Should you choose a one-year MBA or a two-year MBA program?
Applications to one-year MBA programs rose twice as fast as applications to their traditional two-year counterparts between 2017 and 2018. As more top business schools unveil their own one-year MBA offerings, you might be left wondering whether this faster route to an MBA is right for you.
Whichever option you choose, you can expect similar academic content, but in other ways these two programs offer quite different experiences.
In the US at least, two-year programs are the more traditional option. In a two-year MBA, students study their core and elective modules over two academic years and take a summer internship in between.
This internship gives students the chance to explore a new role and build up experience in their target industry if they’re attempting a career pivot.
“A summer internship acts as a proof-point and a pipeline into certain industries,” explains Brian Mitchell, associate dean for full-time MBA programs at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
According to Brian, having this extra time to explore, and to complete an internship, is the main differentiator between one and two-year MBA programs.
Certain companies, such as investment banks, only hire from a pool of applicants who have completed their summer internship, Brian adds. For applicants who want to enter these roles, completing a two-year MBA is the best option.
“In a two-year program, you have a little more time, and can use your summer internship to try things out,” he notes.
This was Catie Mannarino’s goal when she decided to pursue the Two-Year MBA program at Goizueta. Prior to the MBA, Catie worked as a financial analyst with hospital network, UW Health.
Hoping to accelerate into management positions, Catie decided to attend business school.
With its small class sizes, tight-knit community, and abundant travel opportunities, Goizueta quickly stood out.
“I knew I wanted to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible,” Catie recalls. With two years of study, she feels she is able to do so.
During the summer, Catie landed a three-month finance internship with Delta Air Lines. Having gelled well with the company, she’s beginning their MBA Finance Rotational Program when she graduates from Goizueta in 2020.
“The internship ensured that I was a good fit for their culture,” she reflects.
On the other hand, a one-year MBA is a great career accelerator for students who have a clear idea where their careers are heading and don’t want or need to complete an internship.
One-year MBA programs tend to start in the summer, a few months earlier than two-year MBA programs, and are completed in just one year.
For students who aren’t shifting industries, or intend to apply for roles that don’t require prior experience, the one-year program is a good fit, Brian explains.
With lower tuition fees and an accelerated schedule, one-year MBA programs also tend to offer a faster return on investment.
These were important considerations for Pedro Garcia, a student in Goizueta’s One-Year MBA program. “I’m at a point in my career where I don’t want to take two years off,” he says.
When Pedro began the one-year MBA, he left behind an eight-year career in data analytics with Porsche. Since getting involved with a medical implant startup, Vertera Spine, back in 2016, he’s been keen to shift his focus toward managing and leading a business.
“I was a little bit pigeon-holed in analytics,” he reflects. “There’s a very specific skill set that’s required in order to manage people and succeed in business that I wasn’t going to get sitting behind a desk at Porsche.”
Like Catie, Pedro was drawn to Goizueta’s intimate learning environment and strong, diverse community. The typical one-year MBA cohort is even smaller than its two-year counterpart, with only 50 to 60 students.
“The people who do the one-year program are very focused on their career and where they’re going,” Pedro notes.
His particular goal is to expand his work in the health care sector, or move into a private equity role, leveraging his data analytics experience along with the leadership and management skills Goizueta has imparted.
Teaching the same toolkit
Whichever MBA option students choose, the opportunities on offer are very similar, Brian emphasizes.
“The programs share a common set of core courses because the fundamental tools that people are coming to business school to learn don’t change.”
In both MBA programs at Goizueta for instance, students can choose from 20 specializations, and 90 elective courses. All students also have the chance to travel domestically and internationally, build a professional network, and take on community service projects.
Both programs have similar career prospects too, Brian observes.
About half of graduates move into consulting roles, while a quarter choose marketing and a sixth enter the financial sector.
“There are a lot more similarities than there are differences,” Brian concludes.
Emory University Goizueta Business School
Excellent institution with valuable resources
In general, Emory University is an excellent institution with valuable resources. The majority of the professors I encountered were outstanding and displayed a genuine concern for their students. Furthermore, Atlanta provides a plethora of opportunities and experiences.
Pleasant weather, campus and professors
Emory enjoys pleasant weather for the most part, with warmth and mild conditions. The only drawback is the spring season, particularly due to the heavy pollen presence. Everything becomes coated in layers of pollen, which can be problematic for allergy sufferers. Fortunately, this pollen season is relatively short-lived. During the spring and fall, the weather can be quite unpredictable, swinging from scorching heat to chilly temperatures. You'll often find students relaxing or studying outdoors on campus with Professors ever ready to attend to students personally.
At Emory, the academics are outstanding! It takes a lot of effort and commitment, but the results are well worth it. Teachers are very approachable and like answering inquiries from students. Nobody ever turning away a student that I know of. The campus is beautiful and tidy at Emory, with many places to relax and study.
Academic performance surpassed my expectations
Emory University's academic performance surpassed my expectations. Achieving good grades often requires substantial effort, and the academic rigor varies depending on your chosen major. Nevertheless, I encountered highly knowledgeable professors, well-equipped to teach their respective courses. Emory offers a wide range of subject areas to choose from, providing students with diverse academic opportunities.
Outstanding institution with stunning aesthetics
Emory University is an outstanding institution! The campus boasts stunning aesthetics, the individuals are friendly, and there is an abundance of activities available in the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia. Undoubtedly, my most cherished aspect of Emory was its people. I forged numerous friendships and encountered individuals from diverse backgrounds. Academically, Emory provides a manageable experience. The majority of my professors were excellent, although, as is the case with any university, there may be certain classes or professors that one may not enjoy. Nevertheless, conducting some inquiries and perusing online reviews should provide a fairly accurate insight into what to anticipate in each class.
Professors skilled in interactive discussions
I take great pleasure in the small class sizes and the professors' skill in creating interactive discussions. The professors demonstrate a strong enthusiasm for their subjects, consistently making the course content fascinating. Moreover, I am captivated by the beautiful campus, and its location is equally appealing.
Exceptional faculty members
Emory University takes pride in its exceptional faculty members who are highly educated and committed to utilizing innovative and successful teaching techniques.It is widely recognized for its extensive research endeavors, offering students a wide-ranging knowledge foundation that can be readily applied to a variety of academic disciplines.
Review of Emory university
The Professors are awesome and you get a lot of opportunities to get involved both on and off Campus. The campus is very lovely. The community of people are welcoming, super nice, and entertaining. The dining halls have popular music from throughout the decade playing and the overall atmosphere is super relaxing and enjoyable.
Emory is an amazing campus and a school with a nice social scene. I always wanted to see what it was like living in the states and this made it happen. Loving making new friends, acquaintances and some for life bonds as well as learning new subject every week. Emory is a great choice.