A Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) has long been recognized as prerequisite for advancing up the business and corporate ladder. While two-year MBA programs have traditionally been the norm in North America, Europe’s long time and popular accelerated format for earning an MBA has gained wide acceptance and popularity in Canada and the United States. These programs allow students to complete their MBA in as little as 12 months at a significantly lower tuition cost.
What is An Accelerated Master’s in Business Administration?
An accelerated MBA program works best for those students who intend to stay in the same industry and need to increase their depth of knowledge and skills in their chosen field. A student who chooses an accelerated program must have a strong background and understanding of business administration fundamentals to successfully complete the program. Schedules for accelerated programs vary from five days a week or alternating weekends. All of the programs are intense.
Surveys of MBA students and alumni who entered an accelerated MBA alternative reveal a strong drive to get into a program, complete it and return to the work force in the shortest time possible. In fact, 82 percent of those surveyed in 2012 agreed that this was their intent because they realized that an MBA would increase their earning power. A 2009 review of pre-MBA salaries indicated an average yearly salary of $55,000. A post-MBA salary rose to $95, 000. There was clearly a long time return on investment.
Enrollment in an accelerated program requires commitment and discipline to studies. Students report that 15 hours of outside classroom study is the weekly norm. The classroom environment is fast paced and, as one student noted, “exhausting.” The work is worth it.
The downside to most accelerated programs is that there is no time for an internship that is typically part of a two-year program. Students often rely on an internship as an opportunity for real world experience and a possible job when they graduate.
The Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business and Economics Accelerated MBA Program
Laurier University was founded in 1911 and has grown to become one of the best and most respected universities in Canada. Laurier’s School of Business & Economics introduced its accelerated MBA option at the Waterloo campus in 1986. It is one of the few schools to offer a 12-month program. The growth of Laurier University’s MBA program has been due, in part, to the reduction of foreign students being allowed to enter the United States on student visas and is seen as an excellent graduate program alternative to studying in their home country.
The core program is structured to meet five days a week from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM — for 12 months. During terms 2 and 3 electives are offered from 8:30 AM to 9:50 PM. The program attracts older, already employed students who have an undergraduate business degree and want to advance in their careers, as well as students fresh from undergraduate studies.