Full-time vs. Part-time MBA Programs

From the time I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to return to school for my master’s. Perhaps not as I walked off stage, but within a couple of years of being in the workforce, I recognized the importance of continuing my education as the industry was constantly changing. There was a lot that could be self-taught, but I knew I could advance my career faster if I had a cohort to help me with the new discoveries. Like many people though, life got in the way of my educational pursuit. Now, more than a few years out of college, the urge to get back into the classroom is rumbling around in my mind.

Now the question is more than the Clash’s Do I Stay or Do I Go, it’s how do I accomplish this goal? There are various paths to attaining your MBA. The two most popular are either a full-time program, in which students are encouraged to take a sabbatical from work to concentrate on their studies; or a part-time program that provides more flexibility to work and go to school. Both of these paths have great benefits depending on your circumstances.

If you have the opportunity to take a break from working, the full-time option might be the right for you. In this program, you’ll be fully immersed in the college and carrying a full course load of classes. Being on campus each day gives you the opportunity to take advantage of many extra-curricular opportunities such as case competitions, student clubs, and national and international study trips. You have the chance to develop your leadership skills and explore opportunities within your industry, as well as opportunities with different industries or different professional fields. This is an excellent way to pivot your career and head it in a direction that will be both personally satisfying and professionally rewarding.

The part-time MBA program is designed with professionals in mind. The program offers the chance to continue your education while you continue building your career. Most part-time programs, like the part-time MBA at the David Eccles School of Business, offer two evening classes per week, which helps provide a balance between work, family, and school. You’ll engage with a cohort of working professionals that will expand your network while you develop your management skills. As a part-time student, you’ll be able to expand your understanding of the business world and the various functions available.

Going back for your MBA is a gift that keeps on giving. Whether you take the full-time or the part-time road, you’ll gain valuable knowledge, expand your marketability, and grow your professional network. You’ll demonstrate to your employer and future employers that you’re dedicated to stretching yourself and taking on challenges, promoting yourself up the corporate ladder. There is also research that shows having the MBA will help you increase your earning potential, which isn’t a bad thing either.

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