There are two main parts to a Masters in Business Administration: Academic education and networking. There are two reason why you would pursue an MBA: career change or career augmentation. And there are three choices for the type of program you will want to pursue: Full-time, Part-time, and Online. Each one of the program types (FT, PT & O) puts different weights on the amount of each part (education and networking) of the MBA so your decision should be based on which part you think will be more important. Which one you should find more important should be based on the reason you chose an MBA.
A full-time program will give you equal parts education and networking. A part-time program will give you more education than networking. An online program will give you even more education than networking than the part-time program. Full-time programs are always “better” than part-time and online programs simply because full-time means you’re 100% immersed in the action.
If you want to change your career, you want as much networking as you can get. If you want to augment your career without disrupting your career, you’ll want as much education as you can and as little networking as you’ll need (your work is your network in this case). In fact, if education is all you want, save yourself the cash and enroll in the Personal MBA .
Ultimately, it comes down to who you know (networking) and how well you perform when the opportunity is presented to you. All the education in the world, be it from a Sloan B-school or Wharton B-school, won’t help you if you don’t know your stuff – the MBA is not a meal ticket. A lot of very wealthy and very successful businessmen and women have no more than a high school diploma.