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How To Choose Between a 1 year vs. 2 year MBA Program

1 year vs 2 year MBA programs

There has always been a debate on whether a 1-year is better than a 2-year MBA program. In this blog we have touched upon the advantages and disadvantages of both!


There is a wrong perception that 1-year programs are less valuable than 2-year ones. You may be surprised to learn that both of these will earn you a full-fledged MBA degree with equal job opportunities and a competitive pay-scale in the market.


So what really are the differences?

A typical 2-year MBA is a 18-24 months program , and is very popular in the U.S. Whereas, a 1-year MBA extends to about 10-12 months and most of the U.K. B-schools offer this. Here is a sneak peek into some of the advantages and disadvantage of 2-year program which actually become disadvantages and advantages for 1-year program respectively.


2-year MBA program: 


Advantages of 2-year program:

1. One of the main reasons why many people aspire for an MBA degree is to change career paths. After working in Technology for a few years, you may realize that your calling is in Management Consulting and not just coding. For these people, a 2-year program will prove very beneficial.

2.  In a typical  2-year program, the first year will be dedicated to fundamental business courses such as marketing, organizational behavior, economics, accounting and so on; specialization through the choice of electives happens in the second year. So, you will get ample time to make mistakes, learn new things and finally make up your mind about your area of specialization (on which the choice of electives depends). Essentially, you can learn at your own pace.

3. You will have ample opportunities to mingle and network with your peers in a 2 year MBA program, as this gives you more time to join student bodies and participate in extra-curricular activities and group projects.

4. A 2-year MBA program provides you with a summer internship which is very helpful to land a lucrative job afterwards. An internship gives you a hands-on experience in your field of interest. In fact, most employers look to summer-interns for recruitment, especially in the fields of consulting and investment banking.

5.  An MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people; It is not just a professional journey, but often also a personal one of self-growth! And a 2 year MBA program gives you the complete student experience, simply because your experience is longer and well-paced.


Disadvantages of 2-year program:

1.If you are very sure about your post-MBA goals, a 2-year program is of lesser significance to you as it will be less rigorous and less focused as compared to a 1-year program. People who look at the MBA as a tool for career growth, a 2–year program may not be particularly more advantageous.

2. 2-year programs are very costly as compared to 1-year programs. In fact, a 1-year program from a reputed B-school provides you equal brand equity at a lesser cost!

3.  Joining a 2-year program means that you will be out of work for 2 years; this means that the opportunity cost will be very high as compared to a 1-year program.

4.  For older applicants – specifically, those with familial responsibilities, children or other dependents – a 2-year program may not be very feasible.


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Some of the top B-schools in U.S. offering 1-year MBA program


1 year US MBA programs


1. Kellogg School of Management (USA):

One of the first one year MBA programs in the US. The one year program is your fastest path to get a Kellogg MBA.

The course is designed to build upon your business fundamentals, develop new skills and knowledge to propel your career forward. The course starts in the month of June every year.

Location: Illinois
Tution Fee: $91,700
Average Salary: $163,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


2. Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business

This course is ideal for Professionals with significant work experience who wish to acquire new business Skills & management knowledge.

The Course starts in the month of May every year.

Location: New York.
Tuition Fee: $90,000.
Average Salary: $142,700 (post 3 years of graduation)


3. Emory University’s Goizueta School

With more than 30 years, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is one of the top One-Year MBA Programs in the US.

Emory’s One-Year MBA offers three semesters of rigorous learning to prepare you for career success. The course begins in the month of May every year,.

Location: Atlanta.
Tuition Fee: $ 89,500
Average Salary: $ 134,370 (post 3 years of graduation)


4. USC (Marshall)

The course is designed for mid career professionals training for global leadership positions. The average age of students is 35.

The 12-month program at USC’s Campus starts in the month of July.

Location: Los Angeles
Tuition Fee: $104,068
Average Salary: $135,200 (post 3 years of graduation)


5. Notre dame (Mendoza)

Notre Dame’s One-Year MBA provides a powerful strategic business education and makes you part of one of the world’s most loyal and active alumni networks.

The program begins in May and students graduate the following May.

Location: Indiana
Tuition Fee: $73,063.
Average Salary: $127,995 (post 3 years of graduation)


6. Boston university Babson (Olin)

The Babson One-Year MBA program is designed to allow students to leverage their existing academic foundation​ to complete their MBA in an accelerated format.

The program begins in the month of May every year.

Location: Massachusetts.
Tuition Fee: $80,167
Average Salary: $ 121,312 (post 3 years of graduation)


Other colleges include Thunderbird Florida (Hough) & Pittsburgh (Katz)  



Some of the top B-schools in Europe and U.K. offering 1-year MBA program




One of the most sort after one-year MBA programme with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. INSEAD has a multicultural and diverse community at INSEAD with 90 percent of its faculty and students being international.

Location: France, Singapore & Abu Dhabi
Tuition Fee: $81,000
Average Salary: $167,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


2. IMD

The IMD MBA program supports and accelerates leadership development beyond the campus by developing technical competence, self-awareness, and moral judgment.

The course starts in January.

Location: Switzerland
Tuition Fee: $87,000
Average Salary: $157,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


3. IE Business School

The one-year MBA from IE School of Business provides students with an opportunity to interact with future business leaders from around the world.

Intakes in the month of September & January

Location: Spain
Tuition Fee: $72,440
Average Salary: $159,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


4. University of Oxford – Saïd Business School

The one-year MBA from SAID aims to develop your ability to think logically, laterally and independently that will take you anywhere in the world.

The course begins in the month of September every year.

Location: Oxford
Tuition Fee: $ 68,160
Average Salary: $139,235 (post 3 years of graduation)


5. University of Cambridge – Judge Business School

The course allows students to opt for sector-based topics that can improve their expertise in their chosen fields. It also runs a personalized career development program.

The course has single intake each year which starts in September.

Location: England
Tuition Fee: $67,000
Average Salary: $156,300 (post 3 years of graduation)


6. London Business School

The course is rated as one of the most flexible MBA program with flexible exit points to complete the course in a span of 15, 18 or 21 months and provides an unparalleled opportunity to build your global network.

The course has an intake in August.

Location: England
Tuition Fee: $92,600
Average Salary: $154,150 (post 3 years of graduation)


7. HEC Paris

The Course is Custom designed for managers between the ages of 25 to 35 with previous work experience averaging 6 years. With a 92 percent international student body, studying at HEC Paris allows you to develop a truly multicultural approach to strategy and problem-solving.

Intakes in the month of September & January

Location: France
Tuition Fee: $77,500
Average Salary: $132,073 (post 3 years of graduation)


Other notable B-schools conducting one-year MBA programs in Europe include Copenhagen Business School, SDA Bocconi, IESE Business School -Madrid, Cass Business School, City University London, ESADE Barcelona & Birmingham Business School


Did you read our previous post on how important is the location while selecting a Business School?

Wondering which top B-School you can get into? Let us help you!

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