A simple one word answer to this question will be – “YES.” Now, let’s elaborate on this “Yes”.
To begin with, one-year MBA program need not mean that it is not a regular MBA. It is a myth that all “regular” MBA programs are 2 year MBA programs.
Traditional one-year MBA programs: A lot of B schools offer only one year MBA programs. Almost all the European MBA programs are one year programs. These programs are designed for people with work-experience, and hence, are compact programs. Often, they do not have the mandatory industry internship. Since these programs have traditionally been one year programs, the curriculum is designed accordingly. As a result, students gain complete benefit out of the program including placement opportunities. Some of the top European B schools which offer only one-year MBA programs areOxford, Cambidge, IE, IESE, INSEAD, etc.
Pros: The biggest positive of these one year programs is the opportunity cost. Students stay away from the job market for only one year and hence, lose only one year’s salary. Within one year, they are again in the job market with an enhanced Resume and skill sets. An indication of the worthiness of these one year MBA programs is the average starting salary of an MBA graduate of these B schools. For instance, in 2010, the mean salary of the graduating MBA class of INSEAD was € 87,400.
Cons: The absence of the mandatory industry internship makes it comparatively difficult for international students to land a job. This tends to be an even bigger problem during periods of economic slowdown. Moreover, from day one, a student has to be on the lookout for job opportunities, which can create a lot of pressure to international students.
US and Canadian one-year MBA programs: InUSA andCanada, the traditional MBA program is for 2 years and has a mandatory industry internship. However, some colleges such asQueens, Richard Ivy, Kellogg, Cornell, etc. offer one – yr MBA programs for people with more work experience. These one-year programs have a compact curriculum and are more general management focused as compared to the 2 year MBA programs. Also, these one year programs do not have the internship program.
Pros: Like the European one year MBA programs, the biggest positive of the one year programs offered by theUS and Canadian B schools is the opportunity cost. Students stay away from the job market for only one year and hence, lose only one year’s salary. Within one year, they are again in the job market with an enhanced Resume and skillsets. As compared to students who do the 2 year MBA program, the students who do the one year programs spend one year’s worth of cost of living less and earn one year’s worth of salary more. Very fewUS and Canadian B schools offer one year MBAs and they smaller class sizes. As a result, placements are usually not difficult.
Cons: The biggest disadvantage of the one year programs offered by theUS and Canadian B schools is that this is usually not the traditional MBA program of that school. As a result, graduates of the one year MBA program tend to get lesser starting salaries than the graduates of the 2 year MBA program of that B school. In fact, very often, B schools clearly specify that the one year program is for people who plan to go back to their companies or family businesses. A case in point is the one year MBA programs offered byColumbiaBusinessSchool.
Moreover, the absence of the mandatory industry internship makes it comparatively difficult for international students to land a job during periods of economic slowdown. In addition to this, students are not able to earn as they would have done if there was a paid internship.
Also, from day one, a student has to be on the lookout for job opportunities, which can create a lot of pressure to international students.
Indian one-year MBA programs: In India,IndianSchool of Business,Hyderabad and Great Lakes, Chennai offer the only truly one yr MBA programs inIndia. These B schools offer only one year MBA programs and are designed for people with work experience. These MBA programs are industry focused and have great placements. For instance, graduates of ISB usually get a 200% hike in their pre-MBA salary.
Since the past few years, a few of the Indian Institutes of Management, in addition to their standard 2 year MBA programs, have started offering full time one year MBA programs for people who have work experience of 5-7 years. These MBA programs are general management focused and do not include any internship. The Indian Institutes of Management which offer one year MBA programs are IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore and IIM Lucknow-Noida. In the one year programs of the IIMs, majority of the class comprises of sponsored candidates who have been sent on a study sabbatical by their organizations. The biggest disadvantage of the one year programs offered by the IIMs is that this is not their traditional MBA program. As a result, they always end up playing second fiddle to the 2 year MBA program.
In conclusion, if a one year MBA happens to be the traditional or flag ship MBA program of a B school, then it is as good as any 2 year MBA program, and is definitely worth the investment. However, if a B school offers a one year MBA program, in addition to a 2 year MBA program, then go through the placement data carefully before applying.