Part time MBA vs. Full time MBA? Which one to choose?

I have received few emails on whether one should go for part time MBA or full time MBA? and whether part time MBA can boosts someone’s career or not etc..…

I have received few emails on whether one should go for part time MBA or full time MBA? and whether part time MBA can boosts someone’s career or not etc..
Here are my thoughts:

Part time MBA
If you have substantial work experience [more than 6 years] in the industry and if you plan to stick to the same industry, go for part time MBA.
But at the same time, make sure that you enroll in a A grade college.

All said and done, part time MBA is not seen in the same light as full time, but a good college/brand name will suffice for that. And the reality is that it’s almost impossible to shift career 180 degrees using your part time degree.

Full time MBA
If you are a fresher or have work experience of less than 2 years, I strongly suggest you to go for full time MBA. Also, if you are looking for a career shift [let’s say from IT coding to sales/marketing], this is the right time to make that change.

After having stayed in the industry for 4+ years, doing a full time MBA/and a career shift, will most probably erode all your previous work experience benefits. And of course, it will hurt your ego to be treated as a fresher [thats a reality, accept it or not!].

So what are the things you should take care of in part time MBA programmes?
Keep in mind the following points if you are attending a part time MBA programme:

  • Maximize your learning. Learn ways to implement the classroom studies in your workplace. For e.g. if you are attending a marketing course, make sure that you speak to marketing folks in your company [even if they you hate them] and get their insights. Real value of a part time MBA lies in implementation and not the theoretical part.
  • Network, network and network. Most of the part time courses are attended by execs and chances are that they will bring a very rich experience to the classroom. Use that. Network as much as possible. I am aware of few CxOs attending part time MBA courses. Build relationships with these guys. They can provide you the springboard you have been looking for.
  • Know what to expect – No matter where you do your part MBA from, know what to expect from the course. Few companies have clear policies to not treat part time MBAs on the same lines as full time, irrespective of the college/brand. Accept these. Honestly, there is nothing that you can do about this. Manage your own expectation by exploring opportunity with companies which have no issues with part time MBAs [typically mid/small sized].
  • During the course of your MBA, network with the team that you wanna get into. For e.g. if you want to shift to Marketing/Product Management, build relationship with those folks in your company.Remember that you don’t get a crown just because you have completed your MBA. You need to convince your company that “you can handle’ the new role.
  • And while you are studying, make sure that you do your office assignments very well. ‘If you perform well, you get a good referral from your boss and that will serve you to switch easily to your desired role. But if you are not a great performer, why would somebody take that risk by assigning you something which you have never done? Reputation plays a very big role, my friend.
  • Last, but not the least – have tonnes of patience. Part time MBA may not help you achieve instant nirvana, and you might need to struggle to achieve the desired role/responsibility [true for full time as well].

What do you think?

Also see: Top Business Schools (Worldwide)


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