If we look back two and a half decades in the past, only a select few graduates used to consider MBA for their post-graduation. Today, however, MBA has become a household concept in the country. Hundreds of thousands of graduates appear for the CAT and GMAT exams every year, which are the gateway to most prestigious B-Schools in the country and abroad. When it comes to full-time MBA programs, there are two variants of it – the traditional two-year program and a fast-track one year MBA which has recently started gaining popularity in the country.

What Sets One Year MBA apart?

One Year MBA in India is a relatively new concept and as it is apparent from the name itself, it is of shorter duration (11-15 months) compared to the traditional programs. However, that is surely not the only difference between the two. The most notable difference between them is of the admission criteria. For the two-year MBA programs, the admission is majorly dependent upon the performance of the applicant in the entrance exam and their past academic records, whereas with the one year MBA course, prior work experience of 2-5 years (varies from school to school) is a major pre-requisite along with the academic records and performance in the entrance tests. The selection criteria of one-year MBA programs also take into account leadership potential, track record of personal/professionals achievements, extra-curricular interests etc.

Even with a shorter duration, the one year MBA program is in no way less rigorous than its traditional counterpart. If anything, it is far more challenging as the students are required to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. However, due to prior work experience of minimum two years being an essential requirement, the students of one-year programs are expected to be up for this challenging and arduous program.

Difference between One-Year MBA & Executive MBA

MBA aspirants in India often confuse the one-year MBA program with Executive MBA or EMBA courses but these two are entirely different. An EMBA is a part time blended program with a focus on weekend classes and online self-learning recommended for working professionals who wish to acquire new skill sets in order to advance their careers without taking a break from the job. On the other hand, one year MBA is a full-time residential (mostly) post graduate program which focuses on building advanced managerial and leadership capabilities in students with substantial prior work experience.

Evolution of One Year MBA in India

Internationally, the one year MBA format is extremely popular with the students and working professionals. In India, on the other hand, the two-year program was the undisputed champion until about a decade ago in the MBA education scenario. However, with more and more working professionals re-evaluating their career graphs, the MBA applicant base is moving away from fresh graduates and towards such professionals. These professionals are keen to revamp their existing skills and return to work with leadership qualities in a short span of time. The rigorous one-year MBA offers these professionals the necessary skills and exposure to return to work as qualified managers and invigorating leaders.

Benefits of One Year MBA Program

Duration: The most obvious and important benefit of a one-year program is undeniably its duration. There is nothing better for a working professional than to return to the job just after 11-12 months required to attain the necessary skills essential for the career growth.

ROI & Opportunity Cost: The second most important benefit of enrolling in a one-year MBA is the higher return on investment (ROI) and reduced opportunity cost in terms of time and money. For instance, let us consider an example of a working professional with an annual income of 5 Lacs. He has the option of pursuing both the formats of MBA (two & one year) and let’s say both of the programs cost 15 Lacs in tuition and living expenses. Now, let’s assume the candidate will receive a hundred percent salary hike at the end of both the programs, making his revised salary as 10 Lacs.

Now, if he opts for the two year MBA program, the candidate’s investment is 15 lacs in fees and 10 lacs (5 lacs annual income) worth of salary for two years. This brings his total investment to 25 lacs.

On the other hand, if he opts for a one year MBA course, the total investment of the candidate is 20 lacs (15 lacs fees + one year’s income of 5 lacs). Now here is the catch, the candidate will also recover 10 lacs as revised salary in the second year. Hence, the net balance at the end of a two-year MBA program is -25 Lacs, whereas it is only -10 Lacs in the case of a one-year program. Moreover, the candidate of the one-year program will also gain an additional year of experience along with the salary hike.

Peer Learning: A typical classroom of a one-year MBA program consists of professionals from all walks of life, covering diverse industries and domains. This facilitates learning both inside and outside the classroom and a network of seasoned professionals to help and guide you along various avenues in your career.

Prominent Schools offering one year MBA in India

With more and more working professionals understanding the relevance of formal business education for their careers, various B-Schools in the country have started offering the one year MBA program. Some of the prominent business schools who cater to this specific need of working professionals are Indian School of Business (ISB) – Hyderabad & Mohali, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM)Chennai & Gurugram, Xavier Institute of Labour Relations (XLRI) – Jamshedpur, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) – Delhi, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) – New Delhi.