What length/scope MBA Program would a 30+ year old be best suited and gain the best chance of admissions?

What length/scope MBA Program would a 30+ year old be best suited and gain the best chance of admissions?

November 12, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Finding the right length and scope of MBA program that is suited for you based on years of experience is as critical as selecting the ideal Business School. 


Let’s take a look at the MBA options: (1) 1-year Full-Time MBA Program (Europe i.e. INSEAD or U.S. i.e. Cornell-Johnson), (2) 2-year Full-Time MBA Program (U.S. i.e. HBS), (3) 2-Year Executive MBA Program (U.S. i.e. Columbia), (4) 2+ year Part-Time MBA Program (U.S. i.e. NYU-Stern).


Typically, 30-year old candidates have 6-8 years of professional experience and would therefore flourish and excel in a program that is part-time, executive or even 1 year MBA (the average age for a full-time 2 year MBA is typically 25-26 and that is the age the school is looking to recruit). As such, the best available options would be the Executive MBA (EMBA), Part-Time MBAs (both for working professionals) and the One-year MBA which all historically have higher average age.


Nonetheless, for those 30+ year old candidates that are eager to still pursue a traditional Two year MBA, then below is a great list complied by MBACrystalBall, which highlights the average age and number of years of work experience for those applying to the Full-Time MBA in the U.S.:



You will see that for the 2 year programs you are just outside the age range for all the schools. Of course exceptions are often made but that should give you a good idea of other programs to explore instead of a Full-Time 2-year MBA. 


I also wanted to point out the differences between a 2-year MBA and EMBA (as noted by MBA vs. Executive MBA: Which Is for You?):



  • The trade-off between an MBA and Executive MBA is often cited as the lack of an immersive experience in the Executive MBA since the bulk of the time is spent away from the campus.
  • Full-time MBA students have full-day, intensive schedules, with social obligations making it tough to maintain a job outside the program. Therefore, often these MBA programs are more expensive since there is the loss of income to factor into the overall price.
  • Executive MBA students keep their full-time jobs and typically attend classes on Fridays and on the weekends (some programs have students fly in every few months for 1 week intensive classes and then do the rest of the classes remotely).


Finally to summarize here is a great article on the topic: Getting Into B-School When You’re 30+


Hope this helps!


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