A part-time MBA is not even feasible for everyone — what if you don’t live near a school that offers a part-time program, what if your job security is shaky and you are not sure you’ll be employed, which is a requirement of many P/T programs. But you may know that it’s typically way easier to get in to a part-time MBA program than a full-time program at the same school. That tends to be true at schools like UCLA and Berkeley-Haas and NYU, and it’s especially true at schools like Kellogg and Booth where getting in full-time sometimes seems to require an act of God. It can be a wide gulf indeed between the probable outcomes of your profile getting into the full-time MBA at Kellogg compared to your chances of the admit for their Evening and Weekends option. That’s also true for the Columbia Executive tracks, which these days much more closely resemble the cohorts of a part-time program rather than a strictly “executive” one. Someone might struggle mightily in getting noticed by the Columbia full-time admissions people when they try for the Regular Decision option, but then seemingly sail straight in to an admit at the Columbia EMBA Fridays-Saturdays, as just one example.
But here’s how you need to be evaluating this:
Is a part-time MBA seen as equivalent to a full-time MBA by recruiters?
(That’s not the only question to be considering, but it’s a super important one!)
Here’s what we saw asked and answered on a Chicago Booth chat many years back.
A prospective applicant asked:
People often times view a part-time MBA inferior to that of a full-time MBA. How is the Booth Evening/Weekend perceived by employers and outsiders? Is there still the notion that full-time trumps all other programs? With that in mind, what steps are being taken to demystify that perception.
The admissions representative answered:
The Evening/Weekend MBA program is perceived the same as the Full-time MBA program since it’s the same MBA. You have the same faculty teaching the same classes across programs. Employers know this about the Booth MBA and this is why they choose to hire from our program. The caliber of students is the same since classes are on the same grading curve.
There’s actually a lot to unpack, in both the question and also the answer. So let’s continue talking about different aspects of the part-time MBA over the course of the next week. If any of you are considering one, what have you been concerned about? Any comments to offer? What have you discovered in your research? Have you heard anything on the applicant admissions boards that you want validation on, in terms of the realities of a part-time MBA and whether it’s worthwhile or not? Let’s take some time to discuss it! Comments are open if you want to pipe in with your questions, observations or concerns.