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What to look for in a Corporate MBA

A corporate MBA can open doors, whether you want a coveted position in consulting or you dream of someday leading your own multinational company. Employers lean toward those with a mix of advanced education and real-world experience. Even if you're already working within the corporate world, earning your MBA can round out your resume. In some sectors, it's even considered a requirement to get the position you want. With an increasingly diverse array of MBA programs available, choosing the right degree program is an art. While the best program for you will depend on your particular needs, a few basic criteria should come first.

Flexible course of study

CMBA programs may vary most of all in how they structure the course of study. From fully online programs to completely traditional, in-class learning, the CMBA can be tailored to almost any schedule. An MBA for working professionals is especially designed to help professionals balance work and study. When picking a program, consider how you plan to structure your schooling. If you aim to study alongside regular work, look for a program you can complete more slowly, with a lighter course load each semester. If you're based far from any reputable universities, focus on distance-learning options. Even the most storied institutions are beginning to offer fully online CMBA programs. Finally, assess your own work habits and whether the flexibility of a fully online program is appealing.

Full accreditation

While many new start-ups are offering excellent online MBA programs, it pays to carefully read through their accreditations before enrolling. The main accreditation to look for is granted by the AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The nonprofit has assessed and accredited business schools worldwide since 1916.

Quality instruction

Certainly, the quality of teaching is the most vital element of any degree program. It can also be the most difficult to accurately assess. Reading "Best program" lists from various business-oriented publications can offer some hint of what to expect. For lesser-known schools with less press coverage, research the work of the professors most closely related to your field of interest. Speaking directly with alumni is another way to get an accurate read on the level of instruction.

In essence, finding the right CMBA is a personal decision. A few criteria should appear at the top of any candidate's list. The CMBA bridges the gap between generalized undergraduate business studies and current, in-depth knowledge of how the corporate world runs. As the degree program grows in popularity, simply having the letters on your resume may not be enough to satisfy more demanding employers. For such a career-oriented degree, weigh how heavily each school can enhance your standing as a job candidate.


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