One-Year MBA or Two-Year MBA : What Should You Choose?

One-Year MBA or Two-Year MBA : What Should You Choose?

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What are the top one-year MBA programs in the world? Why opt for it and not a two-year MBA course? Find the answers to all international MBA related questions!

Salil Singh
Updated on:  07 Sep 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 4.94K | 6  min read

In 2018, the total number of Indian students studying in universities abroad was 7,52,725 according to a report released by the Ministry of External Affairs. The United States continue to dominate as the preferred country for higher education followed by Canada and Australia.

In the US alone, the total number of international students from all places of origin in the field of Business and Management was 2,00,312 in 2015-2016. They constitute 19.2% of the total foreign student enrollment.

  1. list items What’s the Significance of MBA?
  2. list items What are the Features of One and Two - Year MBA?
  3. list items What are the Advantages Of 1-Year MBA?
  4. list items What are the Advantages of a 2-Year MBA Programme?
  5. list items Where to Study International MBA?
  6. list items What’s the Growth And Employment Outlook Of MBA?
  7. list items Conclusion

What’s the Significance of MBA?

The reason scholars opt for business courses is understandable. The central role a post graduate programme in management plays in creating value and better career opportunities and in ensuring higher wage premium attracts students to this discipline. According to a report published by Sofi, the return on Education in MS Computer Science cases is 10.2%, and the return on education in Engineering (Computer Science) + MBA cases is 48.9% in the United States. These high return figures clearly indicate the significance of getting an MBA.

So, now we will answer the oft-asked question connected to choosing an MBA program abroad. Which one is a better option: a one-year MBA program abroad or a traditional two-year one?

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What are the Features of One and Two - Year MBA?

One-Year MBA

  • list items Duration is 10-12 months.
  • list items The course structure is intense and densely packed.
  • list items Most colleges reside in the UK and Europe such as INSEAD, IMD, and Cambridge.
  • list items It is suitable for people who have considerable work experience as the course is more practical and work oriented.
  • list items The One-Year MBA College Fees at INSEAD, the leading school, is less than $1,00,000.

Two-Year MBA

  • list items Duration is 24 months.
  • list items The course structure is divided over two years, offering more theoretical knowledge. 
  • list items A mandatory internship is also a part of the course which provides practical experience whereas in one year programs, it is kept optional. Although, it is advisable to take internships in one year, considering the industry’s favourable attitude towards graduates with internships
  • list items Most of the preeminent colleges are in the U.S.
  • list items Doesn’t require extensive work experience of many years as it is in the case of one year programmes. In some cases, people with 4 or 4+ years of work-experience can still apply for it.
  • list items The fees at Stanford, the top school for 2-year MBA, is more than $1,20,000.

Read more about: Best MBA Countries: Top 10 Countries to Study MBA Abroad


What are the Advantages Of 1-Year MBA?

The major advantage of a one-year MBA course is the cost. It is a financially viable option and perfect for students who are bound by limitations pertaining to time.
The course fees are slightly on the lower side. Also, a one-year programme implies reduction in the cost of studying abroad by a year’s worth of living, accommodation, travelling, and miscellaneous expenses, as a result of which the student is able to make substantial savings.

For people who are already in a good job role, working with a reputed brand, and are being paid an excellent salary, this programme is the most suitable one as it does not lead to a long break in their career. It prevents the sense of disconnect from the professional sphere. Also, it reduces your opportunity cost, i.e. the amount of money you will not save as a result of taking off from work.

A lot of companies prefer to sponsor one-year management courses, if the candidate agrees to re-join the firm and bring relevant knowledge acquired over a 2 year MBA program. For individuals who own a business or have already done an MBA, the accelerated program adds to their value and skills.If you are looking for vertical growth in the organisation you work, it is the ideal course for you to elevate your career prospects.


What are the Advantages of a 2-Year MBA Programme?

The significant merit of a standard MBA is its duration which gives the students a considerable period of time to develop and strengthen their understanding of the topics covered in the course. Au contraire, the one-year MBA course gives limited time to students to acquire a grip on the subject. In fact, students only with an existing strong base in Economics and Mathematics are likely to learn better in this course. 

  • list items A two-year management degree ensures holistic learning. It teaches: Soft skills Leadership skills In-depth understanding of human resources, marketing, finance, accounting, etc.
  • list items Soft skills
  • list items Leadership skills
  • list items In-depth understanding of human resources, marketing, finance, accounting, etc.
  • list items It renders opportunities and time to the students to create a strong network with current professionals through the mandatory summer internship program. This in turn increases the possibility of getting better employment prospects for the students.
  • list items The practice-oriented coursework is essential for a deeper grasp of concepts. A one-year management course doesn’t allow it.
  • list items It enables the student to switch careers or attain comparatively a higher post.
  • list items The degree is fitting for any student from any field of study. From arts to media to engineering, a conventional MBA is for all whereas in one year programs, students must have a strong foundation in Mathematics and Economics to cope with the developments within the program.
  • list items Some employers prefer to recruit full-time two-year MBA graduates because firstly, they are expected to have done a more extensive study, and secondly, they are likely to be familiar with all aspects of business activities. 

Where to Study International MBA?

List of One-year MBA Colleges

  • list items INSEAD, France
  • list items IMD, Switzerland
  • list items University of Cambridge- Judge Business School, UK
  • list items SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy
  • list items IE Business School, Spain
  • list items University of Oxford- Said Business School, UK
  • list items Northwestern University- Kellogg School of Management, US
  • list items Cornell University- SC Johnson College of Business, US

List of Top Two-year MBA Institutes

  • list items Stanford Graduate School of Business, US
  • list items Harvard Business School, US
  • list items The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, US
  • list items London Business School, UK
  • list items MIT Sloan School of Management, US
  • list items University of Chicago Booth School of Business, US
  • list items Columbia Business School, US

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What’s the Growth And Employment Outlook Of MBA?

“Globally, 86 percent of companies plan to hire recent MBA graduates in 2017..” The future only looks promising as in the US alone, the employment of management graduates is set to grow by 8% till 2026 creating over 8,00,000 jobs. The median salary in the field was $104,240 last year. It is the highest median wage when compared with other occupational groups and is set to grow further.

According to the report of Graduate Management Admission Council, around 77% of employers in the United States hired MBA graduates in 2018 and 78% are expected to hire recent management graduates in 2019, which implies it is the right time to pursue an MBA program abroad!


The decision to study a one-year MBA abroad or a two-year course is subjective. A professional who wants to boost his/her career and doesn’t want to take a long hiatus from his/her career is better suited to an accelerated management program. A graduate with only a few years of experience looking for an international post-graduate degree will find the typical MBA a better fit. 
Both the degrees will have a remarkable impact on your CV and play a monumental role in increasing your employability quotient. To get more information on the eligibility of for an International MBA programme, check our blog

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