A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a demanding curriculum and historically this degree has come with a level of regard, which is often attributed to the vigorous work associated with the coursework assigned.
Earning an MBA degree can be pretty demanding and, for some students, it might make more sense to pursue the program on a part-time basis rather than the full-time course load. While there are some drawbacks to earning an MBA degree part time, there are also many benefits to taking this approach.
• Reduce stress
Many individuals pursuing graduate school are working individuals, often juggling a family and running a household. The pressures associated with everyday life can take its toll being a full-time MBA program is so demanding. By taking it a couple of paces slower and entering a part-time program, this often can yield better management of assignments and, in the end, show a stronger GPA.
• Focused learning
A better focus on each individual course and internalizing everything about a particular subject is another tangible benefit of pursuing a part-time MBA. Graduate students that are balancing several demanding courses may not be able to absorb all the information they are learning. However, taking a slower approach, each course could receive total attention, thus furthering the chance of long-term retention.
• No need to quit working
Many graduate students, MBA or otherwise, often end up leaving their jobs in order to pursuing graduate school full time. The beauty of the part-time MBA program is that students do not have to give up their livelihoods in order to pursue additional education because of the flexibility provided by part-time programs.
Quitting a job to pursue school can lead to financial problems, especially considering the high costs often attributed to MBA degrees. Individuals need an income to live and, when paying for an MBA, this loss of income contributes to a higher level of debt down the road. With part-time study, future debts will possibly be lower than if one had quit their job to go to graduate school full-time.
Additionally, some employers might be willing to chip in some money for tuition or other school-related expenses. Students in full-time programs would not be able to pursue this option in they aren’t working.
• On the job learning
Pepperdine University calls it ‘reflexive learning’. What this basically means is students can simultaneously learn and work at the same time, and be able to apply classroom learning to the job immediately, and consequently, in some instances, bring work challenges into the classroom for discussion.
John Mooney, associate dean of academic programs for working professionals, says reflexive learning is one of the primary benefits of part-time MBA programs, stating, “In many ways a business student’s ongoing employment is very akin to the notion of residencies in medical schools. While they are working, (students) can bring, in real time, real issues that they’re facing into the learning experience.”
Students can immediate apply their newly acquired knowledge into their jobs, further enforcing, and retaining, lessons learned.
There are pros and cons to any style of study, however in the case of the MBA, many students satisfactorily earn a graduate degree with less interruption to their daily lives. Many students successfully are able to work, manage households and raise families while pursuing their MBA through part-time study.