There are many ways that you can attain your Masters of Business Administration. One of the aspects of the MBA degree that makes it unattractive for many is the fact that the program can take a number of years to complete, especially if you are a part-time student. To appeal and cater to a growing number of students that would like to finish their degree in a short period of time, many schools have begun to offer the option for an accelerated MBA degree program. If you are considering this option, below is an overview of the accelerated option that should help you decide whether it is the best decision for achieving your future goals.
The Basics of an Accelerated MBA
Accelerated MBA programs are MBA programs that are a quicker alternative to otherwise traditional two to three year programs. Individuals that undertake an accelerated MBA can expect to complete their studies within ten to fifteen months, while earning the same degree as students that take the non-accelerated option. While the main reason that more and more universities are offering accelerated MBA options is to meet student needs, there is no shortage of schools that do so for their own advantage. Some schools are motivated primarily by moving students through their conveyor belt with little regard to quality instruction or student outcomes, and the accelerated option allows them to process more students. Luckily, there are ways that you can gauge the quality of the accelerated program that you are interested in.
Choosing the Right Accelerated MBA Program
When it comes to choosing an accelerated program, you certainly do not want to choose one that is going to give you a quick degree without the quality education that you deserve. To avoid falling into a trap, there are ways to gauge the value of the program.
Look at MBA Program Rankings
One aspect that you should look at is the school’s ranking. Attaining an accelerated MBA from an unknown or poorly recognized school is not going to add any value to your career. There are many ranking systems that rank accelerated MBA programs, including US News and World Report and others. MBACentral will also be releasing MBA program rankings soon. So, if you are looking for a top accelerated program, you would do well to look into highly rated programs.
The Rigor of the Program
For many individuals that want a quality education, success does not come easy. Quality accelerated programs that provide a top tier education with an accelerated program work to do more than teach their students academically, they also challenge them to acquire professional experience by taking internships and gaining other non-academic experience. For example, in Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, the accelerated program challenges students to advance by completing their academic coursework and suggested non-academic activities to help them gain the most out of their accelerated program experience.
The final quality that you want to look at is whether or not the institution is accredited. By being accredited by a respected accrediting body, the school is noticed as being a place that provides high quality education to students and so much more. By choosing a program that is accredited by a well respected regional or national accrediting body, you know that the school has passed a rigorous review process.
The Advantages of an Accelerated MBA Program
For many, the accelerated MBA option offers advantages that the traditional MBA option doesn’t. Below are the main ways that an accelerated MBA can help you.
Lack Of Career Interruption
The average age for an MBA student is 29 years old, a time where most have already begun their careers and are working toward climbing the ladder. In addition to this, 29 is also an age where most are still paying their student loans. The idea of being out of the workforce for 2 years or more is simply incompatible with the career goals and reality of many individuals. With an accelerated MBA, you can avoid this problem because it allows you to complete your studies quickly and boost your career.
The Frugal Option
Not only is an accelerated MBA shorter, but it is also cheaper than a traditional MBA. Rather than spend 2 years worth of tuition, which commonly amounts to over $100,000, you can choose an accelerated option that will cost you one year’s tuition. This makes an accelerated option a wise investment for many students that do not want the burden of hefty student loans.
No Need To Compromise On Quality
Lastly, just because you are choosing an accelerated option does not mean that you need to compromise on quality. The assumption that most students make is that the quicker the option, the less they will learn or get out of the program. As you’ve noticed, you can get into an accredited program and still have a demanding, rewarding experience.
Disadvantages of an Accelerated MBA
When it comes to accelerated MBA’s, many students find that they are a nice alternative to long programs. But there is one major disadvantage to an accelerated program, and that is that students sacrifice internships and work positions during the summer months. The work experience that can be gained during summer breaks is a way to shape a career and gain a strong foundation in an area of interest. If you find that you aren’t willing to sacrifice your summer internship, then an accelerated option may not be the best option.
Overall, if you are looking to minimize your debt, reduce the time you are out of the workforce, and still want to attain a quality education, then the accelerated option is extremely appealing. Just don’t forget to make sure that the program you choose is accredited and meets your needs.