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. There are also more and more online part-time programs now, so that’s something to consider too.
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:
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Here's what others have said about this:
Being 33 and pretty established in my career, I’ve considered going for an executing/part-time MBA, but ultimately I decided against it. As someone already managing a team, the idea of immediately applying the lessons of business school on the job was appealing. However, I’ve seen a few people go through it at my organization and they tend to feel too overwhelmed to start new initiatives or take on additional projects during the program. They certainly can get a good education, but they don’t seem to get the transformative experience that full-time folks talk about. Just my two cents.
This is all so true! For some, the MBA is just the credential – you go through and you complete the requirements and you’re spit out the other side with a fancy degree. But for others it’s an opportunity and a real experience, exactly as you have so eloquently stated. That seems way more valuable than just having a new diploma to hang on the wall. It’s possible – perhaps inevitable – to also transform through a P/T program but just as you said, being split in so many directions can be really exhausting and difficult.