Earning an MBA is often the route to a better paying and more challenging business career; Fortune magazine reports that MBA graduates often see salary increases as high as $45,000 after graduation.
But did you know that there are many types of MBA degrees today? Which one you will earn will depend upon your goals, lifestyle and interests.
It is important to choose the best MBA program wisely. To expand your business knowledge and to improve your marketability, you should choose the right type of program with the right content for you. For example, some MBA programs may be best suited to younger professionals with one or two years of business experience. Others are designed specifically for seasoned business professionals with 10 years of experience in upper management or more.
Whatever type of MBA program you eventually choose, you should expect to take classes that will improve your business management skills. Most MBA programs will require you to successfully complete a set of core classes. A good example is this curriculum from Louisiana State University. This is a two year program that requires you to take the following courses:
- Managerial Statistics
- Understanding Financial Information
- Information Systems
- Cost Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Financial Management
- Marketing Administration
- Operational Management
- Legal Environment
- Project Management
MBA Concentrations and Specialties
Whichever type of MBA that you eventually decide upon, you also will need to decide upon a possible concentration for your studies. Most universities have at least three concentrations that you can choose as the focus of your graduate degree. By taking electives in one or more concentration, you will customize your MBA experience and tailor it to your unique interest and career goals.
Most specializations require you to take as many as five electives in addition to your core MBA classes.
Research shows that the majority of MBA graduates pursue careers in finance, consulting or marketing. So, the some of the most common concentrations for an MBA degree are:
- Organizational Strategy
- Corporate Accounting
✔ Full Time MBA Programs
The most common and most long standing MBA program is the full time, traditional MBA for professionals with two or three years of experience or more. This is usually a full time program that requires you to stop working, or to at least work only part time. These programs have classes for the full work week, and usually can be completed in two years.
The traditional, full time MBA program usually will have breaks in the summer and winter, so that you can have some time off and reconnect with your family. This type of MBA program is usually the best choice for the younger professional with fewer personal obligations; many older and more experienced MBA students have family obligations and need to continue to work while earning their MBA.
✔ Part Time MBA Programs
Part time MBA programs are also sometimes called professional MBA programs. These are very popular programs for people who are working full time and still want to complete their MBA. A part time program typically features weeknight classes with the occasional class on Saturdays.
Part time MBA programs usually require students to have a minimum of three years of work experience. It is expected that a professional who needs flexibility and to work full time will come to the program with more experience. Many part time MBA programs market themselves to potential students by emphasizing the networking opportunities in their MBA program. So, the university usually wants to have more experienced business professionals.
Most part time MBAs take at least three years to complete. Some students may take as many as five years.
✔ Executive MBA Programs
An executive MBA is solely for applicants who have many years of managerial or executive work experience. This is a good choice for the student who has a high level of work responsibility but wants to network with other business professionals in other industries. These valuable networking opportunities can teach them new business approaches and practices that they can transfer to their owner company.
Virtually all of the students in an EMBA program work full time, so expect to take three to five years to complete this program.
✔ Online MBA Programs
The most popular type of MBA program today is in the format of the online MBA. An online MBA can be a full time MBA, part time, executive or international. However, the most common type of online MBA today is the part time MBA.
The majority of part time MBA students have professional and personal work obligations that make earning a degree online especially attractive.
Accreditation is important for all MBAs, but even more so for an online MBA. Most industry experts advise that your online MBA program have accreditation by the AACSB, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
✔ International and Global MBA Programs
Business today is no longer confined just to the US or North America. Large companies may have plants and business offices all over the world. That is why learning more about new cultures and international business practices is so important. The demand is high for business professionals with a global perspective and mindset. So there is much higher demand today for global and international MBA programs.
In fact, Forbes magazine reports that over the last five years, many more business school applicants are seeking entry into international business schools. Some of the most popular countries for international MBAs today are the UK, Canada, and India.
Global MBAs put a strong emphasis on an international curriculum, and they strive to accept more foreign students, because diversity is especially important in these programs. Many international MBA programs may be completed in 18 months.
Online MBA Option
The part time, online MBA is the most popular MBA, so we have conducted research to find a highly rated online MBA program that we can recommend:
If you are an experienced and working business professional, you probably are ready to develop critical business thinking skills and advanced managerial skills. The online MBA from Pepperdine University could be a great fit for you.
This is a three year, part time, online MBA program that has been accredited by the AACSB. It focuses on building vital business skills in finance, accounting, marketing, economics, law, human behavior and quantitative analysis.
You have the option of focusing on one of these four concentrations:
- General management
- Leadership and organizational change
In all of these concentrations, you will learn about vital concepts in these areas:
- Financial Laws and Regulations
- Financial Management
- Financial Processing Systems
- Information and Control Systems
- Information Systems
- Market Economics
- Marketing Management
- Operations Integration
- Quantitative Analysis
- Campus: Los Angeles CA
- Type: Non-Profit
- Accreditation: Western Association of Colleges and Schools; AACSB
- Tuition: $105,000 total
- GRE/GMAT Required: No
- Minimum Time Commitment: 30 months
- On Campus Requirements: Yes
- Programs Offered: MBA
Earning your MBA is a very smart career choice. You will earn a higher salary and enjoy far more responsibility and career growth with your advanced business degree. You just need to conduct some serious research to determine which type of MBA program is best suited for your level of experience and needs.