Consider these 8 not-so-hidden advantages of part-time MBA programs

By Julia Sprague

When it comes to getting an MBA, there are many questions to answer, starting with the most basic, why do it at all?

Knowing why should give you some insights into when, where, and what kind of program is right for you. Full-time? Part-time? Online? The kind where you send in a check and get an embossed “diploma” back in the mail? (Just kidding.)

Here are some things a part-time or executive program allows you to do that may help you decide if this is the best way for you to get an MBA:

1. Keep your foot on the gas career-wise 

Your career stays in gear, while you’re revving up the engine to make your next move. Plus, you’re sure to meet classmates who can help you accelerate your growth.

2. Get outside your comfort zone

Use the curriculum to explore subjects you would never encounter on the job. Take a risk. Take on a leadership role. Experiment without getting fired! Take time to examine where you’ve been and where you’re going. You might find a new passion.

3. Recharge your batteries

If you’ve been in your current position a while, taking some time to reflect and meet people outside your industry may be just the catalyst you need.

4. Learn it and use it

People in part-time and executive MBA programs have this great laboratory to try out what they’ve learned in class. It’s called the workplace. When you can apply a lesson immediately—you’ve really made it your own.

5. Compete for something other than a promotion or a new job

Business plan and startup competitions stretch your skills, test your endurance, and might even help you launch the next big thing.

6. Invest in yourself—and others will too

Getting an MBA says something about you to your colleagues, your boss, even your boss’s boss. It says that you’re someone who is taking charge of your career, realizing your potential, shaping and sharpening your skills. And it says it before you’ve even finished the program.

7. Explode your network

Where else will you find people from such diverse backgrounds, with such accomplished careers all in one place? And they’re all there to do the same thing: to learn from, engage with, and help each other. That goes for your classmates, the faculty, the alumni, and all of the other people working and studying on your campus.

8. Be a sponge

Being in a part-time program, you realize pretty quickly just how much you can soak up without drowning: job, school, even a personal life. It’s not that time or space expand. It’s that you discover what you can accomplish with a supportive network of family, friends, and classmates.

There you are—eight ways of thinking about earning your MBA part-time—and how that might take you where you want to go.

Learn about the Berkeley MBA for Executives program

Posted on August 12, 2014
Themes: MBA Benefits
Julia Sprague
Julia is Associate Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals. She hopes these blog posts provide you with more personal insight into the Berkeley-Haas and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA program experience.