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Distance MBA or full time MBA: which one to pursue?

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The question of choosing Distance MBA instead of full time MBA is dependent on many factors including time and money, the often cited reasons for choosing the former over the latter. But there are many who want to know which is better? Choosing a full time MBA or going for a Distance MBAwhile the student starts working and gains real life work experience.

There is no firm answer to this question but we can consider many factors and depending on the answers, one can go ahead and choose which one to pursue.

Is time a consideration for you?

If you are a person with little to no time available to you for pursuing a course which requires nearly two years on campus attending classes, then a full time MBA is not for you. Not all the graduates who come out of college are willing to spend another two years in class rooms studying but would rather directly go for real life work experience and gain considerable knowledge in the process. A Distance MBA would suit these candidates more who don’t have much time on their hands to spend on earning a full time degree. Most regular MBA courses are of the duration of two years and in some cases, one year. A Distance MBA is flexible and can be completed in two or three years and is useful for working executives.

Is money a factor?

Most regular or full time MBAs are an expensive proposition and most popular MBA courses in India cost anywhere between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 17-18 lakh. Along with tuition fees, there is also food and accommodation costs for the duration of the full time courses and some extra expenditure incurred during the period like transportation and leisure activities.

Since money could be a constraint for many candidates, a full time MBA sets back many candidates by quite big margin and most students have to go for student loan which though is very helpful, becomes cumbersome while repaying the loan amounts after once the degree is over.  There is also the part of opportunity cost of earning for two years in which the students attends class room which could also be great boon for many students from disadvantaged position. A Distance MBA with its relatively low fees and the option of working at the same time can prove beneficial for many students.

Job options:

There should be no doubt that a full time MBA is most preferred by recruiters or organizations looking to hire candidates. WhileDistance MBA on its own may not fetch the big remuneration the regular MBAs are famous for, it certainly adds a great depth to a working professional’s CV. While many say that a distance degree is not viewed favorably by recruiters, the increasing use of technology and a curriculum better suited to real life situations and the practical applications of using it daily in their respective fields has put the spotlight on Distance MBA.

But if you are looking to get big pre-placement offers, it may not be possible with a distance degree though it in reality, it positions a candidate better while going ahead with his career. Work experience plus a hard earned degree can be a potential USP for many of students.


One of the best aspects of a full time MBA is peer learning. In this day and age, networking is seen as a great tool in corporate world and a regular MBA with two years of shared class room learning and sharing accommodation makes way for a friendship that lasts lifetime. It is in this context, a distance education lack in a major way.  The opportunity to have a peer view and interaction can sometimes prove invaluable. Hence if you go for a Distance MBA, it is a necessary compromise one must make in lieu to reduced cost and earning a degree from the comfort of their own home. For many students with the need for flexible study hours, this is an opportunity cost that they are willing to forgo.

Finally, the decision to go for a Distance MBA or a full time MBA lies with you and you can make an informed choice by going through above mentioned factors. While it is clear that if you have time to prepare for the competitive entrance exams and the large amount of funds required for paying the tuition fees, you can think of a full time MBA. But if you are looking to work in lieu of foregoing full time classes, you can always choose a Distance MBA which is flexible in terms of schedule and also costs less on your pocket. Let us know what you think is the better solution for you!

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