MBA in one year: What you need to know if you're seeking anMBA in one year

MBA in one year? You will discover no shortage of programs from business schools and other institutions offering an MBA in one year.

Finding out who can provide an MBA in one year is the easy part. The hard work comes in selecting the school that gives you the executive leadership skills training most appropriate to your context. The first step is to make a list of what you expect to gain from an MBA in one year before determining who matches up — and whether you are ready for the challenge.

Getting value from your MBA
A plethora of business schools, universities and other training providers deliver MBA programs, commonly in one year but sometimes in two. Add to that massive open online courses (MOOCs) providing low-cost executive education for executives, although without the direct networking and interaction with participants possible at conventional schools.

Despite the array of choices, only a few Master Business Administration programs offer premium returns for your educational investment. But rankings for MBA programs often paint different programs with the same broad brush. The rankings can be misleading if they fail, for example, to include “business relevance” in their evaluations.

Degrees in business can differ significantly. For working executives, being able to study for an MBA in one year offers the advantages of minimal time out from your career. Here are a few other key factors to consider when assessing the best MBA programs:

Who are the participants?
You will get the most out of an MBA program that attracts a select group of talented candidates. The participants in the program at one top-ranked business school have high leadership potential and an average of seven years' global business experience under their belts. If you don't have the right experience, an MBA in one year can convert into an empty academic exercise without any reference to the real business world.

How relevant is the curriculum?
Management thought is only as good as it can be applied on the job. Some of the top business schools in the world collaborate with companies to develop their curriculum to ensure that it is relevant. The best leadership skills training is constantly updated to reflect new developments and world trends. Business degree courses should be based on the latest management research but focused on practical lessons that can be put to use right away.

Where is the global perspective?
Globalization is reshaping the business world and organizations ignore this fact at their peril. Business schools with an international focus offer MBA programs in tune with the times. Expect such schools to have a diverse faculty from different countries with cutting-edge knowledge of the world marketplace and its practices. A top-ranked business school with a global perspective attracts participants from around the planet who can network with each other and with alumni leaders.

What emphasis is placed on human psychology?
A top MBA program can give you the technical competence to size up business situations and devise appropriate responses. But you should also learn about broadening your self-awareness and developing your moral judgment. Business has been likened to a team sport that requires leaders to be able to work well with colleagues, superiors and subordinates. The best MBA programs offer executive coaching, professional support and counseling to enhance your personal development in this respect.

Clearly, with the right program, you can gain a lot from an MBA in one year.


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