Gamer Earns MBA At Age 17

A Guide to All MBA Program Types

An MBA program typically takes two years to complete. But, nowadays, students have access to a number of program options—from accelerated one-year programs to longer, more flexible part-time programs.

Fortune recently broke down the various MBA program options and offered expert advice on what prospective students should know about each.

1-YEAR: ACCELERATED MBA

Accelerated 1-year MBA programs are designed for students who are set on their careers and are looking to advance into a leadership role within their current organization.

One of the main benefits of an accelerated 1-year MBA program is the lower cost, as students only pay for one year’s tuition vs. two. Accelerated 1-year programs have gained popularity in recent years at schools such as Northwestern’s Kellogg and Cornell University.

“We’ve found that the one-year MBA overtook the two-year MBA as the most preferred program,” says Ashish Bhardwaj, senior vice president and head of market development at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

2-YEAR: TRADITIONAL MBA

The traditional 2-year MBA is a full-time program designed for students who are looking to gain a strong foundation in business.

“You can use it to accelerate your career and you can also use it to do a career switch, because it is such an intensive, all-in program,” says Rebecca Horan, a former admissions officer for the executive MBA program at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

However, because traditional MBA programs are highly intensive, they require students to fully dedicate their focus and energy to B-school for two years.

3-YEAR PLUS: ONLINE AND PART-TIME MBA

Online and part-time MBA programs are ideal for students who may be working full-time and don’t have the time to fully dedicate themselves to B-school for two years. These programs vary in terms of competition time, but the biggest benefit is flexibility.

“There are several ranges of online programs, synchronous or asynchronous, and hybrid programs that are trying their best to give flexibility but still require some residency,” Bhardwaj says.

Despite their flexibility, however, online programs do have a drawback: lack of networking opportunities.

“On-campus students are not only learning from faculty when taking in-person classes, but also learning from, and interacting with each other,” Bhardwaj says.

Sources: Fortune, US News, Fortune

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