Why You Should Absolutely Pursue a Part-Time MBA?

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Many prospective MBA candidates view a Part-Time MBA (PTMBA) as a less prestigious option compared to the Full-Time MBA (FTMBA), despite often earning the same degree. Here’s why a PTMBA is a valuable and strategic choice:

We’ve worked with 100s of MBA applicants over the years and many of them view a Part-Time MBA (PTMBA) as a less prestigious option compared to the Full-Time MBA (FTMBA), despite often earning the same degree. Why does the Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) receive all the praise while PTMBAs are met with an embarrassed silence, even though the degree received by graduates is (often) the same?  Over the last decade, we’ve been fortunate to work with dozens of PTMBA applicants and have closely kept an eye on their career evolution. We can honestly say that PTMBAs have nothing to envy compared to their full-time counterparts. Let me save everyone the trouble and explain exactly why people should pursue a PTMBA.  

  1. High-Caliber Student-Body 

Kim Clark, the former dean of the Harvard Business School, once said that “students do not turn down a seat at HBS to go to another business school; they do so because they have great opportunities at work”.  PTMBA students usually come with over seven years of work experience and have already achieved a mid- to senior-level position (earning often well over the average that new MBA grads make in the industry). They are successful young professionals who are on a great career trajectory. Our ex-applicants often told us how overwhelming the experience was when they first started their MBA, as the caliber of students and academic rigor were stronger than they expected.  2. The PTMBA is a fantastic career accelerator!  If you have no interest in switching career paths, the PTMBA option is 

  1. Career Acceleration Without the Pause

For professionals not intending to switch industries, the PTMBA offers the advantage of immediately applying newly acquired skills to enhance job performance and career growth. However, it's important to recognize that career support in PTMBA programs is often less comprehensive than in full-time programs, making it less ideal for those looking to change career paths.

  1. Significant Cost Savings

While full-time MBA programs can cost upwards of $200,000, PTMBA programs allow students to maintain their income and accrue less debt. Statistics show PTMBA students often incur significantly less debt than their full-time counterparts. In 4 out of 5 schools, Part-Time MBA graduates incurred less debt than their Full-Time peers. To give an example, the difference came to more than $43,000 at Ross ($59,014 vs. $102,605).  

  1. Flexibility and Customization

Most PTMBAs are local courses, taught in the evenings or over the weekend. If you are seeking a less disruptive option (especially if you have family commitments), the PTMBA checks all the boxes. The best part? You complete a similar curriculum to your full-time counterparts in a flexible manner (most PTMBA programs allow their students to complete their degree within 5 or 6 years)

  1. Strong Return on Investment (ROI)

PTMBAs offer an impressive ROI, with a reported 1,621% return after 10 years - outperforming both two-year and one-year full-time MBAs (445% for FT 2-year MBA and 655% for FT 1-year MBA). Additionally, the Median Cumulative Base Salary (USD - not adjusted to inflation) reaches $1m+ after 10 years for PTMBA graduates (in comparison to $999k for FT 2-year MBA graduates). In conclusion, a PTMBA offers the unique advantage of advancing your education and career simultaneously, providing flexibility, financial feasibility, and a robust return on investment.

Three cheers for the Part-Time MBA that a fantastic Financial Times writer once called the MBA-HF (MBA for high-flyers)!


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