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What Is a Mini MBA? Is it Right For You?

Nathan Wilgeroth / Abound: MBA

Career prospects in a COVID-era market continue to leave many Americans on shaky ground. Some industries will simply never be the same, and more and more people are losing their jobs and/or are deciding to change their career path amid the precarity. As we’ve seen in past times of economic instability, today’s conditions will leave many pursuing advanced degrees to boost their hiring potential or advocate for a fairer wage. 

But what if you’re already stretched too thin? What if going back to school sounds like a financial nightmare? Sure, financial aid and part-time options are available, but it’s valuable to know that a full-on graduate degree is not your only option. Enter the Mini MBA, a quick resource to boost both your credentials as well as your overall business savvy.

What Is a Mini MBA? 

A Mini MBA, also known as a Micro MBA, is an ultra-accelerated version of a Master’s of Business Administration. Similar to business certificates, with the differences often being in name alone, this abbreviated program tends to concentrate on specific skills in lieu of a broad survey of business management essentials. The curriculum is covered in as little as a single week to an extended period of short, weekly sessions. It is a cost-effective, efficient alternative to a comprehensive graduate degree. 

How Does It Compare to a Traditional MBA? 

Considering the “mini” signifier in its title, the Mini MBA differs from the standard MBA in a few key ways.

Probably most appealing to full-time workers or otherwise busy adults, the time commitment of a Mini MBA differs drastically from an MBA. Schools that offer a Mini MBA design the program with efficiency and students’ schedules in mind. Some are completed quickly through a crash course lasting no more than a couple of weeks! 

Alternatively, some Mini MBAs have schedules that are more akin to part-time master’s programs, meeting periodically over the course of a number of weeks or even months. Even if these do mimic the more common part-time format, however, they will nevertheless be completed in a shorter amount of time. With less material to cover, they take up less time over all!

So what is covered in a Mini MBA? Typically, these programs cover very specific and concentrated topics in certain areas of business. Standard MBAs often have specializations offered on top of the general management curriculum, while Mini MBAs are limited to the specialized curriculum itself, such as marketing, operations, accounting, and business ethics. 

Mini MBAs move quickly. There’s more ground to cover in less time, so the teaching style is more fast-paced than a traditional MBA program. Students who enroll in a Mini MBA program should be disciplined and attentive, mindful of the rigor that comes with such a short timeframe. 

One of the more attractive features of a Mini MBA is the cost. While traditional MBAs can bear a hefty price tag of $60,000–$100,000+, Mini MBAs typically range from just $1,000–$6,000. Not only would this relatively low cost be easier on your own wallet, but it may also be low enough for you to easily convince your current employer to pay for it!

A Mini MBA on your résumé indicates to potential employers that you have put care and attention into a certain professional skill. Any additional education or experience is bound to have a net positive effect on your employability. While Mini MBAs have their fair share of benefits, however, it’s important to note that they do not necessarily hold the same weight as regular MBAs. Employers might be less inclined to hire someone with a Mini MBA if another one of their candidates has a full master’s.

Is a Mini MBA Right for You? 

Mini MBAs can be an excellent choice in a few circumstances. For instance, professionals who are not directly involved in management might take a crash course in a certain area simply to brush up on their business knowledge without investing in a full degree. Similarly, seasoned business leaders could enroll in a program to further hone their skills in specialized areas. And, of course, it is an ideal alternative for those who do not have the time and/or money to spare for a more exhaustive program. Any bit of formal education helps! So consider your goals. Will a Mini MBA help get you there? 

What Should You Look for in a Mini MBA Program? 

To reap the most benefits from a Mini MBA, you should enroll in a program at an accredited business school. Different scams and diploma mills have infamous strategies to promote ‘quick-fixes’ to cheap credentials. It’s important not to fall into a trap of fake degrees and lackluster education. Instead, make sure you find a program offered at an accredited institution, which has been vetted by a trusted third party. 

Not sure where to start? Abound: MBA only features accredited institutions with flexible, accessible programming. Take a look at the schools we trust to find the right one for you.

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