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Have You Ever Considered an Accelerated MBA Program?

Accelerated MBA

In today’s challenging economic climate, some applicants are turning to accelerated programs that take only 10-15 months to complete and cost substantially less than a two-year program. These candidates argue that they don’t have the time or money to invest in a two-year program.  In light of the growing popularity of one-year MBA programs, The Wall Street Journal surveyed 1,361 recent grads and 731 alumni and reported their findings in a recent article about the one-year MBA track.

The Wall Street Journal ranked fifteen one-year programs (comprised of nine European schools, five in the U.S., and one Latin American school) and European schools clearly led the pack. IE Business School in Madrid ranks #1, Switzerland’s IMD Business School is #2, and Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. is #3. Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business round out the top five, but according to students, international programs offer a strong curriculum and “a much stronger international exposure.” And for 86% of students surveyed, a program’s international focus was the deciding factor in choosing a school.

Only 90 accredited schools worldwide offer a fast-track MBA, and few are located in the United States. Alumni reported that those in the U.S. tend to focus the majority of their career services and recruitment efforts on two-year students. On a positive note, women make up 35% of accelerated MBA graduate classes in the U.S. compared to 23% in international programs; and according to The Wall Street Journal, “American schools tend to excel in softer skills, like teamwork, building relationships, and managing across functions.”

These programs won’t suit everyone. They are both rigorous and time-consuming, and almost two-thirds of students reported spending more than fifteen hours a week on schoolwork outside of the classroom, leaving little time for extracurricular activities. IMD Business School is known for having six-day, 100-hour weeks!

“These students want to be taught, and then they want to move on,” said Sean Rickard, director of Cranfield’s MBA program. A very true statement, indeed—the Wall Street Journal study reported that 82% of students pursued one-year programs so they could return to the work force faster. Fortunately, most alumni reported that recruiters and managers don’t view an MBA degree from a one-year program any differently than a two-year program, and many agreed that the quick degree made their jobs safer during the recent economic crisis.

For the complete Wall Street Journal article, click here.

Posted in: MBA News, Rankings News

Schools: Babson / Olin, Northwestern / Kellogg

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