It used to be that MBA programs were basically all the same. But with the demands from business and students leaning toward flexibility and specializations, MBA programs have become quite different.
The Executive MBA
Most Executive MBAs require that you have professional experience prior to starting the program. They are programs designed for professionals that desire to increase their business knowledge and expand their education. Course schedules are constructed for students that work full-time, such as classes that run from 6pm to 9pm on weeknights and Saturdays. Executive MBA curriculum is tailored to students that have professional experience, therefore, helping them connect the daily activities of the office with theory and practical expertise. Most Exec MBA programs also help students hone their leadership skills and have a better understanding of how to effectively manage and motivate people in the workplace. Overall, they provide professionals a more complete understanding of business from strategy to finance.
The Traditional MBA
Most traditional MBAs do not require that students have prior work experience—although there has been much debate over this requirement among AACSB-accredited schools. Some schools feel students understand the material better when they have several years of work experience, while other schools feel students are better equipped for the workplace after they have a base of business knowledge. Regardless, there is a traditional MBA program for almost everyone. The curriculum is all about business. Your classes will include introductions to accounting, finance, marketing, economics, statistics, human resources, and more. Because many students are full-time, program course schedules vary from evening to day classes. But, you can almost always find an evening version of a class if you work during the day. Traditional MBA programs also are usually held in both full-time and part-time format.
The Cohort MBA
The term cohort basically means a group that has spent time together. A Cohort MBA program is one that is either full-time, part-time, executive, or traditional. It requires an admitted group of students to take the same classes together. The advantages of the cohort style are networking and relationship building among classmates, as well as learning to work with a group of people across multiple subjects for a specified length of time. Depending on your learning preferences, students either love or hate this setup. However, it will surely teach you to work with people that you like and dislike to achieve an ultimate goal (such as a good grade on a project). All of which are things that most people struggle with in the workplace.
The Dual Degree MBA
The dual degree MBA is becoming a popular option for students. For instance, if you have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering you could choose a dual degree MBA/MSE program. After graduation (which does take a bit longer than the traditional MBA), you will have an MBA and a Master of Science in Engineering. A degree such as this could position you to advance into an engineering management career.
MBA Programs with Specialized Tracks/Concentrations
Due to the demands from students and business, many schools now offer customizable or specialized MBA programs. For instance, an MBA with a concentration in finance or an MBA with a concentration in marketing. These programs are great for students that want the broad base of knowledge that MBA curriculum provides, yet also want to learn more about a specific area of business.
To learn more about MBA programs and search AACSB-accredited schools, visit: www.bestbizschools.com/masters