Is a Weekend MBA Program Right for You?
There’s no doubt that a Masters in Business Administration degree (MBA) can advance your career and give you more career flexibility…always a plus in difficult economic times. An advanced degree in business could also potentially earn you a higher salary, or prepare you for management or greater job responsibilities.
But obtaining an MBA degree requires a two-year commitment. If you’re in the middle of your career…especially if you are already paying a mortgage or supporting a family—you probably can’t just take off for two years and go back to school.
That’s why Weekend MBA programs were developed.
How Do Weekend Programs Work?
Most top-rated business colleges have designed flexible MBA studies programs to help out non-traditional students who can’t pause their careers in order to go back to school. Schedules for these programs vary by colleges, with some offering part-time courses of study through evening or flexible scheduling options. Some offer online degrees, while others offer the weekend program.
Choosing the best weekend MBA program for you will depend on your circumstances. Obviously, location will be important. Do a little online research to find out what universities and colleges near you offer these types of studies. If you would still need to travel out of town, check to see if the school offers low-cost weekend housing to their students.
While some programs will schedule classes every weekend, most will provide a program where you attend classes every other weekend, or even every third weekend. Of course, those weekends you’re not attending class will most likely still require dedicated time to study.
Many weekend MBA programs will require occasional week-long immersion sessions, so it will be important to plan ahead and schedule this time off with your employer. Depending on how supportive your employer is, you may need to use your vacation time for these weeks, but the end reward should make your sacrifices worth it.
A weekend MBA program will feature the same curriculum, and often the same faculty, as a full-time program. Most programs can be completed within two years, the same as a full-time program.
Be Ready for the Commitment
Because you will likely also be juggling the demands of a relationship or family (on top of your career!) earning your MBA through a weekend program can be emotionally draining. It won’t be easy on your personal life, and it will definitely require intensive study and excellent time management. Before making the commitment, discuss your decision with those close to you and enlist their support—they will be making sacrifices too. The more emotional support you have from those around you, the more likely you are to succeed.