Part-time MBA programmes have emerged as a viable choice for MBA aspirants looking to jumpstart their career towards a rewarding and lucrative future. However, with spurt in the number of private colleges offering Part-time MBA courses, the choice of picking the right management programme and institute has become an increasingly challenging task. To add to the confusion, questions related to the effectiveness and quality of Part-time MBA programmes has further aggravated the dilemma regarding this already difficult choice. To clear the air and help out MBA aspirants make a final call, we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages of MBA Part-time Courses being offered in India.
Advantages of Part-time MBA Programmes
The popularity and increasing demand of Part-time MBA Courses offered by several premier and recognized institutes clearly indicate that the course is a definite hit among the students. There are several advantages of joining an MBA Part-time Course; some of the major ones are discussed below:
MBA be it full-time or part-time is considered to be the best option for Career Progression. Major MNCs and even recognized Indian companies are keen to have their management tier employees have necessary accreditation and certificates to back their job responsibilities. Lack of an MBA degree often costs several high performing employees promotions! To solve this impasse, Part-time MBA Programmes have emerged as the most preferred mode of acquiring a management degree.
The second and probably the most important advantage of a Part-Time MBA programme is that it allows for career continuity. Candidates enrolling into such programmes can continue with their day jobs as well as studies, side by side. This means, they can continue earning to their full potential while gaining skills and accreditation necessary to climb the higher ranks within the organization. Candidates enrolled into Full-time MBA courses do not that this liberty and often have to sacrifice one of the aforementioned factors.
Being a part-time Management programme, such courses are generally conducted outside the normal business hours or working hours. This given the students flexibility to manage their work commitments in case they are working or even household commitments in case they are homemakers. The flexibility is not only exercised in terms of attending classes but also when it comes to assignments, examinations and other similar academic requirements.
MBA is as much about academics, as it is about networking. One of the most ignored advantages of opting for an MBA Part-time Course is networking. Most of the candidates enrolling in part-time Management programmes are from working background and are already holding mid-level positions in reputed organizations. This means, the people you meet, interact and network with are going to be in decision-making positions soon after they complete the course. Being part of such an elite group, gives you the advantage of reaching out to them, as and when the need arises.
Part-time MBA programmes are conducted during non-business hours and, therefore, are short on time. However, this means they are more academic oriented and ignore any other co-curricular activities that are part of the regular MBA course. Some many argue that this acts as a disadvantage for the students. But we have to consider that Part-time MBA students already have some degree of work experience and, therefore, are familiar with concepts of organizational hierarchy, team structure and co-operative working which are imbibed through the co-curricular activities in full-time programmes. Therefore, focus on core academics and management principles allow them to understand and grasp these concepts at a deeper level.
Funded by Employers
Although it is not valid for all the students, but some companies prefer to fund the Part-time MBA programme fees for their employees, either in full or in part. This is a definite win-win situation for both the student as well as the organization he is working for.
Opportunity to Switch Career
Disadvantages of Part-time MBA Programmes
Despite all the advantages listed above, Part-time MBA programmes are still not considered to be the equivalent to the Regular programmes. Part-time MBA Programmes by their very nature are considered to be inferior to the Full-time Courses, the reason being several common disadvantages that the students suffer under it. Some of the noteworthy ones are discussed below:
The overall competition among the students of Part-time MBA Programmes is low compared to the regular MBA programmes. This is because most of the students enrolling for such programmes are there only for the certificate and not actually for the education or experience of it. The low level of competition also leads to lethargic teaching techniques and half cooked understanding of management principles, making MBA part-time courses less popular than the regular ones.
Mixed Quality of Programme
Apart from the few nationally and internationally recognized academic bodies, the majority of the institutes offering Part-time MBA programmes are driven by market forces and, therefore, the quality of education being offered is not really the main concern for them. The quality of aspect of Part-time MBA Programmes has been a topic of discussion among academics for a long time, but no viable and long term solutions have been found for it.
While offering an opportunity to juggle work, personal life and studies at the same time; Part-time MBA programmes also create a lot of stress for the students. Managing their professional commitments along with a strict study schedule and personal life puts a lot of pressure upon the students to maintain a manageable work-life balance. This leads to lack of focus and attention on either of the two aspects making the candidate suffer in both professional life as well as in their management studies.
Most of the Part-time MBA programme students are working professionals; therefore enrolling for an internship is not really an option for them. As working executives, Part-time MBA students are familiar with working of an organization, but that is only to the extent of their job profile. On the other hand, an internship as a management trainee or a mid-level management professional provides the firsthand experience of managing resources, team members and targets in a practical environment, which part-time MBA students fail to get.
Time and Cost Factor
The Time and Cost invested in a Part-time MBA programme is much higher compared to the full-time regular MBA Programme. The time factor is mainly affected due to the fact that classes for Part-time MBA programmes are conducted post business hours and, therefore, it takes more time to complete the prescribed syllabus. When it comes to cost, considering that Part-time MBA programmes are preferred by working professionals and at times are sponsored by their employers; the tuition fees is higher compared to the regular programmes.
In conclusion, the pros and cons of Part-time MBA programme outweigh each other equally. However, what needs to be considered while making the final choice among the two is the career priorities of the candidates. If the candidate is looking for an MBA degree for career progression and doesn’t want to compromise on their current earning potential; then Part-time MBA programme would be apt for them. However, if you want to develop a deeper understanding of management principals along with practical applications as well as implications; you should go for Regular Full-time MBA programme from a recognized institute or university.