You might have made your choice of pursuing a full-time MBA program. However, God forbid if you do not make it to your dream b-school, be prepared with a plan B. Full-time MBA programs provide students with a rich experience and engage them fully with the learning process. Although the opportunity cost is high in terms of lost compensation and the additional burden of funding your MBA, a full-time MBA program is ideal for people who are planning to make a career transition ( in position, domain or in function). The biggest advantage of a full-time MBA program is the summer internship program, where you can apply what you have learned.
However, if you do not want to compromise on your target b-school, try part-time MBA program. I had interacted with many part-time MBAs from various top business schools. The feedback that I received was that, although part time MBA programs adds to the stress of a full time job , steals your evenings and weekends, they reduces the debt risk associated with a full-time MBA program. If you can handle your family, education and your job simultaneously, then this option is for you.
Executive MBA or EMBA is another option for people in their late 30s or early 40s who might feel embarrassed to be part of a 20 something class. EMBA programs conduct their courses on weekends and evenings. Both executive and part-time MBA program are 2-5 years in length. The companies that you work with might be able to fund your EMBA programs (if you commit to work with them for 3-5 years after your MBA).
Distance MBA learning program are among the fastest growing programs in the education sector. The biggest advantage is that students can access course content online and design a schedule based on their workload. Normally this program is for candidates who want to avoid the hassle involved in relocating to another country. Distance MBA program takes 2-3 years to complete. Lack of interaction with a highly competent class is one aspect that is lacking in these types of programs.
If you want to be a faculty in a business school then a P.H.D would be the right choice for you (Read PhD After Executive MBA) . Since the faculty positions in top business schools are limited, the selection process would be much tougher than what is involved in a regular business job. It would take 4-5 years to get your P.H.D. The advantage of a P.H.D program is that you will receive significantly more financial assistance compared to a regular MBA program.
Dual degree program is another option for people who want to learn the nuances of a business and be an expert in their chosen field. The advantage of this program is that you will get two degrees within the same period as you complete your MBA. However, you have to pay additional amount for your second degree and the learning process can be stressful. This option is not suited for people who want to make a transition in their career.
Business schools also provide specialization programs like Accounting, Operation research etc. These programs are ideal for entrepreneurs who want to save their time and learn key courses that would be beneficial for their businesses.
FT EMBA Ranking : http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/emba-rankings
FT Full time MBA Ranking : http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-rankings
Business Week Part-time MBA Ranking: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/