With the growing importance of graduate degrees in all areas of business, as well as the growth of online business programs, students at the best business schools are more focused than ever on getting a quality education in a short timeframe. One of the most important developments that has grown from this trend is the one-year MBA program. Is this format of degree program the next big thing among good business schools?
The Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester is the latest business school in the country to offer a one-year MBA program. Students can begin to enroll in the program in June 2013, but must first meet several criteria. They must already have a business degree from one of the best business colleges to prove that they are qualified enough to handle the academic challenge posed to students in such an accelerated program. Students must also have at least 4 years of work experience relevant to their desired career path and business career goals. The school’s program is also open to younger students than traditionally accepted into MBA programs across the US, in which the average age of students is 27 years.
Some of the other schools that have already launched similar programs include the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. Kellogg’s one-year program has been helping students earn their MBA quickly since the late 1960s. Before enrolling, students must prove that they have taken certain business courses through an undergraduate or other graduate program, although students can also take only the particular courses at any school or community college in order to fulfill the requirement. Students can choose from 18 different areas of study, with most students choosing to focus on at least 2 or 3. The program’s flexible schedule and focus on electives allows students to tailor their program to their career goals within business.
As for Thunderbird, the school offers an accelerated MBA program in Global Management that can be completed in 11 months. It requires students to have completed a major or minor degree in business, or a specific set of courses applicable to the degree, or to have a minimum of 5 years of work experience including one year spent managing a group of people as well a budget for a company. The program contains a mix of required courses and electives, and students must learn a second language and have a “global experience” by taking a study trip before they are allowed to graduate.
In addition to the growing options offered by online programs, another main reason students are so focused on earning a business degree through an accelerated program is that the short amount of time a student is enrolled in school, the less debt they are getting themselves into. If a student can earn an MBA in one year rather than two and still get a quality education, they’ll choose that option. The number of applications for two-year MBA programs has decreased recently, hindered by the allure of the value behind a one-year program. Companies don’t look down on the accelerated programs either – they say that one-year MBA program graduates make just as much, if not more, than business students who graduate from two-year MBA programs.
If you have the time to dedicate to an accelerated degree program and are looking for a great way to restart or further your career, a one-year MBA program might be the best option for you. You’ll get a great education at a good value and will be able to enter the workforce quicker than after any other degree program. Consider one of the school’s above, but look into some of the other best business programs in the country to find which accelerated program would be the right fit for you.