3 Tips for Choosing the Right MBA Program | College of Business Administration | Kent State University

Executive MBA Program

3 Tips for Choosing the Right MBA Program

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Are you considering getting an MBA, but unsure which program is right for you? Below, we’ve selected three key questions to aid your search for the perfect fit, based on your professional goals while balancing time constraints.

Question 1: Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA?

When weighing the options among types of MBA programs, things can get a little confusing. Which type is best for you? What is the difference between a part-time and an executive program? We have the answers here:

Full-Time MBA:

These programs involve going back to being a full-time student. Some companies may allow an employee’s leave of absence to complete such a program, but finding that kind of flexibility could be, well, a stretch.

Pros: Some programs accept students rising directly from undergrad. Others require 3-5 years’ experience at first. Either way, you’ll typically be among a younger cohort, comparatively.

Cons: The time commitment can be intensive, or difficult to maintain with a full-time job.

Part-Time MBA:

This type of MBA may be more realistic for working professionals. The focus of a part-time MBA is in getting the same requisites as the full-time version, but typically over a longer period of time, or without summers off to make up for it.

Pros: Part-time MBA programs leave more time for other commitments.

Cons: You could lose out on networking, if it is a segmented, personalized schedule.

Some universities do offer lockstep (an entire class takes the same courses at the same time) formats and specialized curriculum. Do your background research, as part-time MBA programs differ widely.

Executive MBA:

An executive MBA program is generally not for the “yo-pros” of the world. This type of curriculum is geared towards polishing upper-level management to accept executive-level positions.

At Kent State, we encourage applicants to have spent at least five years in leadership positions. For those with more than ten years’ experience, our GMAT/GRE requirement may be waived.

Pros: Network with seasoned business leaders from a wide range of backgrounds, as curriculum is tailored to help you confidently navigate executive-level issues. EMBA programs typically accommodate the schedules of busy professionals.

Question 2: Niche Expertise vs. Broad Knowledge

Next up, it is very important to consider the purpose for which you are seeking higher education. If you are a doctor hoping to take your practice to the next level, or a nurse seeking a more administrative role, many universities offer Healthcare MBA programs.

Other full-time MBA programs offer concentrations in Marketing, Finance, Human Resources or even Entrepreneurship.

The same options may be available in part-time degree options. Once again, these vary greatly by university.

If you need a breadth of knowledge that equips you to take on a business leadership role in the C-Suite, we highly recommend our Executive MBA program. We carefully select the curriculum to be applicable to real life, modern-day leadership issues.

Question 3: Is International Experience a Priority?

Do you hope to move into a global business leadership role? Maybe you already occupy one.

In either case, a program with international experience would be infinitely beneficial. Courses taught while aboard can include topics such as the management of cross-cultural teams or how to successfully implement business development overseas.

Kent State’s EMBA program fee includes a 12-day study-abroad experience in the spring of your first year.

Other Considerations When Selecting an MBA Program

The old adage, “It’s not the grades you make, it’s the hands you shake” probably has roots in undergraduates’ attempts to shirk classroom work in favor of “networking events” on the weekends.

However, we believe that success in business comes from social support and connections, as well as our world-class curriculum delivered by distinguished professors. Select your program with the consideration of your future peer group as well as the credentials of the faculty in mind.

Last but certainly not least, always ensure that any program you consider is properly accredited. Any extra awards, high rankings, and high-profile alumni are simply the icing on the cake that is a sturdy curricular foundation.

Are you interested in learning more about Kent State’s EMBA program?

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