To make the right decision, you should think about some factors: your career, your lifestyle, your financial needs and the curriculum that is important to you.

Doing an MBA will necessarily affect many aspects of your life

You should find a balance between work and personal life and ask yourself if you are ready to have a full-time workload and a full-time course load. The Master of Business Administration is an internationally recognized degree designed to prepare students and further develop their skills for careers in business and management. Today there are more than 3,000 programs worldwide. Many different types of MBAs exist: the two-year, full-time program, the part-time MBA, the on-line MBA, the executive MBA, and the MBA within a company.With such a broad spectrum of possibilities, it is essential that you understand the specificities of each type of MBA program.

The one-year program

One-year programs are dramatically different from their two-year counterparts. They usually have very strict requirements in regards to work background and academic training. The program length is typically eleven to sixteen months. Students do not work full-time because school is considered the first priority. Yet, the advantage of this kind of MBA reaches far beyond classroom instruction through the development of a powerful and cohesive network of MBA colleagues. In addition, a highly specialized program can simultaneously build upon your current career or industry specialty. Finally, the full-time program typically includes extensive career placement and counselling services, professional groups and clubs, and experienced industry guest lecturers. However, the one-year program has one draw back in that there are no extended breaks between semesters, which curtails internship opportunities.

The two-year program

A typical two-year MBA program consists of four semesters.  Classes are taken over the course of two academic years. Most students take three-to-four-month internships between academic years. During the first year, students complete the required curriculum. The second year focuses on elective courses with specialization in a particular area of interest. This MBA program is ideal both for professionals who are changing careers and for those who seek to increase their potential in the same field. The advantages of a two-year MBA are that they accept a variety of academic backgrounds, and the internships encourage the development of new skills. Most full-time MBA programs also have extensive career placement and counselling services, professional groups and clubs, and experienced guest lecturers.  Bear in mind that this type of MBA is designed for people who have well-defined career objectives and the resources to devote themselves to studying full-time.

The part-time program

Designed for working professionals, most part-time MBA candidates work full-time during the day and attend classes in the evening. The part-time program is particularly appealing to those who wish to advance their existing career. It can also be advantageous for professionals who have already developed a network of business relationships that can facilitate a change of careers. Moreover, this type of MBA allows you to improve existing skills or develop new ones without interrupting your current position. Tuition assistance and student loans may also be available. However, frequent work-related travel or relocation could potentially be an obstacle to completing this kind of MBA.

The online program

New technologies have made distance learning an increasingly popular option. The on-line program offers a core curriculum with a limited number of electives. The programs can take up to eight years to complete, though students generally finish in three or four years. Coursework uses e-mail, computer conferencing, chat rooms, on-line bulletin boards, and sound and video clips. Be sure to verify that the program is accredited so companies will consider it valid. The distance-learning programs require less time commitment than other MBAs and, it offers more geographic flexibility. Class work can also be scheduled around personal and professional commitments. Finally, tuition is much lower for an on-line MBA than for traditional campus-based programs. However you should not forget that this program offers limited contact with fellow classmates, therefore, this MBA is not a good choice if you prefer an interactive environment. Finally, few distance-learning programs are available because this technology and form of learning is relatively new. Nevertheless, distance-learning MBA programs have become commonplace as an increasing number of business professionals and busy executives opt to earn their degree on-line.

The executive program

This MBA is generally designed for senior managers with at least seven years of business experience. Courses tend to focus on global business issues and strategies. The program is generally considered full-time and can take up to 24 months to complete with almost no opportunity to specialize. All students take the same general management curriculum simultaneously. In addition, Executive MBAs earn their degrees briskly, in two years or less, much faster than part-time students. However, this type of MBA requires a high level of commitment not only from the students, but also their families and employers. Most students put in 80 to 100 hours a week between their jobs and school.

The specialized MBA

As business professionals become more attuned to their own interests, they often want to delve deeper into a specific field to hone their competence. There are MBA programs that focus on certain industries such as healthcare and hi-tech. A tremendous benefit of the specialized MBA is often derived from the expertise of course instructors and even fellow classmates. Typically, instructors for specialized MBA courses, such as e-business, will have in-depth experience in the field and understand industry nuances. A specialized MBA helps professionals stay on the cutting edge of their chosen field, but it also provides essential management tools learned from a traditional MBA program. The specialized MBA is only for individuals firmly entrenched in their careers, as the degree is highly specific, therefore inadaptable to other fields.

As the world’s borders become increasingly open, demand for business professionals will grow accordingly.

Earning an MBA is always a good decision but earning the right MBA could make all the difference in the world. Explore the variety of different MBA degrees so that you find the program, which allows you to achieve all of your personal as well as professional goals.