Last Updated: August 08, 2021
Full-Time MBA vs Part-Time MBA
Candidates who wish to advance their career prospects or switch between industries while having only a minimum required qualification often choose to take an MBA. Master’s in Business Administration is a professional program that candidates can take irrespective of the field they are in to hone their skills in aspects like leadership and management.
The estimated salaries of candidates who have completed their MBA, irrespective of the field chose, show an increase of at least 41 percent when compared to pre-MBA salaries. This is also one of the reasons that make candidates seek out business schools for MBA. Due to the professional nature of the course and the fact that most candidates who enroll for the course are employees, the course has a flexible structure that allows candidates from all walks of life to pursue an MBA if they so require it.
Candidates will be able to choose between a full-time MBA or a part-time MBA mainly, which have been the oldest and most popular forms of the course. Both these options will allow the candidates to achieve the degree of their choice, though each of them provides different kinds of benefits considering the difference in the students that are targeted for each program.
Benefits of Full-Time MBA
A full-time MBA is often taken by candidates who have recently completed their undergraduate degree or have a bare minimum number of years as their work experience. This course can take anywhere between 1 to 2 years depending on the institution and the candidate. The perks that accompany this program are that of having ample time to focus on the said course. Candidates will be able to complete this course as they would complete any other master’s degree. They will also be able to take up summer internships and be part of exchange programs, each of which will enhance the work experience the candidate has and provide them with large network connections.
Classes will often be taken throughout the week and hence are considered to be highly time-consuming requiring the full attention span of the candidate. It is only for a full-time MBA that candidates will be able to apply and receive financial aid.
Benefits of Part-Time MBA
Part-Time MBA is taken by candidates who are employed in a full-time job but require additional qualifications for acquiring a promotion or switching jobs. Due to this aspect of the program, classes are conducted during evenings or on weekends depending upon the schedule of the candidate. For enrolling in a part-time MBA program, candidates will be required to have a minimum number of years of work experience.
Candidates will be able to take a duration of 2 to 5 years for the completion of the course thereby not having to put pressure on themselves. The courses require a relatively less number of hours per week and are less intensive when compared to full-time MBA programs.
Comparing Full-Time and Part-Time MBA
While comparing full-time and part-time MBA, candidates must weigh in factors like the cost of attendance, the financial aid they can receive while doing either program, the admission requirements, and the course structure that both the courses provide. While the full-time MBA program is the most favorable for candidates considering how they can invest their entire time and effort into the course, this is not often feasible for most candidates who have crossed the age of 30. This also rings true for candidates who cannot afford this expensive course while not working at the same time. The essential benefits and drawbacks regarding both these programs can be listed out as follows.
Admission Procedure for Full-Time and Part-Time MBA
The admission procedures opted for both the full-time and part-time MBA programs are similar in nature. The requirements include a transcript, letters of recommendation, GMAT/GRE scores, statement of purpose, etc. But this differs in the admission criteria for both these programs.
- While a full-time program focuses on candidates with exceptional merit and a zest for learning, the part-time course focuses less on the GPA of the candidate and more on the work experience of the candidate.
- Candidates will be able to procure admission for the part-time program way more easily than a full-time program. This is dependent on the number of seats that are available for both programs. The number of seats for a part-time course far surpasses the number of seats available in full-time programs.
- The fact that full-time programs contribute more to the ranking of the business school also makes the selection process more stringent than that of part-time programs.
- The flexible nature of part-time programs makes schools focus less on the merit of the candidate and more on providing the degree to candidates.
Course Structure for Full-Time and Part-Time MBA
The course structure of a full-time program will include external factors like summer internships and exchange programs that the candidate can be a part of. While the curriculum of a part-time program is similar to that of a full-time program, the emphasis on each part of the syllabus will be less due to the lesser number of hours candidates will have to invest in the same.
- Candidates will have to attend classes on all weekdays including personality development programs while doing a full-time program but at the same time, while doing a part-time program candidates will be able to attend classes in evenings or weekends only for the same subjects.
- They will also be able to club two classes together if they have time constraints that can compromise the quality of the classes but will let them prepare by themselves for the degree.
Cost of Attendance for Full-Time and Part-Time MBA
The cost of attendance for both the part-time and full-time programs varies according to the institution the candidate chooses to study in. It also depends on the location the institution and even the ranking of the institution.
- The part-time program is often more affordable than a full-time program, with courses starting from $13,000 per semester.
- Full-time programs are generally accompanied by additional expenses that are incurred while living in-campus, or off-campus, along with the events and programs they will have to attend as part of the course. Part-time MBA programs have a fee structure that is calculated based on the number of credits the candidate takes and is charged per course or per semester which does not add to the additional living expenses.
- While part-time MBAs can seem more cost-efficient and economical, at the end of the day, candidates will have a better chance of receiving financial aid only while doing a full-time MBA. Since part-time candidates will be having a full-time job while doing the course, they will not easily be able to apply for and receive financial aid of any kind.
Is Pursuing Part-Time MBA Worth It?
Candidates who have completed a full-time MBA program will definitely have an upper hand with their future career prospects. But this is simply due to the kind of rigorous training they receive during the duration of the course. The curriculum for both the full-time and part-time courses remains the same but the amount of time and effort candidates can pitch in for both the courses varies depending on the work environment the candidate has while doing their full-time job and part-time MBA simultaneously.
The salary range for candidates who have completed their MBA remains essentially the same irrespective of the kind of program they have attended. But at the same time, the pace at which they get returns from their investment is higher for candidates who did the full-time program due to the networking possibilities they receive during the course.
Then, the part-time course becomes worthwhile only when candidates have a high-paying and secure job that lets them offer their best for the course despite working part-time. It is also dependent on the candidate and their zest for learning. This is an ideal option for candidates who have financial difficulties and are academically average with no surety of securing financial aid. It is also apt for candidates who are unsure of whether their credentials will be enough to be admitted for a full-time program.
The benefits of studying the course are entirely dependent on the candidate's investments and the institution they want to be a part of. While a full-time program may seem ideal, candidates will have to focus on which program will suit them economically, financially, and schedule-wise before choosing one of them.