How to Balance a Part-Time MBA While Working Full-Time

working professional managing his study and work


In the ever-evolving professional landscape, the pursuit of continuous learning and development is a constant endeavor. The dilemma of managing full-time work while aspiring to expand one’s academic horizon is a scenario many experienced professionals find themselves in.

Ranked 27th in the world and holding a triple MBA accreditation, The University of Manchester is uniquely positioned to guide you through this journey. Our flexible part-time MBA programmes are designed to empower you to excel in your professional sphere while accommodating your work commitments.

If you find yourself contemplating how to balance a part-time MBA with your full-time job, rest assured, you’re in good company.

In this blog, we unfold practicalities, share experiential insights, and explore strategies to effectively help you understand how to blend your work commitments with academic aspirations.


Why you should pursue a part-time MBA while working full-time

The pursuit of part-time MBAs has witnessed a significant surge in recent years, reflecting a growing trend in the academic and professional realms. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s survey, a notable uptick in applications to self-paced, part-time MBA programs is evident, marking a 53% increase in 2020

This surge is proof of the evolving preferences of professionals who are eager to enhance their qualifications while sustaining their careers, reflecting the adaptability and resilience inherent in today’s workforce.

The ROI of Combining Work Experience with Academic Credentials

Merging academic insights with practical experience yields a comprehensive understanding of business dynamics. The immediate application of learned concepts to real-world scenarios fosters a nuanced approach to problem-solving, essential in steering organizations through difficult times.

Career Growth: The enriched learning environment of part-time MBAs serves as a stimulating factor for career development, opening avenues for elevated roles and responsibilities.

Professional Connections: The diverse cohort within MBA programs offers a plethora of networking opportunities, ensuring relationships that can lead to collaborative ventures and broadening the professional circle.

Steady Income: The ability to maintain a consistent income while pursuing part-time academic endeavors alleviates financial constraints, unlike full-time courses.

Financial Benefits Over the Long Term

The financial resilience offered by part-time MBAs is underscored by the salary trends for MBA graduates. The median annual wage for MBA holders in 2021 stands at $115,000 (above AED 420K), a remarkable 77% higher than that for bachelor's degree holders. This financial fortitude, coupled with the enhanced skillset, positions individuals strategically for sustained financial prosperity and career ascension.


Are you up for a dual commitment?

Embarking on a part-time MBA while managing full-time work is a juggling act, requiring you to allocate approximately 10-12 hours per week to the program amidst fluctuating priorities and impending deadlines. 

Balancing work, family, and MBA needs strategic planning and a supportive environment, allowing you to immerse in learning while mitigating burnout and maintaining a harmonious equilibrium in all life facets.


How to Manage Your Work-MBA Equilibrium

Managing the equilibrium between work and an MBA requires a distinct set of core competencies. It’s about cultivating a skillset that includes time management, prioritization, communication and balance.

Let’s explore some practical tips and strategies to help you navigate this balance, ensuring that you can reap all the benefits of an MBA. 

Master the art of modern time management

Employing the Eisenhower Matrix, a prioritization method, aids in separating tasks based on their urgency and importance, ensuring focused attention on pivotal activities. 

By categorizing tasks this way, you can ensure important tasks are not left until they become urgent. This method aids in maintaining a productive schedule, especially beneficial for those balancing work and study.

Other techniques include:

  • Allocate specific blocks of time to individual tasks.
  • Assign clear, distraction-free time slots to each task.
  • Maintain uninterrupted focus during each time block.
  • Identify and utilize idle moments like commute times for quick study sessions.
  • Leverage apps and tools for on-the-go learning.
  • Allocate specific study times during weekends or early mornings/late nights.

Build a Support Network

Communicate your academic commitments and needs clearly to your employer and family, ensuring understanding and support in your pursuit of an MBA.

Communicate Needs: Regularly discuss your schedule and any upcoming high-commitment periods with your employer and family, fostering an environment of mutual understanding and support.

Maintain Social Life: Allocate time for social activities and relaxation, ensuring a healthy balance between work, study, and personal life. This balance is necessary in maintaining relationships and managing stress effectively.

Leverage Professional Connections: Utilizing the exclusive cohorts offered by the University of Manchester’s Global MBA & Global Executive MBA programmes can help in forming valuable professional connections, enriching your network and providing additional support and insights.

Make use of Productive relaxation

Productive relaxation is a concept that combines relaxation with activities that contribute to your long-term goals, allowing you to recharge while still making progress. It’s about using free time to get ahead on work or studies, ensuring that every moment is well-spent.

Utilize Free Time Efficiently: Engage in activities that are relaxing yet contribute to your academic or professional growth, such as reading relevant articles or watching educational videos.

Importance of Recharging: Regularly taking time to relax and recharge is essential to maintaining optimal productivity and well-being, allowing you to approach tasks with renewed energy and focus. Balancing relaxation with productivity ensures sustained progress in both work and studies.

Set expectations with your employer

Setting clear expectations with your employer involves having open and honest conversations about your commitments and how they align with your professional role.

Approaching Your Employer: Initiate a dialogue with your employer about your MBA pursuits, discussing how it will contribute to your role and the organization. Be clear about your schedule and seek support or flexibility where needed.

Benefits to the Organization: Emphasize the value and skills you will gain from the MBA programme, highlighting the curriculum and how it will help achieve organizational goals and enhance overall productivity and performance.


Keep Practical Boundaries and Trade-offs

Understanding and establishing reasonable boundaries are essential in managing both work and study effectively.

Setting Realistic Goals: Opt for flexible work arrangements, such as remote work days, to accommodate your work deadlines, projects and meetings along with your academic commitments.

Understanding trade-offs: Prepare to make sacrifices, whether it’s cutting back on leisure activities or temporarily scaling back on other commitments. However, self-care, including diet, sleep, and exercise, should not be compromised.

Find the right programme that suits your lifestyle

Choose a programme that resonates with your career aspirations and integrates with your lifestyle. This alignment is a cornerstone for sustained commitment to the programme.

Key Factors to Consider:

  • Duration: Assess the length of the programme and whether it fits into your schedule.
  • Flexibility: Evaluate the programme's adaptability to your lifestyle and work commitments.
  • Curriculum: Examine the course content to ensure it aligns with your career goals.
  • Accreditation: Confirm the programme’s accreditation to ensure its quality and recognition.

The University of Manchester stands out, providing top-ranked, part-time MBA programmes such as Global MBA, Global Finance Accelerated MBA and Global Executive MBA that align well with your career goals and daily routine. 

These programmes offer practical skills & theoretical expertise hand-in-hand through blended learning, rendering diverse experiences and extensive networking opportunities through the university’s international centers.

For a comprehensive overview of what we offer, click here to download our detailed brochure and explore more about our acclaimed MBA programmes.


So in this guide, we’ve navigated the intricate balance between pursuing a part-time MBA and maintaining full-time employment. There’s significant importance to time management, support networks, and setting realistic goals that can positively impact your work commitments and lifestyle.

We encourage you to reflect on the insights shared and consider how implementing these strategies while opting for a part-time MBA can be a catalyst for your career advancement.

Engage with us, explore your queries, and let’s dig deeper into how the University of Manchester can be your academic ally in sculpting your professional future. 

Request a callback or apply online directly to start your journey with The University of Manchester today!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


1: How does The University of Manchester support students in managing the demands of a part-time MBA?

The University of Manchester provides a range of support services and resources, including academic advisors, online learning resources, and flexible scheduling, to assist students in managing the demands and successfully completing their part-time MBA.


2: Can I customize my learning experience in the part-time MBA program at The University of Manchester?

Yes, the part-time MBA programs at The University of Manchester are designed to offer flexibility and customization options to align with individual career goals, learning preferences, and schedules, allowing students to tailor their learning experience.


3. Are there networking opportunities available for part-time MBA students at The University of Manchester?

Absolutely! Part-time MBA students at The University of Manchester have access to a wealth of networking opportunities, including events, workshops, and alumni meet-ups, enabling them to connect with peers, faculty, and industry professionals.


4: How does the triple accreditation of The University of Manchester’s MBA programs enhance their value?

The triple accreditation from AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS places the University of Manchester among the elite business schools globally, ensuring the highest standards of teaching, curriculum relevance, and significant value in the global job market.


5: Is there an opportunity for part-time MBA students at The University of Manchester to study or attend workshops internationally?

Yes, part-time MBA students have the opportunity to experience international learning through global workshops, allowing them to gain insights into international business landscapes and enhance their global business acumen.