MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is an internationally recognized business degree, on equal standing with other postgraduate degrees like Master of Arts or Master of Science. It is academic in nature, yet it is a practical preparation for individuals in business and management. It often insists that students have a number of years of working experience before they take an MBA program, often as managers or senior managers.
MBA originated from America. The word renowned MBA is taught at the Harvard Business School more than 100 years ago! It is a 2 year full time program that trains students in business problems analysis and decision making. The types of MBA offered by private institutions and universities vary wide nowadays to suit the busy schedule of executives.
Over the years, MBA have grow into a matured industry with specializations like MBA in Information Technology, Finance, Human Resources, even Electronic Commerce! Despite their differentiation, the underlying principles of management do not vary too much. The specialization means the the course spend considerably more time focusing on issues & cases in the area of choice.
The delivery of the course itself has changed over the years. It used to be a 2 full year program, now known as the “classic” or full time MBA. These days, executive MBA is more common, in Malaysia at least. This is targeted to suit busy executives who do not want to miss out in their career progression.
The executive MBA is also known as the part time MBA, where students study and work at the same time. Lecturers and classes are usually held after office hours and weekends. And then there is the distance learning program where the classes are less frequent. And students are given the necessary materials to engage in self study, it is like a correspondence school. In more recent development, a form of distance learning via the Internet has gained popularity, known as the virtual MBA. Students can interact with tutors/lecturers via the Internet through chat or forums.