For Tara Chang, an MBA was destiny. Her father has one. Her two brothers each have MBAs on their resumes. Even her grandmother holds the distinction that is the modern day near-guarantee to wealth and professional success. For Chang, it wasn’t an “if” as much as a “when.” And the when came this past year. It also came via the less-talked-about one-year route.
“I think the one-year program has done exactly what I wanted out of an MBA,” says Chang, who recently graduated with her quickie MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. A business education staple in Europe, the one-year MBA has yet to gain significant steam in the states. Yet, with the soaring costs of traditional two-year programs, the less expensive one-year option seems to be gaining ground.
These accelerated degrees certainly are not MBA-lites. Elite schools such as Kellogg, Cornell’s Johnson School of Management and Emory’s Goizueta Business School all have one-year offerings. Throw in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and four of Poets&Quants’ top 25 schools have a one-year option, which excludes the Stanford Graduate School of Business MSx program and the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. In total, 21 of the Poets&Quants’ top 100 MBA programs house a one-year MBA.
AN EXTENSION TO STRONG UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS DEGREES
The path to programs like Kellogg, Goizueta, Cornell Johnson and Notre Dame are similar to Chang’s journey. Those programs essentially leverage an elite undergraduate business degree for much of the core work, allowing students to almost immediately jump into gradate-level electives. After graduating from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with an undergraduate degree, Chang spent time working at WebMD and most recently, New York City-based startup Visible Measures, where she worked her way up from being the only salesperson in a 20-employee venture to vice president of sales and marketing as the company ballooned to 150 in four years. The Los Angeles native boasts a top-shelf undergraduate degree, early career success, and is not looking to significantly jump industries.
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