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Those who already have a business or management undergraduate degree and who are already working in the business field may find that an accelerated MBA program is exactly what they're looking for. Students will be able to return to work more quickly after these full-time programs, causing them to lose less time in getting experience and be able to emerge into the job market better equipped to pursue the careers they desire.
Accelerated MBA programs follow the same coursework that traditional two year programs do, but many cut out the summer internships. Those who already have business degrees and who have been working for a few years will probably not miss this, as they will already have experience and networking opportunities that will allow them to easily find work upon graduation. An accelerated MBA program can be a great way for mid-career professionals to get the additional education they need to move up in the corporate ladder, strike out on their own or make career changes that will make them happier and more fulfilled.
Several of the top ranked business schools in the United States offer some sort of accelerated or one year MBA program. This includes prestigious institutions like the Columbia Business School, Cornell University, Emory University and Northwestern University. Students at these schools and others will enjoy the same high quality educational experience, but in half the time of a regular MBA program.
A majority of students applying to accelerated MBA programs will have undergraduate degrees in business, and some schools have it as a requirement. Exceptions may be made if students are returning to school within a set period of time or have completed degree or non-degree coursework elsewhere in several approved business topics. Some degree programs are designed specifically for those who already hold Masters or PhDs in subjects and who are looking to gain additional management skills. Programs will vary in the times they start and stop. For instance, some will require students to start in the spring and attend courses until the next spring, while others will start over the summer and join second year students in the fall and spring to complete their studies. Each type of program has its advantages and disadvantages so make sure you do your research and know what you want before you enroll.
Students who do not have an extensive background in business or who need or want more time to focus on specialized areas of business may not find that accelerated MBA programs provide what they need. These one year programs are more geared towards those who have a practical background in business, either through education or experience, and who are looking to continue their careers in higher level positions. Those who do not have much experience, or did not complete their undergraduate work in a business field may want to find a more traditional MBA program that can better prepare them to manage and deal with business issues.