Different Programs in Business Schools

Different Programs in Business Schools

When you are doing your school research, you may find there are so many different programs in business schools. You may want to know what are the real differences among these programs and which programs suit you the best before you actually look into the admission details.

1. Full-time MBA Program

It is the foundation of many business schools. A standard two-year program which focuses on knowledge, skills, and networking. Though its original full name is Master of Business Administration, most MBA programs now have various concentrations such as accounting, management, entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing. Many MBA programs start with general business education and then offer all the electives for you to focus on your concentration. During the break between the first and second year, many programs encourage internship, which benefits your further study and job placement in the end.

It suits you if you:

  • have worked at least 2 years full time after college (programs in Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Yale School of Management offer bridge programs for fresh college graduate that will place them in a job for two years before the 2-year program starts);
  • look for a career transition among or into business (MBA programs welcome applicants with background other than business);
  • need and are willing to invest two years and a considerable amount of time to improve your business knowledge and skills and expand your network.


2. Part-time MBA Program

Unlike the full-time version, part-time programs generally need four years to complete, while offering you the opportunity to stay on your current career path.

It suits you if you:

  • do not want to give up your current position;
  • are not in a hurry to obtain an MBA degree or to make a career transition (to be honest, four-year would feel longer than two two-year especially when you are in an age when you are very likely to make career breakthrough).


3. One-year MBA Programs

To accommodate the demand of some potential candidates, some business schools like Kellogg at Northwestern and Johnson at Cornell offer a short version of the standard two-year program. Obviously you have fewer electives in one-year programs and have no chance to do your internship, which plays a critical role for your post-MBA job seeking.

It suits you if you:

  • have a smaller budget for your business education (but the annual cost of one-year program is much higher than that of standard program);
  • are not worried by post-MBA job prospective (it would be much harder for MBA graduates to land on any job without the internship. Many candidates choose one-year version because they are fairly sure about their future);
  • not too interested in the networking opportunity (because of the much tighter schedule, the networking opportunity would be much fewer; at the same time you would spend most of your time with your one-year program cohort which is much smaller than that of two-year program).


4. Specialized Masters

Some business applicants may want to enhance their understanding and techniques in one specific business field such as accounting, finance, marketing or general management. If you are one of them, you may consider the specialized masters, which is shorter, more focused, and cheaper. More importantly, most of these maters programs do not set minimum full-time work experience restraint, making them open to new college graduates.

It suits you if you:

  • do not have any previous professional experience (many specialized masters still see pre-master professional experience as a plus, and some of them even require them);
  • look to obtain a graduate business diploma as soon as possible (specialized masters’ candidates can be grouped into two categories: the first comprises of those who do not have undergraduate business background but look to have some business knowledge before starting their professional career or making their career transition; the second consists of those who have a undergraduate business degree but look to improve their knowledge in a better business school or start their professional career in a different country or region);
  • do not care about peer learning or networking that much (because most candidates in specialized masters do not have professional experience, the peer learning opportunities are much more limited than those in MBA programs; also building an expansive network in a one-year program most of whose candidates are college graduates is so much harder than in any MBA program.


5. Executive MBA

Put it simple: EMBA is a much more luxurious and much more networking-accentuated version of standard MBA program. Because many candidates are in executive level in their organizations, they can afford the sky-scrapping tuition and probably do not want to do much textbooks learning or homework. As a matter of face, a decent proportion of the courses are conducted during transnational travelling in a conversational form. The networking is the reason why they enter into education again and education itself seems more like a complement in EMBA.

It suits you if you:

  • have worked over 10 years and become an executive (otherwise, you cannot hardly afford it or be admitted; or the program means very little to you);
  • look forward to upgrading or updating your business know-hows (EMBA programs can afford to invite the best professors in their business schools to have very close interaction with candidates)
  • want to seek business opportunities and further expand your network mainly outside of your industry (as an executive, you would have probably fully built your network in your own industry, but in EMBA you can still meet many new faces from other industries, preparing you for future career or business development).


6. Summer Programs

Many top business schools, such as Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton, and Booth at Chicago, have these short programs for high school students, undergraduate students, and recent college graduates. Their length makes them more like an experience than an education.

It suits you if you:

  • want to study business in these big names while you are still in high school, college or just graduated;
  • hope to add a big name on your resume for college application, job-seeking or further business education (at the end of the day, these names will make difference just by themselves).

Successful in helping many Australia background students accepted by top colleges and business schools worldwide, Julia is an expert to set applicants apart in the admission. Meanwhile her understanding of various schools and programs affords her the ability to find the perfect matching point between applicants' application package and the expectation of their dream schools.

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