The typical time it takes to finish a master’s degree program is generally two years. However, it is not always achievable because the circumstances are not always in our favor. Most of the students who decide to pursue a master’s degree are already employed, and a work schedule can get quite in the way of your studies.

But if you decide to pursue an MBA degree, you have options as there are different types of MBA programs with varying durations. With the purpose of helping you graduate sooner than the traditional two-year MBA program, many universities and colleges offer accelerated, part-time, or other different types of MBA courses. So, if you’re wondering what types of MBA programs are there, there are about five MBA programs that you can pursue, depending on which one suits best with your current work status and personal commitments. These five types of MBA degrees include the following options:

  • A 1-Year Full-Time MBA Program
  • A 2-Year Full-Time MBA Program
  • An Executive MBA Program
  • A Part-Time MBA Program
  • An Online MBA Program

1-Year MBA Programs

If you choose to pursue a 1-year MBA program, be prepared for the intensity of that upcoming year. Considering that you are choosing an accelerated program that will provide you with an MBA degree in such a short term, you should know that your academic year is going to be filled with strict deadlines and plenty of coursework. It usually takes 11 to 16 months of intensive commitment to complete a 1-year full-time MBA program.

Usually, there aren’t any semester breaks that follow. This makes sense, why? Well, it does because candidates involved in these sorts of programs are experienced professionals looking to advance their skills and qualifications so that they can climb the ladders of success while already having a career on the side. And if you belong to this category, this type of MBA program is the right one to pursue.

 2-Year MBA Programs

The two-year full-time MBA program is the most typical one to follow. Students who decide to choose this type of MBA program are slightly more privileged, as they get to take their time and get an in-depth education regarding the many perspectives of business administration. The whole MBA experience as a whole is a lot more different and maybe even more fulfilling when you have the advantage of completely focusing on your studies with no extra distractions that follow.

Many discuss that even employers sometimes prefer two year MBA graduates when recruiting, with some believing that the intensity of other, shorter MBA program formats do not allow graduates to immerse themselves in their studies fully. During two year programs, you’re exposed to several internship opportunities, study trips, and more networking opportunities – these are some of the main reasons why U.S. universities still go by the two-year, traditional MBA program.

Executive MBA Programs

Yes, the Executive MBA program is also a two-year program, just like the traditional MBA you would follow. However, the difference between a typical MBA and an EMBA is that the curriculum of an Executive MBA program is designed for working professionals with a minimum of 5 years of work experience. It allows plenty of flexibility for its students because it foresees their work schedules; hence, lectures for these people are usually held on Fridays and Saturdays.

This type of academic experience is quite dynamic, open to changes that are convenient for the students. Classes and the whole learning experience may take place inside or outside the classroom, allowing plenty of concrete practice assisted by the faculty staff and other peers. Courses are focused on career management and leadership training, tailored to executives from the industry.

If you’re already employed, you should check with your company, as some employers do provide financial assistance for their employees to pursue an MBA program. This benefits them as well, as your progress as an employee is theirs too!

Part-Time MBA Programs

part time studentThere are many ways of looking at a part-time MBA program. Looking at it from the flexibility perspective, you do have plenty of that. You do not have to worry about finding a job right after graduation, as most people who decide to pursue this format of an MBA degree are usually employed people with other work and life responsibilities. The overall duration of part-time MBA programs depends on the many factors that determine your level of commitment as a student. Based on that, it can take two, three, or even five years until graduation.

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Some schools do offer accelerated, part-time programs, allowing you to finish your studies faster, although part-time. However, whether you extract quality education out of this academic opportunity is subjective, and it depends on the level of ambitions, time management skills, and willingness that the student has to succeed in the long term. The best thing is that the costs of earning an MBA degree through the part-time format are smaller, as you have the chance to earn a salary and pay for your education instead of having to pay loans.

Online MBA Programs

Considering costs, an online MBA program is the best way to reduce the financial burden of getting a decent education. These types of MBA programs are diverse, offering plenty of flexible opportunities for students so that they can adapt their classes and learning material to their life dynamics. Allowing students to adapt to an individual pace has proven to be very efficient, considering that people have different methods of engagement, and to some, the learning process develops faster or easier.

What you need to possess is the proper discipline to attend online classes. There are many ways of active online learning through virtual debates, quizzes, and presentations. The main key to not dropping out is to keep your eyes on the main, final objective—earning the MBA degree, and keep experimenting with different content throughout your online courses.

Which Type of MBA Degree is Better?

This is probably one of the most common questions regarding an MBA degree. However, the proper program completely depends on your professional AND personal background, the baggage of current activities going on in your life, the financial support you have, and your level of ambition.

All of these factors gather up to determine which MBA program is the best fit for you. We hope we helped clear out some of the clouds in the process of your decision-making!