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Is a One Year MBA the New Norm?

Image: 12 month MBA

A one year MBA program may sound ambitious for a graduate degree, but many top universities and institutions today offer an accelerated MBA program. Choosing a fast-track approach may not only be more practical than a traditional MBA, but it also might be more effective in preparing you for the pace and demands of today's workplace.

What is A 12-Month MBA?

Traditionally, an MBA (Master of Business Administration) was a graduate-level degree attained by an elite group of educated people: those who aspired to leadership roles in top companies and consultancies. That's changed a lot today. Professionals in various industries and management levels seek an MBA. And a one-year MBA isn't a new concept. It was first offered more than 50 years ago, when the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business introduced it in 1963, and more and more institutions have followed suit.

A one-year MBA doesn't have to mean the program is any different than a traditional MBA in rigor and substance. It can cover the same core subjects as a traditional MBA in a faster time period. One-year programs may be designed differently; in a traditional MBA program, students may take summer semesters off, or have shorter classes, whereas a 12-month program typically requires year-round attendance. Most importantly for professionals researching an MBA program, today's potential employers and industry leaders see the value in this format, as institutions seek to adapt and align coursework with today's dynamic and faster-paced workplace.

Why Choose a One-Year MBA?

Universities offer a one-year MBA program because today's students see the benefits these degree programs offer. A well-rounded program with an accelerated timeline is an equitable approach in today's ever-changing workplace. Shorter programs also offer professionals the opportunity to take a key step toward potentially moving their career forward in a shorter amount of time. Meanwhile, family and career responsibilities make a shorter time spent in school more attractive as well.

As far as what's covered in a 12-month MBA program, the rise in schools that grant a one-year MBA in recent years offer everything from a general Master of Business Administration degree to unique, specialized areas of focus. Professionals can now seek specialized MBAs in fields such as marketing, accounting, healthcare management, entrepreneurship and more.

What to Look for When Choosing a 12-Month MBA

Not all fast-track MBA programs are created equal, though. When researching a one-year MBA program, make sure to look for one offered by an accredited university. You should also look for a program that has a large network, good reputation and is a sensible investment compared to the cost. It should also be efficiently designed. One modern approach to this is an advance in education called adaptive learning, which uses technology to customize learning and adapt for each individual student's needs so they can skip over what they already know and focus on what they need to learn. Take time to research programs and specializations to see whether it's the best match for both your career goals as well as what skills employers are seeking now.

Considering pursuing an MBA? Learn more about AIU's personalized MBA program that lets you skip over what you already know and focus on what you need to learn.