MBA Program Comparison: Which Type of MBA is Best for You?

Which MBA Is Right for You?
What MBA program is best for you? Take a look at what traditional, online and accelerated MBA programs have to offer:

Traditional MBA Programs

A traditional, on-campus MBA program is a very popular option. These programs are typically from accredited universities and last from two-to-four years. Some universities offer the dual degree option, combining the BA with an MBA for a seamless educational experience. A traditional MBA offers a number of rewards, but there are some drawbacks to consider, as you’ll see in these pros and cons:

Pros – Traditional MBA

  • A focused education – a singular focus on your MBA program
  • Campus resources – live study groups, library, access to professors

Cons – Traditional MBA

  • Time – a Traditional MBA is a commitment that leaves little free time for work or other pursuits
  • Attendance – most classes are in-person; attendance is mandatory
  • Class size – you could become little more than a number in a class with 400+ plus students
  • Interaction – professors don’t always have time for 1:1 meetings
  • Experienced lecturers – many classes are taught by graduate students
  • Price tag – costs can really add up, over $100,000 in many cases for an MBA

Online MBA Programs

Online classrooms and distance learning have undergone an evolution thanks to improved technology, better participation by universities, and recognition of the quality education from the business sector. The biggest benefit of online MBA programs is that you can still work and go to school. In fact, you can work on your online degree any place you have an internet connection. Still, there are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering earning your MBA online:

Pros – Online MBA

  • Time – scheduling and time commitments become less of an issue
  • Flexibility – meet your work and family responsibilities … still go to school
  • Environment – go to class anywhere you have an online connection
  • Class sizes – while class sizes vary, most are small, offering online resources for student success
  • Interaction – professors often host group Q&As and are more apt to respond to emails
  • Experienced leader – most classes are taught by the professor or instructor
  • Price tag – typically less expensive, and more cost-effective with no commuting or housing costs

Cons – Online MBA

  • Discipline – your education is on you, it takes self-discipline and a willingness to put in the effort
  • Participation – many online classes have mandatory online group sessions
  • Interaction – the process may make you feel more isolated as there is less college comradery

Accelerated MBA Programs

Accelerated MBA Programs are highly appealing for many reasons – not the least of which is the time to graduation. Take a look:

Pros – Accelerated MBA

  • Format – online, in-person or a mixture of both
  • Time – requires a shorter time commitment over traditional and online programs
  • Involvement – highly focused and faster paced
  • Targeted – often perfect for people who are already working in a business position
  • Flexible – an option for those who work part-time or even full-time
  • Price tag – usually less expensive as you are in school for a shorter period

Cons – Accelerated MBA

  • Pace – it goes fast … and can be difficult to catch up if you fall behind
  • Participation – can only miss so many classes before being required to repeat the course

This is part of a series of informational articles for working adults who are considering a master’s degree. We kicked things off with MBAs: What You Need to Know About the Most Popular Master’s Degree,  followed by MBA: Is It Worth the Investment? Next week’s article is Questions to Ask Before Committing to an Online MBA Program.

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