In one of my first posts on determining if business school is the right move, I talked about some of the issues students need to consider before going back to school, specifically the full-time business school student. As promised in that post, I want to spend some time sharing my top reasons for pursuing a part-time MBA.
Part-time MBA students can get their MBA without sacrificing the professional development that goes along with leaving to the workforce for two years. Oh yeah, and the income that comes with continuing to work full-time is also a benefit.
Fewer Required Courses
This seems to vary by institution. For example, at the Kellogg School of Management (the best business school in the world in my humble opinion) and the Hass School of Business, part-time students are required to take fewer courses to graduate than their full-time counterparts. On the other hand, the Stern School of Business and the Booth School of Business do not reduce the required coursework for their part-time programs. All of these are top-notch programs that simply have
The idea behind reducing the coursework (at least at Kellogg) is that you will compensate for that discrepancy in coursework by continuing to learn in the workplace since full-time employment is a requirement for the Part-time program.
Perhaps the most interesting difference in choosing to go to the Part-time MBA program is the fact that you can tailor your coursework around the needs of your job/company. For example, I was working at a global consumer goods company that always invested in derivatives. Once I became responsible for consolidating North America financial results, I wanted to better understand how derivatives were structured so I enrolled in an investments class and an international finance class. When you are able to see the value like this immediately, it makes it easier to prioritize things you may not have prioritized otherwise, like studying perhaps…
Instant Professional Network
While going to business full-time allows you to develop a network with your colleagues that will go onto leadership positions in their respective business endeavors, it may take more time to realize this than when you’re in the Part-time program. Similar to how you going part-time means you won’t forgo career advancement for two years, you may also reap the benefits of your classmates continuing to advance their careers. I’ve seen multiple instances where classmates have changed jobs in the middle of the part-time program because of a connection made with a classmate.
Ability to Handle Multiple High Priority Tasks
By successfully completing an MBA program while maintaining your career progression, a potential employer immediately knows that you can take on multiple demanding tasks at a time to achieve a desired outcome. Honestly, people respect the fact that you were even brave enough to try going back to school while working full-time. And if you have a baby in the middle of the program like I did, it makes for a great story.
People always love a great story.