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The Benefits of Working While Pursuing Your MBA

If you are considering returning to school to pursue your Master of Business Administration, you will find many varieties of programs available:


A full-time MBA program typically takes between one and two years, and students go to class primarily during the day. Students enrolled in full-time programs often have less work experience or may be transitioning to grad school straight out of undergrad. The course load often does not allow students to work while in school, but there may be opportunities for full-time internships and study abroad experiences.


A part-time or executive program normally requires at least a two-year commitment, but students often take longer to complete the degree. These programs are designed for working adults, and applicants often have eight or more years of experience in their fields before enrolling. Classes are typically on weeknights with flexible scheduling.


Online MBA programs are the latest development in higher education. These programs offer much flexibility for students, including flexibility in scheduling, the required professional experience, and program length.


A hybrid program is a cross between an on-campus experience and an online MBA option, allowing students to pick and choose their class setting depending on the course. Many programs are veering in this direction, allowing students the opportunities to network on campus but still have the flexibility to take classes online when needed.

While each type of program has its pros and cons, working professionals often choose to pursue a part-time or executive program for practical reasons. At OBU, we offer students the option to pursue their MBA either 100 percent online or in the classroom at our Oklahoma City facility.

If you’re considering earning your MBA but don’t want to give up your career for a few years, these options will accommodate your busy work schedules and provide you with a valuable education. There are also many other great reasons to pursue an MBA while you are still working. Here are just a few of the key benefits you will find if you choose to continue working while going to graduate school.

Top Benefits of Working While Pursuing Your MBA

Tuition reimbursement

One of the major incentives for professionals to consider pursuing their MBAs is company tuition reimbursement policies. Many workplaces will fund either the full amount or a percentage of the cost of an MBA program, providing a unique opportunity to employees.

If you are a working professional considering your MBA, research your company’s policies before approaching your employer. If your employer does not offer a tuition reimbursement program, consider introducing the topic to see if your employer is willing to start a new program.  While they may not be able to help with tuition, your employer may be willing to pay for the costs of books or other fees.

If your employer does offer tuition reimbursement, be sure you clearly understand the terms and conditions of the reimbursement. Many companies require you to earn certain grades and/or commit to working for the company for a number of years unless you intend to pay them back for their investment. 

Networking opportunities

Working while in an MBA program will allow you many opportunities to network with business leaders in your local community and beyond. Your peers, professors and alumni of your program will provide many opportunities to connect you with industry leaders, job opportunities and community events. If you have entered into an MBA program with the ultimate hope of changing careers, it may be the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals in other industries.

Advance and enhance your career

It is common knowledge that an MBA can advance your career, but you should never underestimate the ways this degree may help you succeed. Earning your MBA has the potential to set you apart from your peers and coworkers. If you are hoping to grow within your company, this level of education may provide the boost you need to achieve the next promotion.

Within an MBA program, you may have opportunities to attend additional seminars, trainings and certification programs. These can directly affect the skills needed in your position and help you grow in both technical skills and your leadership role. 

Real workplace application of knowledge during your studies

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits a student may have for working while receiving his or her MBA is the ability to translate the knowledge gained in the classroom into the office the very next day. MBA classes are typically tailored to address real-life work problems, scenarios and solutions. As a working student, you will be able to take the theories and techniques you learn in class and improve your business skills immediately.  Whereas a traditional MBA student may grasp the concepts of their education, they must wait until they enter the workforce to apply what they have learned to their job. However, working MBA students will be able to apply this knowledge at their workplace immediately.

 Working while earning your MBA may seem daunting, but there is no better time than now to pursue a degree that will benefit you both professionally and personally. If you would like to learn more about OBU’s affordable MBA option with classes both online and in Oklahoma City, contact us today.