nyc part time mba
For working professionals, getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) has never been easier.
Up until recently, if you wanted to get an MBA, you’d have to go to school full-time. This meant quitting your job. Today, due to technological advancements, as well as pressure from students and businesses, many school offer more options—like part-time, evening or weekend courses.
This is just one of several trends percolating throughout the nation’s top part-time MBA programs. Other trends, like diversifying the student body, experiential learning, and people already with advanced degrees looking to broaden their knowledge base, are becoming a key component of a part-time MBA education.
Programs like University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and New York University’s Stern School of Business offer a number of flexible options to earn an MBA—options that don’t require students to give up their steady income to obtain a graduate degree.
For example, Maryland’s Smith School has three self-sustaining campuses in convenient locations around the region—in Rockville, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. “We know that many students choose a location based on the proximity of their employer while others have reason to select a campus closer to home,” said Cliff McCormick, executive director of MBA and MS admissions at Smith. Students take their core courses at a ‘home campus’ but can then take elective courses at any of the three campuses.
In the Washington region’s pressure cooker environment, “we know that working students can have demanding and often unpredictable schedules, requiring the need to learn at different times of the day and often with different tools and methods,” McCormick said. The school addresses this need by leveraging technology for blended learning and multiple class delivery formats. “We find this kind of flexibility to be attractive to working adults.”
This selection of schools also provides the flexibility of weekend programs—the Ross School offers a weekend program where students fly in from all over the nation for two years—in addition to typical evening courses.
Students in the weekend program begin in May and graduate in April two years later; their coursework is equivalent to the full-time load at Ross, with the addition of some distance learning, explained Patricia Russo, the school’s managing director of the part-time MBA program.
“It is not an online degree, but there is some distance activity and recorded lectures that students can watch at their own pace,” she explained. The weekend program began in 2010 in response to customer need, she said.
“After the financial crisis, people got risk adverse, and quitting their jobs completely, even for a top program, was too much of a risk,” Russo added. “You can keep your job and still increase your skill and experience level at work.”
Now that MBAs are being offered part-time on the weekends and evenings, these top schools are also noticing the diversification of students—whether in their personal or professional backgrounds. For example, University of Maryland’s Smith School is attracting more women than ever before, McCormick said.
And students at McCombs’ Austin campus tend to draw from technology, start-ups, medical and financial services, according to Joe Stephens, assistant dean of part-time MBA programs.
What’s interesting, he said, is that McCombs “values people without business backgrounds.” People who come from unconventional fields are desired and welcomed.
“It’s one of the few degrees that you can take people from all walks of life, put them together and get better outcomes than if you had all like-minded people,” Stephens said. “People like to put an MBA in a box, and I think that’s an incorrect approach to describe an MBA and its value.”
New York University’s Langone part-time MBA program in the Stern School of Business also attracts a diverse array of students, according to Alison Goggin, executive director of MBA admissions. She mentioned a student who came from the beauty industry and now works for Google. A professional dancer recently applied as well. Another example was a doctor who wants to run his or her own practice or become a hospital administrator.
“You don’t have to have taken business classes or quantitative classes or come from a quantitative job to be admissible for the program,” she said.
Adding to these schools embracing the unconventional background is a trend that Ross School’s Russo is seeing with students who have advanced degrees in specific fields—they are applying to the part-time MBA program because they want a “broader tool kit.” For example, engineers from the Detroit area might have master’s degrees but want to become general managers, she said. Or people with law degrees might want to stay affiliated with the field but broaden their roles by earning the MBA, she added.
Finally, part-time students are able to translate a classroom education into real-world, practical experience. For example, according to Glenn Sykes, associate dean for the evening and weekend MBA programs at the Booth School of Business, part-time MBA students are heavily involved with extracurricular activities that bring theory into practice.
There are more than 42 professionally oriented or social clubs available to weekend and evening students. There’s a sales club, a wine club, a running club and a dining club, just to name a few.
“There is a great deal of interest in clubs,” Sykes said. “It’s a new trend.”
The Smith School evening/part-time program has its own student government, “with which we work closely,” McCormick said. “As a result, we find an increased interest among our working adults to engage in more of our case competitions and global program opportunities, which is fantastic.”
“Finally, whether they are career enhancers or career transitioners, an increased number of students enjoy engaging with our dedicated on-campus career advisors.”
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