Distance MBA or full time MBA: which one to pursue?

After a few years on the job, professionals looking for that big leap in their careers will start thinking about an MBA. At this point of time, you will have two choices-Full time or Part-time MBA.
To help you choose between Full-time and Part-time MBA, we have a breakdown of the differences on ten key factors.

1. Time Commitment

Full time MBA requires your complete commitment of 1 year in case of Executive MBA and 2 Year in case of Traditional MBA on the other hand most flexible option available. With distance MBA variety of specializations available. This course is useful only when you have some experience and you would not be able to attend classes of Full time or Part Time MBA.

2. Flexibility

While both programs follow a near identical curriculum, flexibility is the buzzword for the Part-time program. Weekend classes, weekday classes, week long classes with a break, and a mix of all three are just some of the flexible choices offered. Most schools allow students to switch between the various options and some even allow a part of the course to be completed at another Business school, in case of relocation. Most Part-time programs allow a time-period of 2-5 years to complete the program.

3. Recruiter’s Choice

Full time MBA is most preferred by recruiters or organizationswhile distance MBA is bit out of favour within recruiter community. But now many advance distance education courses coming with concept of online classroom with live interaction with professors and other students. With advancement of technology Distance MBA is going to gain favour from recruiter community.

4. Career Continuity & Switching

Part-time students have the advantage of both an uninterrupted career as well as steady income growth. The flexibility in course structure will help professionals continue working in the same field, vertical or job function. By the time, a Full-time student passes out, he or she would have two years less experience than a part-time student would. For rapidly changing sectors like technology, continuity with technology is crucial in understanding the challenges of implementing a project. Conversely, a part-time program is not ideal for career switchers. The intensity and thouroughness of Full-time learning make it the ideal option for those who wish to change tracks completely.

5. Internship

While Part-time and full-time programs both offer projects, most of the part-time MBA programs do not offer internships. Internships allow students to make mistakes and gain valuable experience. In a 2-YearMBA program, students get the time (1 year) to improve and correct their mistakes.

6. Scholarships

When it comes to financing the MBA program, most B-schools expect students to pay for their education. While loan assistance is offered, only two among the top five Part- time MBA programs offer grants or scholarships. Stern offers donors award scholarships after completing 30 credits, and Haas has its scholarships as well as support from outside sources. On the other hand, the top Full-time MBA program offers a host of scholarships.

7. Peer Learning

Full time MBA provides best option of peer learning. MBA is not all about text book knowledge but to develop prospective about particular business situation , understanding different cultures, sectors. You can learn most from your peers in addition to text book knowledge. On the other hand, Distance education’s major disadvantage is lack of peer learning. You miss opportunity of learning from other peer students, you miss chance to participate in discussions, group works. But this is compromise and flexible option where time commitment is lowest.

8. Learning on the job

As part-time MBA students are also working, they get to aplly classroom lessons immediately on the job. By applying what they have learned, part-time MBA students will have a deeper understanding of the concepts learned in the class, and would also be aware of what works and what does not. On an average, a 2-year Full-time MBA students has to wait one year, for opportunities in internships and to apply their knowledge on global Business problems. A delay of one year between learning and application will diminish the recall of the Business Fundamentals. Although experiental learning in MBA programs has negated this disadvantage, MBA programs at large have yet to adopt it.

9. Fees

Generally Fees for Full time MBA is highest and you need to identify overall budget for it and you also need to consider total salary earning you will be missing due to 1/2 year commitment while There is great advantage of distance learning MBA as Fees are lowest compared to other options and if your budget is not high then distance MBA is best possible options for you.

10. Campus recruitment & Employment

Campus recruitment is the highlight of a Full-time MBA program, A lot of time and resources are spent preparing students as well as attracting corporate into campuses. Most part-time programs allow students to utilize these resources. However, some Business Schools like Stern do not allow Part-time students to participate in this process. Kellogg, Booth, Haas, and Anderson allow part-time MBA students to participate in the Full-time MBA recruitment process.

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