Even if you've decided to pursue an MBA (Master of Business Administration), which type of MBA is best for you and your career? Having an MBA on your resume is always a plus, but choosing a degree program that aligns with your career goals and trajectory is key. Here are a few facts to help you determine which MBA program is right for you:

Best MBA for you

1. Deciding between part-time, full-time, or online MBA

All MBA programs provide similar solid foundations across many industries. The higher a school in the MBA rankings, the more networking opportunities will be available for students — but at a higher MBA cost. Some of the top MBA program tuitions are in the six figures, but students can expect to earn significantly more after graduation. There are three main ways students can pursue a traditional MBA:

  • Full-time MBA program: 1–2 years, 3+ years of professional business experience.
  • Part-time MBA program: 3+ years, 0-3 years of professional business experience. Students can work full-time and take classes in the evenings or on weekends. 
  • Online MBA program: 2 years, 0-3 years of professional business experience. Online MBA programs are flexible and typically cost less than traditional programs, but usually don't feature robust alumni networks. 

2. Considering an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)

For executives with considerable professional experience, an EMBA program may make more sense than a traditional MBA. EMBA and MBA programs are similar, but EMBA classes typically take place on weekends, allowing students to keep their high-level jobs. EMBA programs are often smaller, too, so expect a more collaborative experience than you would in professor-driven MBA programs.

3. What about Specialized MBA programs?

Some MBA students already know with certainty which career path they intend to pursue — and it may or may not fall under the umbrella of traditional MBA programs. Specialized MBA programs help students develop skills specific to a field or industry, such as marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, or human resource management. Specialized MBA programs give graduates an edge in their field, but may not be as relevant if students' career goals change. 


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