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Why Part-Time Study is the Future of the MBA

Over the past forty years, finance, business administration, and accounting have gone from being necessary but functional parts of running a company to powerful drivers of wealth in their own right, more and more students who want to get ahead in a competitive workplace have gravitated toward degree programs that prepare them for leadership roles in business.

In that time, the MBA has become one of the primary credentials for up-and-coming businesspeople, and there has been a veritable explosion of schools and universities offering students a high quality MBA experience.

Because they are designed for students who have already had several years of experience working full-time, MBAs have also become popular as a bridge for seasoned workers who want to upgrade their skills and move into upper management positions. In many cases, MBA programs are viewed as an opportunity to jump-start a mid-career advancement.

This has led many schools to reconsider how their MBA programs are structured. Where it was once normal for students to pursue a full-time MBA after a couple of years working in low-level positions, it has become increasingly common for programs to offer part-time courses designed to appeal to busy professionals who don’t want to take a lengthy leave-of-absence from their job to go back to school.

For students who are already climbing the corporate ladder but need more credentials to advance into management positions, one of the chief benefits of a part time MBA program is that it makes it possible to get a cutting-edge education at a recognized institution without needing to leave the workforce.

But part-time MBAs are also popular among another segment of the population: older workers who may not be able to afford to take time off from work but who understand that more education is essential to furthering their careers.

Among this segment of the workforce, the part-time MBA offers a golden opportunity to upgrade skills and develop a knowledge base that will help them move into more senior positions — an opportunity they might not be able to take if it meant giving up their salary for a year.

Schools like the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University have had significant success building part-time programs that give students access to the same quality of education and the same opportunities as their full-time peers.

This is in part because Lazaridis has tailored its part-time program to the needs of its students, many of whom live in the business hub of Toronto and don’t want to relocate for school. Such students can take evening courses at Lazaridis’ Toronto facilities, which makes it even easier to continue building a career in Toronto while developing the skills and experience necessary to get ahead through Lazaridis’ internationally recognized program.

Because an MBA can provide a springboard to a variety of well-compensated career paths in industries like finance, operations, and consulting, it has become one of the most desirable education options currently available. And with more and more students coming to the MBA later in life, it is likely that part-time study will only become a more standard choice in the years to come.