6 Different Ways To Get Your MBA

Many b-schools now offer MBA programs with greater flexibility and more availability to a wider range of students

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is highly sought by individuals wishing to secure job advancement opportunities and higher earnings potential in the business world. Firms often look for MBAs because they graduate with a specialized portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience. Earning an MBA is both time consuming and expensive, and business schools are responding to students' needs to have options when it comes to earning the advanced degree. Many b-schools now offer MBA programs with greater flexibility and more availability to a wider range of students.

Two-Year Programs

A two-year MBA program offers courses over four consecutive semesters. Due to the intense course load, they are ideal for students who will be attending school full-time and who are not concurrently working full-time. The first year is devoted to core classes and during the second year, students are able to customize courses to match their career goals. Areas of concentration include accounting, e-commerce, economics, finance, marketing and healthcare administration.

One-Year Programs

Students can also earn their MBA through one-year programs that typically last between 11 and 16 months, depending on the program. Though appealing to earn the degree in less time, there are disadvantages. The admissions process is very competitive, and applicants must demonstrate excellence in previous academic and work history. In addition, many firms prefer two-year MBAs for both job candidates and internship positions. Like two-year programs, one-year MBAs can customize coursework to match career goals.

International Programs

Attending an Ivy League MBA program is not the only option. A growing number of reputable international programs offer MBA degrees to students willing to relocate for one or two years. In addition to standard course work, an international program offers its students a global perspective that cannot be learned without the cultural immersion. As business becomes increasingly global, understanding the differences in international cultures and business practices can give valuable experience and an important edge to MBAs. Many U.S. programs offer students the option to study abroad with partner universities for a period of time while working towards the MBA.

Distance Learning

In an attempt to cater to a wide variety of students, many b-schools now offer online MBAs. While most of the course work is presented in an online environment, some programs, such as the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, require short-term, in-person residencies. This is seen as an advantage by many MBA candidates who look forward to the opportunity to interact with professors and classmates. Online programs are appealing due to their flexibility and potentially lower tuition costs, but students will miss traditional b-school activities such as campus clubs and study sessions. For some students however, the flexibility involved in pursuing an online education is worth giving up the benefits that brick and mortar business schools offer...


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