What Are the Different Types of MBA Degrees?

You’ve decided you want to pursue your MBA, but did you know there are many types of MBA degrees? Explore the available options before enrolling in a program.


You’ve made the choice to get an MBA, so now is a good as time as ever to explore the different types of MBA options available.


MBA programs differ based on a range of variables, from timing to cost and requirements to degree specialization.


Here’s a look at the major differentiating factors to consider when choosing the program that’s right for you.


Why Get an MBA?

There are many reasons to get an MBA, ranging from the job prospects to salary and transferable skills that will augur well in both business and your personal life.


There are certain industries that require an MBA degree to advance to senior positions within the field. For example, corporate banking, consumer marketing, and finance typically prefer to hire MBA graduates over those without the degree for top-ranking roles. Additionally, having your MBA will set you up to earn a higher salary. According to a recent survey by Bloomberg Businessweek, those who graduated with an MBA saw an 80% increase in their salaries.


Combined with the roles and higher salaries, there are certain life skills that a business degree affords. For starters, it offers a wonderful opportunity to network with people from all around the world, some of whom could even become your next business partner!


Like other graduate degree programs, the coursework is both challenging and rewarding, so it offers a place to practice time management, perseverance and presentation skills. Many programs will require group and individual projects, so like in a work environment, you’ll hone skills to work independently and in teams.


Everyone’s reasoning to earn their MBA may be different, but there are overarching themes as to why students choose to do so. These include:


  • Provide a better life for your family: Because of the higher salary outlook, MBAs can put you in a better financial position to provide for your loved ones
  • Get promoted into higher positions: As mentioned before, many companies will require an MBA for senior roles
  • Change careers: Business offers a wide range of career options, so an MBA will open the door to new possibilities if you’re looking to try something else
  • Work abroad: MBA skills and knowledge is transferable and revered around the world and can offer the necessary education to start your own business


What You Can Do with an MBA

Once you graduate with an MBA, the options seem limitless because there are so many careers that an MBA will prepare you to enter.


Some of the best business careers include:




A statistician can work in the public or private sector and is concerned with theoretical or applied statistics. About 30% of statisticians in the United States work for the government.




Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty, using math, statistics and financial theory. Actuaries often work with accounting and finance teams.




Mathematicians use their knowledge to assist businesses, engineers and scientists to solve problems and achieve goals.


Business Operations Manager:


Operation managers oversee the daily functioning of businesses to ensure efficiency and reduce costs.




Accountants prepare financial documents and prepare accounts by analyzing, documenting and compiling financial transactions.


Financial Advisor:


Financial advisors work with clients to guide them on investments, taxes, mortgages, retirement accounts and more.


Operations Research Analyst:


Research analysts interpret information to assist with decision making, policy formation and other managerial functions.


Source: Unsplash


Types of Institutions

So, where can you earn your MBA?


There are a variety of options of institutions ranging from public to private, as well as online, on-campus and hybrid programs. Let’s take a quick look at each type and its respective benefits:




Online programs offer flexibility and a lower cost alternative to earn your degree. For example, University of the People is an entirely online, tuition-free and accredited online university with the option for an Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business Administration. Online programs can be completed from anywhere and on one’s own time, so they are a great option for those who need to continue working or raising a family while studying.




Traditional MBA programs require students to be on-campus to attend lectures at a designated time. Students are more likely to be younger in on-campus programs when compared to their online counterparts.




These programs mix online and on-campus learning.


Program Timing

Depending on the amount of time you have available to study, you can enroll in a part-time or full-time program.




Most people who opt for full-time programs are looking to switch careers entirely. These programs range from 1 to 2 years, for the most part, and offer a more immersive learning experience.




Part-time programs may be a better option for those with financial barriers or other commitments like work and family. Part-time programs also generally require less stringent qualifications for admittance.


It’s useful to note that at UoPeople, whether you apply for a full-time or part-time MBA, it will always be tuition-free and flexible.


Source: Unsplash


Different MBA Program Types

Depending on your career goals and current situation, there are different types of MBA programs to suit your needs. Getting your MBA is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so here is some insight into the different types of MBA programs.


Accelerated MBA


These programs are on a fast track so that students can complete their degree in about a year, with shorter breaks between classes and a more rigorous course load per semester. Program lengths vary between 12 and 18 months, as opposed to a traditional 2-year program. These are designed to get students into the workforce more quickly and they typically cost less because they are shorter.


Executive MBA (EMBA)


EMBAs are designed for experienced working professionals who will continue working while learning. They are done part time over a 1-2 year period so that students can work and study. Courses generally take place in the evenings and on weekends, either on a campus or online.


Furthermore, there are occasional full-day sessions. Students graduate with enhanced skills for the workforce, especially in subject matter related to operations management, marketing and strategic management. The average years of work experience for those enrolling in EMBA programs is about 10-12 years, so they are highly competitive. EMBA’s can cost up to $200,000.


Global MBA (GEMBA)


By combining programs in different countries and/or schools, GEMBAs are generally more competitive and expensive than a traditional MBA. Naturally, they involve travel. As the world becomes more interconnected and businesses thrive internationally, GEMBA programs offer students an advantage to better prepare them for an international role in business.


Some of the best schools that offer a GEMBA will do so in three ways: students study in international locations, enrolled students are international, and programs that focus their coursework around international business practices. Some institutions will mix the three. As an example, UoPeople can be considered a global MBA because students represent over 200 countries and territories.


How to Choose the Right Schools

When selecting the school that is right for you to earn your degree, you’ll want to consider the following factors:




This is the primary way to find out if an institution is reputable. When schools are accredited, it means that a third party has audited the curriculum and evaluated the standard of education, faculty, services and students.




Since each individual has their own goals for earning their MBA, you’ll want to check programs that align well with your area of interest and career. Here’s an abbreviated list of common MBA specializations that may be of interest:

  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Consulting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Operations Management
  • Finance
  • Information Systems


International Accessibility:


Each school varies on their requirements, so if you are an international student, you’ll want to make sure you can understand the language that the coursework is offered in and also be able to afford the higher costs for those studying from abroad. Another option to access an MBA in another country such as the US, is to attend an online university.


An example of this is UoPeople a US accredited university whose MBA program is a great opportunity for international students because it can be taken from anywhere, anytime, with no geographical barriers, no visas required and can be accessed with nothing more than an internet connection. In fact, UoPeople has students from over 200 countries and territories enrolled. Everyone pays the same costs for an application fee and course assessment fees, regardless of where they are from, because the university is tuition-free.


What’s Right For You?

Now that you know some of the basic differentiating factors in MBA programs around the world, you can make the decision that’s right for you based on affordability, time, career goals and admission requirements.


Getting your MBA will be a valuable experience and offer opportunities that would otherwise be impossible.




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