Pros and Cons of Part-Time MBA Programs

Is a Part-Time MBA a Good Idea?

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There are many different types of MBA programs - from part-time and full-time programs to accelerated and dual programs. A part-time MBA program is designed primarily for students who are only able to attend class part-time.

It is important to understand that the words part-time don't mean barely any time. If you commit to a part-time program, you will still need to make a significant time commitment to school - even if you don't have to attend class every single day. It is not unusual for part-time students to spend more than three to four hours each day on MBA schoolwork and activities.

Part-time MBA programs are popular. More than half of all MBA students attend school part-time, according to a recent study from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). But that doesn't mean that part-time study is for everyone. Before you commit yourself to earning your degree through part-time study, you should be aware of all of the pros and cons of part-time MBA programs.

Pros of Part-Time MBA Programs

There are many advantages to studying part-time. Some of the biggest pros of part-time MBA programs include:

  • Part-time MBA programs are more flexible for working professionals; classes are usually scheduled outside normal business hours.
  • Some part-time MBA programs require fewer course credits than their full-time counterparts.
  • Part-time programs are typically favored by employers who offer tuition reimbursement.
  • Many part-time MBA programs schedule courses all year long.
  • Part-time programs tend to cause less strain financially because tuition is sometimes cheaper.
  • Part-time MBA students can apply what they learn as they learn it.
  • There are many high-quality part-time MBA programs inside and outside the United States. Read more about the best part-time MBA programs.

Cons of Part-Time MBA Programs

Although there are advantages to part-time MBA programs, there are drawbacks as well. The biggest cons of part-time MBA programs include:

  • Not every school offers a part-time MBA program, which means you may not be able to attend your first school of choice.
  • Some part-time programs offer fewer course selections than their full-time counterparts.
  • Part-time programs require fewer class hours each week but sometimes take as long as two to five years to complete.
  • Credits that are earned through a part-time MBA program are not always transferable to other programs.
  • Many part-time MBA programs schedule courses all year long.
  • Working while you earn your part-time MBA can be exhausting - especially if it will take you more than two years to earn your degree.
  • Not all part-time MBA programs offer a study abroad option or international experience, which is increasingly valuable in today's global business world.

Should You Study Part-Time?

Part-time programs may be the perfect solution for students who want to work while they earn their degree, but they aren't for everyone. Be sure to take time to evaluate all of your business degree program options, including accelerated MBA programs, specialized master's programs, and executive MBA programs, before you commit yourself to any one program option.