The Ultimate Guide to Getting an MBA

Are you thinking about pursuing an MBA or in the process of applying to graduate business schools? If so, MetroMBA has your back.  As a prospective applicant thinking about getting an MBA, the process can seem daunting and overwhelming. However, we have provided key information on what you need to know about getting an MBA, the factors to consider, what types of MBA programs are offered and the general requirements for applying to business school.  Below you will find the Ultimate Guide to Getting and MBA courtesy of our experts at MetroMBA:

What is an MBA?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree earned at a higher education institution that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates gain a better understanding of general business management functions. According to our MetroMBA Database of over 150 schools, the core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, business law, finance, managerial economics, management, entrepreneurship, marketing and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.

Why get an MBA?

You may be asking yourself, why should I get an MBA? You may be factoring in your current professional career trajectory and thinking whether that promotion will be yours without an MBA.  You may also be thinking about ways to increase your salary in your current professional industry.  Or you may be looking for a career change and believe that an MBA will open new opportunities for career advancement.  All of these are great reasons to get an MBA and potential outcomes that getting an MBA will provide to you.

MBA Program Format Chart

This chart breaks down the four most common MBA program formats and includes a format description, typical age of students within each program, the typical length, average cost, who we recommend to take each program and the flexibility rating for completing the program.
CategoryProgram FormatTypical Age Range of StudentTypical LengthAverage CostRecommended For:Flexibility Rating
DescriptionDescribes how each MBA program is delivered to students.The range varies significantly depending on the prestige of the institution.The ability to balance work/life and your academic degree.
The more check marks, the more flexible the program.
Full-TimeTypicaly delivered on-site with live classroom sessions. These classes are held throughout the day and night depending on course schedule.
25-34
12-24 months
$40,000-$150,000+
- Young professionals who are looking for new career opportunities and/or career changers

- Working professionals who can commit to a full-time academic workload and can be temporarily unemployed as they pursue their MBA

Part-TimeTypically delivered on evenings or weekends in a hybrid format, which allows students to take classes both online and on-site.
21-55+
24-48+ months
$40,000-$150,000+
- Working professionals who cannot leave a full-time job commitment

- Individuals with families or personal commitments
✔✔✔✔
OnlineMost online MBA programs offer all learning fully online, however some programs require students to meet on-campus or at a remote location once throughout your degree.
21-55+
16-48+ months
$10,000-$130,000+
- Those seeking a flexible MBA to maximize work/life balance

- Students who can excel in online learning environment
✔✔✔✔✔
ExecutiveTypically have on site sessions on the weekend once per month with other virtual requirements during the week.
34-45
20-36 months
$45,000-$200,000+
- Middle Management seeking career advancement

- Career switchers

- Working Professionals who are looking to refine their skills, knowledge and expertise
✔✔✔

What are the different types of MBA programs?

Full-Time MBA: Typically delivered on-site with live classroom sessions.  These classes are held throughout the day and night depending on course schedule.  The average age of a full-time MBA student is 25-34 and usually take between 12 months to 24 months to complete.  One-year MBA programs are on the rise among universities due to the demand of MBA students seeking to complete their degree faster than the typical two-year MBA program.  The average cost of a full-time MBA varies depending on the university prestige and can range from $40,000-$150,000.  We recommend full-time MBA programs for:

  • Young professionals who are looking for new career opportunities and/or career changers
  • Working professionals who can commit to a full-time academic workload and can be temporarily unemployed as they pursue their MBA

 

Part-Time MBA: Typically delivered on evenings or weekends in a hybrid format, which allows students to take classes both online and on-site.  The average age ranges more than the full-time MBA program with the average student being between 25-55.  It can take as short as 24 months to complete a part-time MBA while other programs can take as long as 48 months depending on your flexibility.  The average cost of a part-time MBA ranges from $40,000-$150,000+.  We recommend part-time MBA programs for:

  • Working professionals who cannot leave a full-time job commitment.
  • Individuals with families or personal commitments.

 

Online MBA: Most online MBA programs offer all learning fully online, however some programs require students to meet on-campus or at a remote location once throughout your degree.  The average age range is similar to a traditional part-time MBA program with the average student being between 25-55.  Some online programs can be completed in a year, however the average range to complete and online MBA program is 16-48 months.  Online MBA programs are typically the most affordable program format ranging from $10,000-$130,000+. We recommend online MBA programs for:

  • Those seeking a flexible MBA to maximize work/life balance
  • Students who can excel in online learning environment

 

Executive MBA: Typically have on site sessions on the weekend once per month with other virtual requirements during the week.  The average student in an executive MBA program is between 35-44 and trends slightly older than other program formats since more than 7 years of work experience is required for most of these programs.  The average time to complete an executive MBA program is 20-36 months and the average cost of an executive MBA is between $40,000-$200,000+.  We recommend online MBA programs for:

  • Middle management seeking career advancement.
  • Career switchers.
  • Working professionals who are looking to refine their skills, knowledge and expertise.
  • Small to medium-sized business owners.

 

How long does it take to get an MBA?

The average time it takes to get an MBA varies depending on the program you select.  Full-Time programs usually are the shortest in length at 12 months to 24 months, while part-time MBA programs can take from 12 months to over 48 months to complete.  Online MBA’s can also be completed in as little as a year but typically take the average student between 16-48 months.  Executive MBA programs are designed for working professionals in middle management, C-Suite executive and small to medium-sized business owners and take between 20-36 months to complete on average.

How much does it cost to get an MBA?

The cost of an MBA can range from $10,000 to over $200,000 just for tuition costs.  This includes all program offerings including online, part-time, full-time and executive MBA’s.  See our MBA Program Chart to view the average cost range of MBA programs associated with each format.

Looking for more resources on the MBA Admissions Process?

Join the MetroMBA community by registering and receive resources such as admissions deadlines, scholarship information and how to finance your MBA.

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