Why The Full-Time MBA Programme Is (Still) The Best Choice
Since the first MBA programme was rolled out by Harvard Business School in 1908, the internationally recognised course has come to represent many things: excellence, capability, ambition, leadership, potential. As a leading business school, we understand this well: after all, our MBA programme continues to help ambitious professionals realise their dreams of business leadership and strategic innovation.
The financial allure of the MBA is another driving force for applicants around the world. According to The Financial Times MBA rankings data, almost two-thirds of alumni cohorts more than doubled their salaries in 2018 alone. When combined with the leadership skills and business acumen needed to successfully navigate the modern corporate landscape, it’s clear that the MBA as we know it isn’t going anywhere soon.
How does a full-time MBA compare to a modular programme?
When aspiring business leaders decide to supplement and grow their management skills with an MBA, they generally have two options available to them: the full-time programme, and the modular programme.
Here are three key reasons a full-time MBA programme has the edge over its modular counterpart:
- A full-time MBA guarantees support and structure
One of the key differences between modular and full-time MBA programmes is the level of support and mentorship that’s available to students. While modular learning offers flexibility and may be better suited for independent learners in certain circumstances, the stability and structure of the full-time programme is far better suited to tailored support from key faculty members. One reason for this that it’s easier to develop meaningful relationships with lecturers faculty when there’s regular contact, which is a core feature of the full-time option.
- Modular MBA students miss out on valuable networking opportunities
When you ask MBA alumni from around the world about the most valuable aspects of their degree, many will highlight their amazing networking opportunities. According to AIGAC’s annual survey of MBA applicants, almost half say they were driven to apply by the promise of building a strong professional network. It’s not hard to see why: in today’s hyper-connected world, who you are connected with is key to long-term success in practically any industry. Because the modular MBA programme sees students interacting with each other less than the full-time alternative, professional networking opportunities inevitably take a hit.
- Full-time MBA students reap the financial benefits far sooner
The third and possibly most evident drawback of a modular MBA is its timeframe. Any MBA is an investment in one’s career and future earning potential; and as with any investment, the sooner one sees return, the better. Remember that surveys on the financial impact of an MBA — such as the previously mentioned Financial Times article — looks at graduate salaries three years after completion. With this in mind, the one-year full-time programme has a clear edge over the two-year modular format.
Coping with the stress of a full-time MBA
While the full-time MBA programme offers key benefits, it’s important to recognise that it still covers an extensive amount of material in a short period of time and, as such, students may experience high stress levels if they aren’t careful with their time management. To avoid burning out becoming overwhelmed with the workload, we recommend that students create a realistic schedule that includes necessary downtime, without compromising on the time needed for academic work. It’s also essential to manage one’s environment — both physically and socially — so that distractions are minimal and you have the focus you need to reach your true potential.
Ranked 2nd in Africa, the full-time MBA programme at the University of Stellenbosch Business School combines academic rigour with real-world experience to develop the skills and characteristics we need from business leaders of tomorrow. Are you ready to take your first step towards a brighter, more prosperous future? Click here to learn our MBA Full-time requirements and enrol today.
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