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The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it.

Now that you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with options regarding country and college. Alongside you’ll find yourself considering whether to opt for a One-year or Two-year MBA program. In this article, we aim to give you the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.

One of the foremost concerns applicants have when faced with this decision is quality of education. Does a One-year MBA offer the same quality of education as a Two-year program? The short answer is a resounding yes! Duration is not an indicator of quality.

You must be wondering then, what is the purpose of a Two-year program when students can avail the opportunity to assimilate the same knowledge and information through a One-year program? The answer is anything but simple. You see, the duration of an MBA program is country and requirement specific.

Let’s see if we can simplify that! While countries such as the US have a propensity for a Two-year program, European countries (except schools such as HEC, Manchester, and LBS) prefer a 1-1.5 year duration. In India, the executive MBA programs have a one-year term. Singapore offers students a 16-month program. Canada provides options for both, One and Two-year MBA programs. The options are endless, no?

Another factor that determines the “kind” of MBA program on offer is students’ requirement. While some prospective MBA applicants seek to strengthen their knowledge, others aim for a complete functional change. Schools offer programs of varying lengths to cater to as many student requirements as possible.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the two programs.

One-year MBA
Two-year MBA
Does not offer an internship and hence, no networking opportunities Offers an internship, networking and career building services
Suitable for students with over 5-10 years’ experience. Eligibility is also determined through exceptional GMAT scores Suitable for students with 5 or fewer years of work experience. Eligibility is not determined solely by GMAT scores
Has pre-requisite requirements such as quantitative knowledge (Math or Economics) and managerial experience. Also suitable for applicants who have completed an MBA program albeit from a less recognized university (as per international standards) Applicants can have an educational background in any subject ranging from Art to Media to Technical to Military. Students are not required to have prior managerial experience either
Unsuitable for complete functional change Preferred program for students aiming for a drastic change in their industry and function
Faster ROI Slower ROI
Fewer options for B-school selection Significantly higher number of B-schools offer a Two-year program
Immense pressure Students have the luxury of exploring the program, their goals, and other opportunities
Cost seems significantly lower Cost seems significantly higher considering the additional year of living expense, tuition fees, and lost earning opportunities
Suitable for senior executives who are aiming for sponsorship from their current employer and entrepreneurs Suitable for applicants who are comfortable returning to the professional world after a two-year hiatus

Now that we have the basic differences covered let’s examine some Indian and US schools that offer both types of programs.

India (One-Year Executive MBA programs) USA (One-Year MBA programs)
ISB Cornell
IIM Ahmedabad Thunderbird
IIM Indore University of Pittsburgh (Katz)
IIM Calcutta University of Florida (Hough)
IIM Lucknow Babson College (Olin)
IIM Bangalore Columbia University
SP Jain Northwestern University (Kellogg)
Great Lakes Emory University
XLRI Boston University
MDI University of Notre Dame
University of Southern California

*Tip – before applying to any of these colleges, please do exhaustive research as some of these colleges have pre-requisite requirements for their One-year MBA program.

Additional Resources:

Watch the following video, to know more about 1 year MBA v/s 2 year MBA programme

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