If you’re in the market for an MBA degree the several types, accreditation, universities and educational bodies and more might leave you overwhelmed & confused & that’s fully understandable. The choice of taking an MBA and an EMBA (online MBA), especially if you’re targeting a high-end college with has the accreditation of one of the sought out accreditation bodies out there, is neither an easy nor a cheap choice.
With a plethora of options there and different types of MBA’s its critical that you choose the first that will best suit your experience level, end goals, budget and time frame. Not all hats fit all when it comes to MBA’s but it seems that the most Popular options are either the Full MBA or the Fast MBA, but the question remains which one suits you the best. We will attempt to give you the answer to those questions we explore the differences between each one, the different learning modules and when to go for the Full or the fast MBA, otherwise Known as the “Accelerated MBA”.
1. Whats the Difference Between Them?
Before we identify the differences between the two different types of MBA some of you might not be familiar with what the MBA is as a degree and what the Acronym stands for. To kick things off let’s let us first quickly define what an MBA is and then move on to the differences between them.
An MBA is a master degree or rather a general graduate business degree, endowing its student with a collection of managerial, technical, operation management, leadership skills & many others.
There are several types of MBA, Full-time MBA programs, Accelerated MBA programs, Part-Time & Full-Time NBA & last but not least there are Dual Degrees MBA’s. It is worth noticing in some countries a Dual Degree MBA is also considered a Fast MBA.
A Double Degree MBA combines the MBA with other programs giving its student a chance to gain another degree on the side without an extra cost.
As for the difference between the Full-time NBA & the Fast NBA (Accelerated NBA) the differences could be boiled down to these main Points:
- Duration of Each Program:
It’s probably somewhat clear from its name being an accelerated NBA but the Duration of an Accelerated NBA program is concluded in a 1 year period. As for the Full MBA, the Programs duration is 2 years rather than 1.
- Course Load & Intensity:
Due to the fact that students of the accelerated MBA or a Fast MBA require its students to finalize the same curriculum that the Full MBA applicant has in half the time The fast MBA usually includes more intense classes, examinations & schedules.
- Down Times & Vacations:
A full MBA will commonly start in late August or early September for the first year and then start the second year until May or June of the second year, with a three month summer break between the first year and the second year.
When it comes to the accelerated or the fast MBA, This process is compressed into one year therefore the downtime’s and vacations are more concise. This is apparent in that the vacation for an accelerated MBA might be 7 or 10 days, unlike the three to 4 months of the full MBA.
In terms of cost, the usual case is that the cost of the Full MBA is higher than that of the accelerated MBA. Prices of the top business schools in us such as Stanford or Harvard usually exceeds 120,000$ (USD).
In Europe however, since the accelerated or 1 year MBA programs are more common, the MBA degree prices, range from 100,000$ (USD) to 110,000$ (USD).
2. Different Learning Modules
It’s not likely that you would find a drastic difference when it comes to the subject topics of a Full MBA and an accelerated MBA, as theoretically at least both offer the same knowledge but one is more compressed than the other.
The most common components of both a Full MBA program and an accelerated or Fast MBA program is are the following subjects:
- Strategic Marketing
- Global Political Economy
- Leadership and Human Capital Development
- Governance and Sustainability
- Operations and Supply Chain Management
- Information and Knowledge Management
- Accounting and Finance
- Research and Statistical Methods
These subjects would be the most common that you will find across the board when it comes to MBA. It is worth noticing that the level of professional & workplace experience that is common among applicants to the Fast MBA are usually more experienced in these fields in relative to those applying to a full MBA program.
Off course the curriculum and the available subjects might differ from university to the other and from accreditation to the other one.
3. Let’s talk rankings
Whether it’s a Fast MBA or Full MBA rankings are still an important factor in determining the competence & the associated value with the NBA. Not only do rankings affect the value of the MBA its also taken as an indication by many employers on the quality of the Degree and the institute providing it.
As for the worldwide rankings of the different MBA programs offered by different universities, they generally remain unchanged whether its a Fast MBA or a Full-time MBA. As per the rankings on topuniversities.com:
3- Penn (Wharton)
4- London Business School
5- MIT (Solan)
7- HEC Paris
8- Chicago (Booth) & IE Business School
10- UCLA (Anderson)
4. Pros & Cons
Everything in our world has prod & Cons and these two different types of MBA’s are no different. The interesting thing is though that most of the Pros and Cons are more relevant to the nature of the MBA’s themselves
To further clarify this point lets start with the Fast or Accelerated MBA:
- Due to the compressed and it is limited to one year of study the Fast MBA’s pros, such as allowing its pursuers and achieve their career goals quicker due to the short period and little downtime and vacations. you might have noticed that the schedule of a full time MBA student is similar to the schedule of a full time Student.
- Its easier to get into the one year Program than it is to enter the Two-year program.
- The Fast MBA shares the same curriculum of the Full MBA, yet it costs almost half of the Full MBA cost. Moreover, if you enter a double degree program you will be able to pursue a degree with the MBA.
- The Fast MBA module does suffer from one drawback which is that the lack of downtime means that you won’t get much of a chance to network with your colleagues or the other Working professionals and their useful work experience, and miss out on summer training and extra circular activities.
Now, let’s move to the Full MBA and see what cons and pros it holds:
- On the contrary to the Fast MBA, the full MBA gives you the chance to create more academic and professional connections, therefore you won’t need to sacrifice the social aspects of the NBA degree.
- Since Vacations are bigger in the Full MBA, you will have the chance to attend summer internships & extra-curricular activities.
- The con of the Full MBA lies in its price as its at least twice that of the 1-year program, making it not the best choice for those on a budget
5. So which do i choose?
Now its time for the Big answer, the answer you’ve been waiting for, should you go for an accelerated Fast MBA or choose the longer option and spend 2 years on a Full MBA. The answer might surprise you but there is no right or wrong answer, let me explain.
The right question you should be asking yourself when it comes to these two MBA Degree modules is not which ones better, but which one is the better one for you and your needs, budget, the field you want to specialize in and when you have found a combination of all what you need from the degree.
If you don’t want to miss out on the Networking potential of the NBA, need longer vacation times & you’re able to pay cost than go for it if you don’t care about any of the above and you want to go through the degree faster and with a reasonable coast then a Fast MBA might be the option for you
Once you have that part figured out what you want and need, that’s when you’ll be able to make the decision that really benefits you the most. So from all of us here happy studying and a great future, stay safe.