I often hear this question from prospective students – can I switch from part-time MBA to a full-time MBA? Overall, in 99.99% of the case the answer is very clear – No.
Let me explain why: Top MBA programs have different selection process for the full-time program versus the part time program, and will not let students switch from the part-time to the full-time.
[title size=”3″]Ranking of Full-Time and Part-Time MBA Programs[/title]
The most important ranking is for the full-time program. The ranking is based on both the school itself (faculty etc) and success of the students. The success is measured based on satisfaction of students, alumni and recruiters. That’s why business school invests significant time and resources on the Career Services for the full-timers. Also, some ranking measure what % of the class found a job within 3 or 6 months from graduation. Therefore, the success of the students to find a job quickly within graduation is going to impact the school’s ranking.
When MBA’s Admissions committee looks at candidates profile during the admission process, they are evaluating the chances of this prospective student at achieving their career goals. Therefore, a student who was evaluated for the part-time might have ambitious career-switching goals, but even if they don’t find a job within a given time period that’s not going to impact the school’s ranking.
[title size=”3″]Career Services and Placement Statistics for Part-time vs.Full-Time Students[/title]
That’s probably one of the biggest issues. As I mentioned before, business school spend a lot of resources to help students get into their dream jobs post graduation. The goal is to get as many graduates into as many good positions, where the competition is between different schools but also within the school. Since there are usually limited spots for both the internship and the full-time offers. And since the full-time MBA are the students who took more risk (e.g. leaving their jobs…) and are the one providing the ranking, they are the ones receiving the priority services from the Career office as well as more access to the companies.
However, this doesn’t mean that getting a part-time MBA won’t be as useful to you for your career advancement/switch. All top schools offer careers services to the part-timers, however in different capacity and structure. Some schools, such as Chicago Booth MBA, feel there’s an ethical issue with providing career services to people who are sponsored by their current employers and will ask you to sign a waiver or provide you with service only one when are not receiving any sponsorship from your firm.
[title size=”3″]Class size and Elective at MBA Programs[/title]
In many top MBA programs, there’s a bidding process to get into popular elective classes, where space is limited. Business school are trying to provide sufficient opportunities for both part-time and full-time student to register and take these classes, but if part-time MBA students would transfer half-way through the program to the full-time schedule this might impact the full-time students’ satisfaction.
If you are debating whether to apply to a full-time MBA or a top part-time MBA and wondering what your chances in terms of Admission are finding your dream career, just fill out your contact info below and I will get back to you in 24 hours. Or, you can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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