Pick the Right One?

Below are certain factors distinguishing full-time and part-time MBA. This comparison can assist you in evaluating both the mediums of pursuing an MBA and pick the right one for yourself.  

Course Curriculum

The concepts taught in a part-time MBA program are somewhat similar to that of full-time MBA programs. The only major difference is the kind of industry exposure and classroom learnings, which is better in a regular MBA compared to a part-time MBA.

Compared to a regular MBA program, the candidates in part-time MBA get less practical exposure and guidance as there is no faculty or experts involved. However, this problem can be catered if one joins the part-time programs which have evening or weekend classes.

Time Flexibility

This is another factor that can help you decide between part-time or full-time MBA. A part-time MBA is mostly opted by people who have limited or no time. They have a strict time schedule and is difficult for them to spare so much time to pursue a regular MBA degree. People who have family responsibilities or are involved in a regular job can pursue a part-time MBA course which will provide them with much needed time flexibility. For those who wish to work and study simultaneously, a part-time MBA is the best option for them.

However, full-time MBA requires your everyday classroom presence and participation.

Cost of MBA and Return on Investment (ROI)

The full-time MBA program is an expensive affair compared to a part-time one. The management aspirants must compare the fee structure for full-time MBA or part-time MBA and pick the one which suits your budget. Though the banks these days are offering loan facility for pursuing an MBA, you’ll still have to figure out the time span and the ROI of the MBA program.

Job Opportunities

When it comes to corporate acceptance or getting a high paying job post-MBA, the part-time MBA still lags behind. The candidates who have a full-time degree are given preference over the ones having a part-time degree. The highlight of a full-time MBA program is campus recruitment. So, the chances of you being hired by a top-notch corporate house just after you finish your last semester are very high in full-time MBA.

The harsh reality is that part-time MBA graduates still face problems in finding the right job that can not only land them a higher position with a great CTC but can also give them career progression. So, keep this factor in your mind while picking between full-time or part-time MBA.

On the Job Learning

Students pursuing a part-time MBA and also working get to apply their classroom lessons immediately on the job. This way, they tend to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts learned in the class. However, a full-time MBA student has to wait for a year to apply their classroom knowledge and explore technical & practical learning opportunities in an internship. 

Admission Process

Admission to a full-time MBA program is a lengthy process and involves in-depth evaluation, where the candidates are assessed on the basis of their MBA entrance exam score, academic record, work experience, Group Discussion, WAT or MBA Personal Interview marks. Whereas taking admission to a part-time MBA is relaxed and does not involve many formalities and stern assessment. You can take into account this factor while picking up your right option, be it full-time or part-time MBA.

Duration of the Program

Part-time MBA might require you to attend weekend classes, which would mean giving a miss on your weekend hangouts and movies. On average, most part-time MBA programs are completed within 3 years, however, some of them might take up to 5 years. Additionally, you’ll have to devote your precious time for completing the MBA assignments.

On the other hand, in full-time MBA, you’ll have to dedicate your 2 years solely in acquiring the degree. Joining a b-school might give you the feel of a revisit to your good old college days but MBA is a serious business unlike the happy go lucky undergrad days.

Networking Opportunities

This is one of the reasons as to why a lot of people pursue an MBA. When it comes to choosing between part-time or full-time MBA, do consider your interest and need of building a network. In a part-time MBA course, the possibility of developing networks and connections is minimal or negligible compared to a regular MBA program. In the full-time MBA, one gets to regularly interact with the people in the classrooms coming from different academic, career and employment backgrounds.

By Srishti Oberoi

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