There are many colleges that offer contemporary learning such as part time programs, and these programs are often offered completely online. This is a great opportunity to earn a master’s degree in business, because courses are designed for working adults. There are part-time MBA programs that are held on campuses, and the classes are offered at convenient times such as on the weekends and the evenings. The number of students enrolled in part-time MBA programs is growing. According to a 2011 AASCSB survey, 44% of MBA students attend full-time compared to 56% of part-time MBA students.
How Long Does it Take to Earn an MBA Part-time?
The duration of part-time MBA programs can vary in length. There are many factors that determine the time it takes to earn an MBA part-time. Most part-time programs take two to three years to finish. However, programs can last up to five years. There are some colleges that offer part-time MBA programs that are accelerated, so students have the opportunity to graduate sooner than a traditional part-time MBA program.
What are the Advantages of a Part-time MBA Program?
There are many advantages to earning an MBA part-time. Many people do not have the time or resources to be a full-time student. Students who earn an MBA part-time have time to maintain family and work responsibilities.
Part-time MBA students who work may be offered tuition reimbursement by their employer. Tuition reimbursement is when the employer agrees to pay for part or all of the cost of attendance. Some companies will pay a percentage of tuition, based on the grades received for the course term.
There are many part-time MBA programs that are offered online, so students do not have to move or relocate to attend school. Online programs are also convenient for students, because students have more flexibility in their schedules. As with any online program, online MBA students must have excellent time management skills and be able to maintain a vigorous schedule.
Attending a part-time MBA program can be less of a financial burden than attending full-time MBA program, because students can maintain a job while attending school. Students that attend school full-time are not able to devote the necessary time to learning while maintaining a full-time job. Many colleges that offer part-time MBA programs design the courses for students who work full-time, so students can earn a salary while attending school.
Students that attend part-time do not have to worry about finding employment after they graduate. This is a big advantage over full-time MBA students, who graduate and have to enter the job market with little to no experience. Part-time students also have the advantage to apply what they are learning to their jobs, which can lead to career advancement.
What are the Disadvantages of a Part-time MBA Program?
Although attending part-time to earn an MBA has many advantages, there are also disadvantages that students must deal with when attending school part-time. Earning a master’s degree is a difficult task, and part-time programs take more self-motivation and effort than full-time programs.
If students participate in part-time programs, then they have less academic involvement than full-time students. Most full-time students do not have the distraction of a full-time job, so full-time students have more time to devote to courses. If part-time students study completely online, then they do not have as many opportunities to ask questions and there is less interaction with other students.
There can also be added stress for part-time MBA students. Part-time students have to devote a full day to work, and then they have to take classes in the evenings or weekends. Part-time students can sometimes become mentally exhausted, so part-time students must have great time management skills and be able to handle stressful situations.
A Part-time MBA Increases Salary
Although some argue that earning a part-time MBA is a waste of time and money, there are facts revealed by studies that prove earning an MBA part-time will increase graduates salaries. A study was conducted in the Journal of Education for Business, and found that part-time MBA graduated earned a pay increase of 41% and increased to 56% after five years. This same study revealed that part-time Executive MBA graduates, who are older in age, reported an increase of salary by 29% post-graduation, and five years after graduation their salary increased by an additional 43%.
How to Select a Part-time MBA Program
It is important for potential part-time MBA students to take the time to properly research schools that offer part-time MBA programs. Eventually, MBA Central will have a ranking report for part time MBAs that will focus heavily on return on investment and student outcome.
The flexibility of attending school part-time allows a balance between work, family, and school. There are many part-time MBA programs that are well-organized and provide the same learning opportunities as full-time MBA programs.