Part Time vs Full Time MBA: Differences Between Part Time & Full Time MBA

There have been so many debates to assess whether a full-time MBA is better than a part-time one. Yes, a traditional full-time MBA degree from a premier business institution is quite taxing, not just monetarily, but also when it comes to time and labour. It delays your earning period, you have to wait for another couple of years after graduation, to start earning a decent pay package, which is often a problem for many young aspirants as so many of them have student loans to repay and maybe a family to take care of.

In this scenario, a part-time MBA degree can be a major problem-solver, you get a business degree and you can also work on the side and actually earn work experience. What could be better right? But is a part-time MBA really more practical? Which of the two is more lucrative? Let’s figure out:

Differences Between Part Time and Full Time MBA

1. Different Admission Processes

You’ll notice that when it comes to full-time MBAs, the admissions process is a lot more thorough and well-rounded. The admission to a part-time MBA program is of course, a lot more convenient and has been designed for students who cannot afford to focus on a business degree alone and are juggling quite a lot of things.

So the admission process for a part-time MBA is often not that long-winded, at some institutions it may not even entail interviews, or maybe just one interview; this is obviously more accomodating for aspirants. Plus, part-time MBA candidates usually get to choose between at least 2 or 3 starting dates, whereas things are usually more rigid for full-time students who have to join school on the date decided by the B-school.

2. The Flexibility is Very Convenient

Most people who are pursuing a part-time MBA are simultaneously working or are taking other skill-based courses or have to put in their time somewhere else. Which is why part-time MBA courses are built around the idea of flexible timings; you’ll see the option of weekend classes or evening classes.

Their primary goal is to get through to the students and are planned in a way that the most number of students can attend a class. Unlike full-time courses which are often quite rigorous; you may end up having back-to-back classes for eight hours straight, without a break, or may have to attend 7 am lectures! Learn more about the benefits of part time MBA programs.

3. The Digital Amenities

There are so many B-schools which are now offering online lessons for part-time students, so they don’t really have to come in every week and they can actually afford to be productive from their homes. This is hugely convenient for people who have to take care of their families or are suffering from medical emergencies. And in the digital age, this is clearly the right way to go, as the world is getting less dependent on face-time.

The curriculum is at times designed in a way that students only need to be present physically for the practical work and the theoretical lessons can be received online. This is not an option with full-time students, because at every B-school, full-time MBA students have to show up to class mandatorily and often do not enjoy very flexible timelines

Read: MBA Salary in India

4. Is a Part-time MBA More Productive?

Think about it this way – you may be pursuing a part-time MBA and can be working a job in the very same business vertical which your specialisation is in. This means by the time you have finished your course you won’t just have a business degree but you will also have substantial work experience in the field, which qualifies you for a much better, high-paying job at a large-scale enterprise.

Full-time business students often do not have work experience when they enter a B-school, which means after they have acquired an MBA they will only be able to score an entry-level or a mid-level job, irrespective of how well it pays. So, a full-time business graduate has less experience on the job than the part-time graduate who may be the same age as the full-time candidate but is obviously more equipped professionally, having already acquired the experience in the corporate world.

5. Think About The Economic Benefits

An MBA, be it full-time or part-time is not cheap, it is a hefty investment. Although a full-time MBA is usually much more expensive than a part-time one. But someone who is working while simultaneously pursuing a part-time MBA, is more financially independent, and can actually contribute to their family’s finances, or start repaying their student loans or even save up to start their own business.

A person who is pursuing  a full-time MBA most likely has no time for a part-time job, since they cannot afford to focus on anything else. Even if they do manage to work, it can’t possibly be in the same area as their business specialization since it would be too demanding. 

So, a person who is pursuing the part-time MBA is financially much ahead of a person who’s studying a full-time MBA because they already have funds, as well as work experience and have possibly started paying off their student loans.

For people who already have outstanding student debt for their graduation school, a full-time MBA can be too demanding, as it delays their earning period for two years. Even when they do get an MBA, they land a mid-level job which delays their return on investment. Learn more about MBA Fee Structure in India: How Much Your MBA Will Cost?

6. For a Career Change

Experts have often claimed that if you’re not sure about your career path, a full-time MBA is the safest bet because it leaves room for changing gears later on in your professional trajectory. Your business degree will never not be valued, if you’re working in finance today, but want to venture into analytics or any other area in the future, a full-time MBA secures you the chance to explore your options.

In part-time MBA, candidates do a lot of their learning on the job, which is outside their school, so they receive a lot of practical business acumen, which is again quite helpful in any industry.

7. A Networking no-no?

We all know how crucial networking is for a business degree, and also for doing well later in life. A full-time business degree from a top-tier B-school puts you in direct contact with some of the most important connections you will ever make in your life, be it your batchmates, your mentors, your professors, business analysts you meet or finance gurus.

It’s about creating an ecosystem of people who are very familiar with each other’s trajectories and goals; networking also serves you well after you have landed a great job, your peers can give you insight about your career shifts, about fluctuating market trends, they can advise you on personal investments, and most importantly share your professional anxieties with you. 

A part-time MBA often doesn’t offer a chance to mingle with like-minded people and talented individuals on this level; sure, you will meet new people who are extremely talented but the element of diversity is usually missing.

When you’re in a B-school pursuing a full-time MBA, you will mix with peers who specialize in finance, friends who want to pursue HR, maybe some of your batchmates want to start their own entrepreneurial venture, so there’s a lot of insight you can gather from the different kinds of networks.

Also read: How to select the best MBA course in India?

But then again, peer-to-peer learning is not exclusive to a certain kind of environment, you can form your own networks anywhere be it during your part-time lessons, or your internship or your part-time job, it’s about working with as many people as you can, an opportunity that a part-time degree can offer. 

Conclusion

No matter what anyone tells you, it’s true that when it comes to the professional world everyone learns their best lessons on the job, be it in banking or HR or healthcare management. A degree can only take you so far, no matter how valued it is. If a part-time MBA helps you get ahead in your career, streamlines your path to success, gives you a monetary head start and is also convenient for you on a personal level, it’s obviously the right direction for you.

A full-time traditional business degree is often very taxing, even if it is the most coveted thing on your resume. The millennial economy is all about multi-tasking and skill-based learning and part-time MBAs are clearly more appealing to youngsters today who want to do several things at once in order to be productive.

If you are keen on upgrading your career with an Executive MBA course, upGrad is offering the MBA(Executive) program in collaboration with the NMIMS Global Access School. The program has been designed to stand at par with the best on-campus Executive MBA programs across the globe.

And the cherry on top – upGrad’s excellent flexible and interactive learning and evaluation systems allows you to balance your personal and professional life in a hassle-free manner. Check out for more information & let our student counsellor help you with your questions.

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