Is a Part Time MBA Right for You?

Is a Part Time MBA Right for You?

Getting an MBA is a priority if you are looking to differentiate yourself in the job market, fast-track your skills and knowledge and lay the bedrock for future success. But an MBA is a big commitment – not only financially, but in the very real terms of your time and energy.

Advances in digital delivery mechanisms and blended-learning platforms over recent years have made part-time MBA programmes not only more viable but more attractive than ever before.

But is it for you?

Depending on your goals, your needs, your personal circumstances and your career progression to date, you might well be tempted to opt for a part-time MBA. But there are a number of pros and cons that you might want to weigh up first.

Part-Time Pros: Flexibility

Pursuing an MBA part-time gives you the flexibility to combine your professional development with full-time work commitments. Classes are usually scheduled outside normal office hours and at weekends – giving you the necessary wriggle room if you have a high-demand or leadership role, or if you simply cannot afford to take a year out (at least) from your current job.

It’s a Family Affair

An MBA is a major commitment – among other things, you’ll be expected to read papers, prepare cases, attend classes, deliver projects, commit to teamwork and more. If you have a family or children, you will need their full agreement and support before signing up to your degree. The part-time option does offer a number of advantages to you and your family: firstly your income is likely to be less affected; and you may also find that your programme is less demanding in terms of time away from your family. Careful though. Those evening and weekend classes can be a big ask of your partner, spouse or children.

On-the-Job Impact

Doing your MBA part-time gives you access to deep insight, knowledge, new ideas, tools and approaches – all of which you can implement in your day-to-day work. That means that not only do you have a chance to translate theory into practice and embed your learning, your company also benefits from the immediate impact of your new skills and competencies. A win-win situation?

A Marker of Ambition

Committing to an MBA while remaining in your full-time work role flags ambition, drive and initiative to your employers. It demonstrates that you are keen to advance while being confident in your ability to deliver at work – marking you out as a good potential prospect for promotion. You may even be in a position to request help financing your MBA from your employer if they see you as a long-term leadership development investment opportunity.

Tipping the Balance

When you combine an MBA with a full-time job, you master an important skill for life as well as work: the ability to balance commitments. Juggling the demands of your degree with what is asked of you at work and home means you learn to prioritise, react and delegate where necessary – a core leadership competence and a skill that will help you accelerate your professional development.

Part-Time Cons: Time, Time, Time

While the part-time option can give you the time to be flexible and combine responsibilities and commitments, you need to be aware that in overall terms, gaining your degree will take you longer. Part-time MBAs can last more than 2 years. By definition, your studies will be as challenging as a full-time MBA – it will just take more time for you to complete them.


Tied to the issue of time is the challenge of simply keeping the momentum going. As your degree takes longer to complete, the onus will be on you to keep juggling and balancing your other commitments over a longer period of time. And be aware that…

Juggling is Hard

Keeping every ball in the air is not easy. Work and family responsibilities are not only unlikely to abate, they are likely to become more pressing as you take time away in the evenings and weekends to pursue your MBA. You need to think long and hard about whether or not you can sustain the energy and the time-keeping to see your part-time degree through the end.

It’s a Family Affair

And as mentioned earlier, part-time degrees can exert a significant toll on partners, spouses and children. You need to have the fullest buy-in from your nearest and dearest, as it will fall to them to cover for your absences and fill in for you as you are tied up elsewhere.

These are just some of the big issues to consider before you commit to full-time or part-time MBA.

If you’ve already decided that an MBA is for you, and you are at the earlier stages of your career, it might be that committing to a full-time programme is the right choice for you. Alternatively you might be better suited to a part-time option, especially if you wish to get a few years of experience under your belt and apply to your company for sponsorship.

At Rotterdam School of Management we have a world-class portfolio of MBA programmes that will accelerate your leadership development and equip you with the skills and knowledge to deliver impact – whether you wish to pursue your degree full-time or part-time, wherever you are in your career.

Why not get in touch with our Admissions Team today and explore the options that best map to your life, your commitments and your goals?