One-year and two-year MBA programmes equally popular

OK it’s not statistically the most viable study ever undertaken but my own poll “What type of MBA Programme are you Considering” has revealed that one- and two-year MBA programs are almost equally popular. The shorter model, preferred by most but not all European MBA models, just shades it with 37% of the vote while the two-year model, preferred by most US schools and notables such as London Business School, gets 32%. To take the poll, if you haven’t yet, click here, I am interested in your opinion:

If you want more detailed information about what MBA Applicants think, by the way, look here. This QS Survey of thousands of MBA applicants shows a noticeable decrease in interest in two-year programs between 2008-2009 (from 48% to 43%) and increase in interest in one-year programs (40% – 44%). This is reflected by the significant decrease in candidates interested in studying in the US, which predominately runs two-year programs. In light of the recession such courses are much more costly in comparison to Australia and Europe, factoring in the two-year break from earnings.

So what does all this mean? Well, not all that long ago the two-year model was dominant. There is every reason to believe that it will be again. After all it allows MBA students an extra period of time for self-reflection and for direction change, which is one of the great benefits of a longer study period.

However, the one-year program is a shorter, sharper shock to the system. At a time of economic uncertainty – even if you believe things are looking up – the one-year option seems more attractive than before. Even American students are coming round to the idea of one-year programs in increasing numbers with more studying in Europe than ever before.

Do I think this is a long-term trend? No. I expect longer programs to reassert their dominance in years to come, but not by much.

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