Many highly qualified professionals who would like to pursue MBA degrees hesitate because of the challenges posed by balancing work, school and family life. How can anyone have time for all three? Would it be worth it to give up family dinners for one’s career? Do MBA programs allow enough flexibility to share quality time with one’s family, achieve success at work and perform well at school?
Weekend MBA programs are designed specifically to meet the needs of just these individuals. By holding classes on weekends — sometimes just twice a month — these part-time MBA programs provide the flexibility you need to maintain work-life balance while taking the next step in your education and your career.
When to Pursue a Weekend MBA Program
Weekend MBA programs are ideal for experienced professionals who want to advance within their current organization or along a similar career path at another company. Individuals who have achieved much in the business world but need additional skills, knowledge, credentials or connections to advance further will be well served by a weekend MBA program. The chief advantage of the part-time format over other MBA programs is the ability to continue working and making time for your family during your studies. Weekend MBA programs also allow you to take more than two years to complete your degree if necessary, so you can adjust your time commitment to make room for other parts of your life.
When to Avoid a Weekend MBA Program
Weekend MBA programs are not ideal for students who wish to make a major career shift from one field to another. While some weekend MBA students certainly accomplish this feat, #full-time MBA programs are best suited to this goal, as they provide an immersive educational experience with the maximum opportunity for specialization. Part-time MBA applicants who prefer to keep their weekends free should consider an #evening MBA. And professionals who require even more flexibility than weekend MBA programs offer might consider a #distance learning MBA program.
What a Weekend MBA Program Means to Your Career
Weekend MBA degrees are designed to complement your professional work, providing you with skills and knowledge that you can apply immediately, while also equipping you to face challenges at higher levels of management in the future. The MBA degree typically brings with it higher earnings, accelerated promotions and an expanded professional network. While figures are not available specifically for Weekend MBA salaries, part-time MBA students average an annual salary of $76,000 at their first post-graduation jobs, according to the GMAC.
Weekend MBA Program Rankings
There are no rankings specific to weekend MBA programs, but U.S. News & World Report does produce an annual ranking of the top part-time MBA programs, many of which include weekend scheduling options:
- Northwestern University (Kellogg)
- University of California — Berkeley (Haas)
- University of Chicago (Booth)
- New York University (Stern)
- University of California — Los Angeles (Anderson)
- University of Michigan — Ann Arbor (Ross)
- University of Texas — Austin (McCombs)
- University of Southern California (Marshall)
- Indiana University — Bloomington (Kelley)
- The Ohio State University (Fisher)