What Is an Accelerated MBA Program?

For many working professionals, the value of the accelerated MBA is simply too great to ignore: Earn an MBA with the education, prestige and employability of a traditional two-year program — in half the time, and often at a fraction of the tuition.

At a juncture when more people need an MBA for career advancement but are reluctant to set their financial lives back for years, the one-year MBA’s time has come. Worldwide demand for the accelerated MBA is rising quickly. Today, at least 90 accredited business schools across the globe offer this program. In fact, it is now the norm in Europe.

Program Structure

Business schools are innovating MBA program delivery by offering feasible options that appeal to a wider range of students. In addition to traditional two-year programs, there are now part-time, executive, online and accelerated MBA options.

Top programs like Boise State University’s Master of Business Administration Online combine a one-year accelerated format with online delivery to provide the flexibility many working professionals demand. Boise State’s College of Business and Economics holds AACSB accreditation. Its online MBA program consists of 13 courses, which students can complete in as few as 12 months. Each course lasts seven weeks. The fully digital curriculum includes courses on management, finance, marketing, communication, and information systems.

This format best suits working professionals who want the versatile education they need for career advancement within their companies and industries — or elsewhere. Companies that want to fast-track employees they recognize as future leaders find the online format equally attractive.

Facts and Finances

The Wall Street Journal recently conducted a survey to create a profile of accelerated MBA program graduates. Here is what they found:

Accelerated MBA: Student Profile
Median Age: 29.
Median Years’ Experience: 6.
Median Years’ Management Experience: 2.
Median Pre-MBA Salary: $55,000.
Median Post-MBA Salary: $90,000.
Two Years Later Salary: $110,000
Percentage who said they got a promotion post-MBA: 78%.

An accelerated online program precludes a variety of costs associated with two-year on-campus programs. The accelerated program offers the following savings:

  • One year’s income.
  • Room and board.
  • Higher tuition and fees.
  • Interest charges on student debt.
  • Driving and parking expenses.

Not only do one-year program graduates save on the above expenses, they also achieve a faster return on their smaller investment. In addition, they tend to receive the same salaries as graduates from two-year programs.

When you consider that many students doubled their salaries in three years from the time they started a one-year MBA, the financial case for an accelerated program becomes even stronger. Weigh that outcome against the observation of CNN/Fortune Magazine writer David Bogoslaw, who noted that “Once you add in the lost income from quitting your job, the interest payments on student loans, and the ever-rising tuition and fees, the total cost of the degree can approach $350,000.”


For the working professional, there is yet one final consideration that often tips the scale in favor of the one-year MBA. If you are losing out on promotions and career opportunities to MBA graduates, you may be sacrificing your prime years of leadership potential and slowing your career trajectory by spending years saving for a two-year MBA. You and your family may also be experiencing undue stress as you consider the financial risks, burdens and setbacks of an on-campus program.

With the option of an affordable, online one-year MBA, you no longer have to spend years in career stagnation — years you could be climbing the ladder — as you put your goals on hold. Now you can accelerate your success timeline with a program designed to maximize your opportunities while minimizing your risks.

Learn more about the Boise State online MBA program.


Wall Street Journal: The Top MBA Programs if You’re in a Hurry

U.S. News & World Report: How to Choose Among Accelerated, Executive, and Online MBAs

Fortune/CNN: The Rise of the One-Year MBA

Poets and Quants: Has the One-Year MBA Come of Age?

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