Many people in the work force are realizing that they need something more than a bachelor’s degree to advance in their industry. While some may recognize the value of a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), there are quite a few of this number who do not want to take years out of their professional and personal lives in order to pursue a master’s degree. Various business schools in the United States and abroad recognized this need and began offering accelerated MBA programs.
The difference between a regular MBA and an accelerated one is that a normal MBA degree program takes two years to complete, while most people complete an accelerated program in 12 to 15 months. Students who enroll in accelerated MBA programs are usually expected to attend class full time. These accelerated business programs are also known as fast track MBAa or a one-year MBA program.
Where Can I Find Accelerated MBA Programs?
In Europe, it is customary to find accelerated business programs. The trend has also caught on in the United States in recent years. As of 2009, over 90 schools offered this type of program. You can find both online degree programs and those found on brick and mortar campuses.
What is the Main Difference Between an Accelerated and Regular MBA Program?
In both a traditional two-year MBA program and an accelerated one, you will learn many of the same topics and concepts. After graduation, the two types of degrees will be handled the same in the workplace. For the most part, major employers do not discriminate between applicants who earned an accelerated MBA and a traditional one.
Where you will see the main difference between the two types of business degree programs is that the course load is heavier in the accelerated track. This is because two years of coursework has to be taken within 15 months at the maximum. The core courses in an MBA curriculum is delivered in a quick and unforgiving manner, which results in more work and study if you want to successfully complete the program. Accelerated MBA class schedules are tightly kept, and students do not get a lot of time off from their studies. If you enroll in an accelerated business program, you will not have as many breaks as those who are in traditional MBA tracks. In most accelerated programs, you do not get a summer break at all. The breaks between semesters and holidays are also shorter.
Why Should I Choose an Accelerated MBA Program?
Even though an accelerated business program’s courses are delivered in a rapid fire manner, the downtime is practically nonexistent, and the course work is herculean, there are a few benefits to taking the accelerated MBA route that you may not get with a traditional program. In a Wall Street Journal survey, 82 percent of students surveyed said that entering the work force faster was the most compelling reason to apply to an accelerated MBA degree track. This is important as many students have to put their professional life on hold to pursue their studies. Those who finish an accelerated MBA get a quicker return on their investment.
Another reason why many people find an accelerated MBA attractive is the cost. This is due to the fact that as a student on this track, you will only have to pay for one year of classes. Pursuing this type of MBA can end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.
How Do I Apply to an Accelerated MBA Program?
Many of the top accelerated MBA programs, like the one at Babson, require that its applicants have either an undergraduate degree in business or economics or take courses in finance, statistics, and other topics before applying.
Some schools offer alternative accelerated MBA tracks for people in certain fields. For example, Suffolk University allows attorneys, certified public accountants and people in other fields to get credit for work done in law school, their undergraduate years, and elsewhere. Check your potential program for alternative accelerated business degree options.
Who Would Best Benefit From an Accelerated MBA Program?
An accelerated MBA track is not right for every student. The ones who will get the most out of an accelerated MBA program are those who have extensive business experience and who do not need a lot of help when it comes to networking and finding avenues to advance their careers. This is important as an accelerated MBA track does not give you a lot of time to do internships or foster connections among students and faculty.
If you are certain that you have the ability to handle a heavy course load, tight schedules, extensive studying and no summer break, you may want to consider enrolling in an accelerated MBA program. You can save money on tuition, enter the work force faster, and gain the skills needed to advance in your choice profession.