Finding Diversity in MBA Track Programs
It used to be you went to business school, obtained a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree and that was the end of it. Nowadays, it’s not that simple. Today’s graduate students are offered a diverse range of MBA tracks.
That means there are Master’s of Business Administration degree programs that allow you to take classes on a full- or part-time basis as well as during the day, at night, on weekends or all of the above. That’s right: some even let you adjust your schedule from semester to semester to accommodate life changes. Of course, you can always complete one of the online MBA programs which allow even more flexibility. And if you want to finish in less than the standard two-year time frame, no problem. There are fast-track programs to satisfy you as well. Or feel free to extend your education for up to six years.
Plus there are international programs as well as specialty tracks that allow you to focus your education on a specific concentration such as finance, entrepreneurship or marketing.
MBA Programs Now Offer More Schedule Versatility
In an effort to provide more work/life balance and to make higher education accessible to the average working adult, many b-colleges have built flexibility into their MBA programs.
If you’re like most adults these days, you are very busy balancing demanding work and family obligations. Therefore, building in time to take graduate courses can be tough. So it helps to be able to structure a program that allows you to take evening and/or weekend classes at a slower pace or at an accelerated rate if you want to complete your MBA faster.
A quick look around at the various graduate degree programs and you’ll find standard programs range in duration from as short as 19 months – every Saturday for four weeks, one morning and one afternoon course, plus additional Friday evening courses as needed – to as long as 33 months in which you take just one evening class at a time.
But what if you’re still not comfortable making a two- or three-year commitment? Perhaps you require even more flexibility. Well, there is a program for you. The Flexible MBA from the University of Akron allows you to take up to six years to complete your degree and you can change your full- or part-time status from one semester to the next.
Or you might want to consider one of the many online MBA programs or one that allows you to take a combined program of face-to-face and online classes.
Master Degree Programs Offer a Unique Place to Study
If you’re looking to add a new twist to the same old MBA degree, you might want to consider studying abroad. There are programs that offer you the opportunity to attend classes outside North American borders.
For instance, The American Graduate School in Paris has two specialized schools: the School of International Relations and Diplomacy which offers the one-year international MBA (IMBA) and the School of Business and Economics which offer the Executive MBA (EMBA) program in either Finance or Marketing. Programs include ten courses conducted as intensive modules taught in the evening and on weekends in order to accommodate the constraints of working professionals.
In addition, the Anderson School at UCLA and the University of San Diego each has an exchange agreement with Lisbon MBA International (Portugal) which allows students to attend classes at another school over one term. During that time you have the opportunity to meet international students and experience differing perspectives while you gain exposure to foreign business culture.
And there are the Sauder School of Business at the Robert H. Lee Graduate School in Canada which offers an IMBA while studying in China, the International Business Exchange Program (IBEP) available at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business which includes spending one academic term abroad at one of their 33 partner schools situated in 21 countries around the world or the MBA program at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business which partners with The Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany.
And there are plenty more. It is just a matter of defining your interests and selecting an international destination.
Master’s Programs Come with a Long List of Specializations
Sure it’s great to get a Master’s of Business Administration degree. But nowadays they’re so generic. What if, instead, you could add on a specialization in a designated field? That would make it even richer and more rewarding, right?
In some areas of business, having in-depth knowledge and familiarity with a specific subject can give you an edge over your competitors; perhaps even increase your salary potential. Grad schools know this and that is why many have added areas of concentration including the 15 shown here:
- Business & sustainability
- Enterprise resource planning
- Real estate management
- Global business management
- Six sigma management practices
- Leadership, ethics and values
- Enterprise and new business ventures
- Management and consulting
- Health care management
- Risk management
- Communications & media
- Finance and/or financial services
- Information technology
- Pharmaceutical management
Finally, there are the dual-degree programs that allow you to study for two degrees at once. These include the combined BS/MBA such as the program in sustainability studies offered by Stony Brook University, the MS/MBA like the one that focuses on information technology at the Boston University School of Management, and the JD/MBA available through Northwestern University’s School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management or the Wharton/University of Pennsylvania program.
An MBA is not just an MBA anymore. It comes with a lot more options to meet the challenges of a more diverse and global economy.