Part Time vs. Distance MBA

Nidhi Mishra updated on : 30 Jan 2017
23

Contrary to the general perception, part time and distance MBA programs differ in terms of format, mode of instruction, cost-effectiveness and job prospects they deliver.

Part Time vs. Distance MBA

Part Time vs. Distance MBA - MBA degree can bring to you skill sets essential for outperforming the competition, access to the higher rungs of the corporate ladder, and enhanced confidence and acceptability. MBA, the most sought after postgraduate degree in labour markets world over, comes in a variety of formats, including full-time, part-time, modular, executive, online, and so forth. Conventionally, career seekers in India prefer regular 2-year MBA programmes that IIMs and other B-schools offer. Since these conventional programs involve significant campus time, working executives and individuals with time restrictions are satisfying their degree ambitions with part-time and distance programmes. Part-time and distance MBA programmes alike offer you the desired convenience and flexibility that may be a distinct possibility with regular programmes.

Also Check: Executive MBA vs. Distance MBA 

Thanks to the introduction of technology, distance and part-time learning have witnessed a paradigm shift in recent years. However, one can still see a pervading knowledge deficit. Hence, the odds are high that an air of uncertainty is keeping you away from choosing between part-time and distance programmes. We rest the prerogative to help you bridge the knowledge gap and make decisions based on your individual needs, career aspirations and education capital.

Part Time MBA Versus Distance MBA:

Traits

Part-time MBA

Distance MBA

Mode of learning

Weekends and evening shifts

Study materials provided via correspondence

Affordability

Cost effective as compared to full-time courses

The most economical option available

Peer learning and network building prospects

Moderate

Negligible. Proactive approach required 

Career prospects

Getting popular with recruiters

Still out of favour among recruiters

Academic qualification

Graduate degree in any stream

Graduate degree in any stream

Institutes offering the course

IIMs, Faculty of Management Studies, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune, Bangalore

IGNOU, ICFAI Business School, Sikkim Manipal University, Annamalai University and Maharishi Dayanand University

Time Commitment:

Time is the primary reason for individuals to opt for alternative MBA formats. Part-time and distance MBA programmes alike offer you the desired convenience and flexibility that may be a distinct possibility with regular programmes. You need not discontinue your existing job and keep your income stream intact and career prospects lively. However, the class time is the major differentiator between part time and correspondence programmes. While pursuing the former, you need to show up in classes that are conducted on weekends and evening shifts purposely. Contrarily, with distance programmes, you have to rely solely on study materials provided via correspondence. Seemingly, the latter is for individuals who are always on the go or dislike the idea of attending classes.    

Affordability:

One prominent mutual element in part-time and distance MBA programmes is cost-effectiveness. Contrary to the full-time programs, part-time and correspondence programmes offer you, more or less, the same advantages but without stretching your budget. However, when it comes to comparison between part-time and correspondence courses, latter has a certain edge over the former. That distance programmes are a more cost effective option is because of their format. The B-schools and universities do not have to incur expense on conducting on-campus classes. Moreover, course material and discussions are made available online, which leads to more cost cutting.

Peer Learning and Network Building:

That knowledge sharing with peers facilitates better understanding is no secret, part-time MBA programmes involve class time and learning options where assignments and researches need to be done in peer groups. Consequently, you have an opportunity to interact with your fellow learners and remain gainful in tangible ways. Odds are high that your fellow learners might end up making it big in their respective domains. The network created while pursuing the degree can come in handy when you might be seeking a career change at some point in time. In addition, connections can help you stay competitive if you happen to launch your own venture in the days to come. In contrast, distance MBA programmes come devoid of any such advantage. You have to fend for yourself to develop and sustain a network that can come to your rescue in contingency. Nonetheless, you can draw on numerous online platforms, including social media, to participate in peer discussions and keep the thought sharing the process in motion.

Career Prospects:

Job prospects drive enrollment decisions. A part-time MBA degree can be a winning move if your primary goal is a lateral promotion. You have an opportunity to acquire and apply your newfound skill sets in real time, gain favour from superiors, outdo competition and scale the corporate ladder fast. Additionally, Part Time MBA, in conjunction with work experience, can boost your career shifting aspirations big time. It is worth mentioning that candidates with a Part Time MBA from a revered university are more likely to find favour with recruiters. On the other hand, distance MBA programmes are presently in disfavour among the global recruiter community.

When you enter the labour market with a distance MBA degree, chances are high that the remunerations you fetch are far below your expectations. The sorry state of affairs is an outcome of a biased approach and inadequacies of distance MBA programmes. However, the trend is witnessing a steady reversal. All top rated B-schools and universities are revisiting their distance MBA programmes and integrating technology to make the learning process more convenient, interactive and engaging. Currently, several universities are empowering aspirants with online classrooms where they can interact with instructors and fellow learners in real time. Insightful webinars are fast becoming an integral part of distance education process as well. 

Where to Look For?

Not all B-schools offer both part time and correspondence MBA programmes. If you wish to pursue a part-time MBA degree, Indian Institute of Management campuses in Lucknow, Calcutta, Ahmadabad, Indore and Bangalore, along with Management Development Institute, Gurgaon are the most popular options available. The course available with these institutes is comprehensive and available in a range of specialisations, including marketing, human resource, finance, operations, IT and systems and hospitality, travel and tourism, investment management. Since they involve heavy capital, ranging from 5.5 to 9.5 lacks, these coveted programmes are a distant reality for many aspirants. Going for the part-time course offered by Faculty of Management Studies, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune and Bangalore makes sense if you cannot compromise on quality despite a limited budget.

One of the world’s leading open universities, Indira Gandhi National Open University can be your go-to source for accessing an MBA degree via correspondence. Thoughtfully designed, the programmes offer specialisations in operations management, human resource management, financial management and marketing management. Other popular options include ICFAI Business School, Sikkim Manipal University, Annamalai University and Maharishi Dayanand University.

Also Discover:

Part Time MBA – What, Why & How?

Part Time MBA: Scope and Opportunities After

 

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