Executive MBA - Part Time Vs. Full Time Mode of Study
In the special series of Careers360 on Executive MBA, you have known about the significance and importance of the programme, advantages, top programmes, B-schools and admission process. Even after deciding to go for Executive MBA, you might get into a dilemma on whether to go for the programme’s full time mode or part time. Here we bring to you the pros and cons of both – Part Time Executive MBA and Full Time Executive MBA, so that you can choose wisely.
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As the name suggests, for Full Time Executive MBA you have to take break from work to stay in the campus. This mode is suitable for those who are planning to take a sabbatical or break from work or shift career path. On the other hand, Part Time Executive MBA classes can be taken alongside work as they are scheduled either on the weekends or in the evening hours. The major advantage of this mode is that the professionals can earn an MBA degree without taking a break from existing job.
Let us draw a comparative analysis of both the modes in terms of their Pros and Cons in order to guide you in the process of your decision making.
Full Time Mode
First, we bring you here specific advantages of Full Time mode of Executive MBA programmes.
Focused way of learning – The main advantage of pursuing the programme in Full Time mode is that you get to focus on the course without having to think about your professional commitments or other distractions. Owing to the hectic class schedule and rigorous pedagogy including projects, seminars, case studies, all it requires is to pay 100% attention towards the programme.
Corporate sponsorship – In order to maintain the talented pool of employees, companies often take measures which are beneficial both for the employees as well as the organization. To ensure the growth opportunities for the employees, the companies offer corporate sponsorship for pursuing Executive MBA programmes. They are also expected to join the same organization in a senior position and role after the completion of the programme. Such students are exempted from participating in the placement process as well.
Regular interaction with peers and faculty members – Being a part of the full time programme, the students get ample scope to interact with the diverse pool of peers who come from different educational and professional backgrounds. This interaction in itself is a massive knowledge enhancer. Being a part of the full time programme doubles the chance. Moreover, the top B-schools offering full time Executive MBA programme give the opportunity to interact with corporate leaders through guest lectures, industry visits etc. This networking opportunity not only helps the students gaining the management quotient and leadership quality, but also enriches their contact which can be utilized for meeting career goals as well.
Exposure – Each top B-School offers a unique edge to the Executive MBA students to make the programme worth the experience and investment. As mentioned in the previous article of the series, majority of the institutes offer international exposure either through exchange programmes or through international immersion through project work. Industry exposure is another coveted aspect offered by B-schools like IIM Bangalore, ISB Hyderabad offer industry exposure where the students have to spend certain part of the course in a particular organization and exhibit their learning outcome by applying the same for solution to real-life problems.
Placement – After the completion of the 1 year full time programme, placement process is conducted for those participants who aim to shift from their previous organization or career path. Needless to say, the offers made by the organizations would be much escalated compared to their previous role.
That feeling of going back to school – There is a student in all of us and no matter how high we have climbed up the corporate ladder, the yearning to go back to school hardly defuses. Although average Indians consider post-graduation followed by a well-paid job as their professional goal, professionals or working executives with the eternal urge to learn hardly ceases an opportunity to go back to school for another achievement. What better opportunity to go back to the campus of a top B-School than enrolling into a full time Executive MBA? The very thought of classroom filled with peers from diverse backgrounds, lectures from highly experienced professors, project works, and not to mention, hostel life is enough to motivate to apply for the coveted programme.
Now that we have analysed the positives of the full time Executive MBA programme, it is time to peep into the other side of the coin.
Gap in work for a year – It is not possible to pursue the full time programme along with a regular job. The very condition to opt for this mode is to take a break from work for at least a year. Although the students and alumni members vouch for the credibility in programme, there would be a gap in your professional experience for a year nonetheless. If you are planning for a career change or go for entrepreneurship or getting a corporate sponsorship, going for the Part Time mode would be more feasible for you.
Rigorous curriculum - The full time MBA, which is conducted for 2 years, is crunched into a year in the full time 1-year EMBA. Needless to say, how rigorous the programme would be. Given the fact that the curriculum is designed for the mid-level professionals, the burden of courses and the electives is vast. After the classes, projects and assignments, the students are hardly left with time to pursue other interests.
High Fee structure - The fee for the full time Executive MBA programmes at top B-schools ranges from Rs. 14 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh. Undoubtedly, the fee for the full time Executive MBA programmes would be higher compared to the Part Time programmes owing to the factors like higher number of contact hours, diverse curriculum, residential programmes etc. Apart from the corporate sponsorship, the students mostly rely on their personal savings and loan.
Part Time Mode
The Part Time mode of the Executive MBA programmes can be further classified into the following categories depending on the method of offering it.
Evening classes – The classes are held throughout the week. During weekdays, the classes are offered during the evening hours; and in the morning or afternoon in the weekends.
Weekend classes – For this mode, the classes are held only during the weekends and not on weekdays. The hours of the study may vary from institute to institute.
Online classes –This mode is a combination of online and classroom teaching. While majority of the course is delivered through video lectures, e-study materials etc. the students spend a stipulated duration of the term in the campus as well.
Let’s now look at the advantages of the Part Time Executive MBA programmes.
Flexible class hours – As shared in the above paragraph, the Part Time Executive MBA mode gives you enough flexibility to choose the class timings so that you do not have to hamper your work schedule.
Continue working while learning – The biggest plus point of this mode is that you do not have to take a break from your work for obtaining the Executive MBA qualification. All you have to do is to dedicate some hours for your classes in a week or during the weekend and rest of the responsibilities and commitments can be met in its usual schedule.
Practical application of learning at work place – You may rue over the fact that the students of this mode do not get internship opportunities or to participate in the project works/industry visits etc. like the full time mode students do. But since you are already working, you can apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills at your work place, in real time basis. As Chander Shekhar Sibal, an alumnus of IIM Lucknow Working Manager Programme (WMP) shares, “Before joining the programme, I was doing my job in routine fashion in Sales and Modality. This programme helped me hone my skills in Finance, Marketing, Strategy, SCM and Organisation Structure. I started correlating things in my day to day job. I started getting better attention from my customers and inside the company as it increased my analytical capability.”
Lower fee structure compared to full time Exec MBA – The fee for the Part Time Executive MBA programmes range from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh. This is much lesser in comparison to the full time Executive MBA programmes. Also, since you need not take break from work while doing the part time MBA, there is no financial burden as such.
Let us have a look at the flipside of the Part Time Executive MBA now.
Longer course duration – Although thereis enough flexibility for the students in terms of schedule, the duration of the total programme is higher than that of the full time EMBA. The programme duration ranges from a little more than 1 year to 3 years.
Lack of regular exposure in the curriculum – Unlike the full time programmes, the students of the Part Time Executive MBA programme hardly gets the opportunity for industry or international exposure. Although the students of this mode get to apply the learning in their own companies, but the much required exposure to the outer world goes amiss.
No placement process – No placement process is offered by the B-School at the end of the course for this mode of EMBA. Since the participants or the students are already working, they are expected to continue working in the same organization. In case, the students want a shift in the role or company, they require to do it on their own.
Ensure work-study balance – The students require ensuring an efficient balance between their work, study as well as personal life. At times, the students need to toil a lot to ensure that neither their work, nor their programme get hampered. There can be clash of equally important events at work or the B-School among which you have to prioritize wisely.
Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of both the modes, do a SWOT analysis to decide which mode suits you the best.
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more on Executive MBA.