Frankfurt School has just announced the launch of a new part-time MBA programme that fits alongside the existing full-time and executive MBA programmes. But what is a part-time MBA and how does it differ from the existing options?
Part-time MBAs are a relatively new concept in the market considering the many years of history for the MBA. The full-time MBA has always been the flagship programme of many business schools catering towards the young, high-potential junior managers with a bright future ahead of them. The aim was to provide an intensive experience that prepared them for a long and successful career in management that they were just beginning. To achieve this, the MBA programmes were designed to cover a range of key principles of management and to teach using a case study methodology that draws upon the existing business knowledge of the participants and them to make cross-departmental decisions.
By contrast, the Executive MBA was designed for those managers who had already secured a senior position. A manager who has already achieved a mid to senior level management or leadership position needs a different level and style of teaching and is looking for the strategic skills to make boardroom-level decisions.
So where does the part-time MBA fit into this? The part-time MBA is essentially delivering all of the content of the full-time MBA in a part-time format. The target group is therefore the same group of people with several years of experience and the potential to go on to senior leadership positions in the future. But given the part-time nature of the programme, there are a few distinctive differences between the full- and part-time MBA classes.
Career Progression not Career Change
Firstly, by definition, part-time MBA participants remain in full-time employment, often studying with the support and agreement of their company. Their companies are investing in them as future managers and so prefer to encourage a part-time MBA rather than allowing them to disappear for a year. The aim is to support the career progression of their top talent rather than seeing them leave for the competition. By supporting a part-time MBA as part of an internal development plan, companies are able to retain their top young managers while also allowing them to gain vital management and leadership skills. This contrasts from the typical full-time MBA candidate who is often looking for a career change: change of function, change of industry, or change of country. Even where part-time MBA candidates are still aiming for career change, they still have an agreement with their current employer to study and work at the same time.
Job and Income Security
Its no secret that studying for an MBA is an expensive investment. In many cases, studying for a full-time MBA is a luxury option that is more suitable for slightly younger candidates with less dependencies. A common trait in part-time MBA programmes is that the participants are on average slightly older and slightly more senior. When you consider that the average age is about 30, it fits the time when many people are beginning a family or have financial commitments such as a house mortgage. Therefore it is not surprising that the part-time MBA is more suitable for those candidates with a fixed monthly financial liabilities. The part-time MBA takes 2 years, but allows you to keep a monthly income.
Which MBA fits your career?
The right MBA at the right time in your career
There is no one programme that is better than another. In fact at the wrong time in your career an MBA or EMBA can do more harm than good. Taking an EMBA when you are too young or too inexperienced can have the effect of ruining the credibility of your degree at the same time as scaring off future employers who expect you to have unrealistic salary or career expectations. Likewise studying a full-time MBA when you are too senior can make re-entry into the job market difficult if employers view you as being too much of a high-risk hire.
Is age a barrier?
At the same time though, age is no barrier. There are no fixed age requirement for any of the programmes. You are never too old or young to study, however, like any good Business School, we make sure that you are doing the programme that fits your situation.
Still not sure?
Studying for an MBA or an EMBA is not a decision you should take lightly. There are many things to consider. Most important is to take your time to talk to us directly. Not all of the things discussed above have a hard rule since everyone’s situation is different. But remember, an MBA is not for everyone and there are many ways to succeed in your career without doing an MBA. If you do an MBA though, it will be a once in a life-time experience so make sure you make the right choice!