Executive vs Full-Time Post-Grad Program

by Jessie Liew


Commitment to a Post-Grad Program is a leap of faith. While a lot of time and effort to be invested in it, one cannot determine, for sure, if the outcome is how it was being envisioned. “I am in a bottleneck situation and want to move up or out from my current career position.” The objective is clear with the possible solution of upgrading yourself with a Post-Grad Program and solidify the profile development. Most achieved the objective, but not without an excruciating journey. Being UBA Executive Program Advisor, I came across one of the key questions: What are the differences between Executive Program vs. Traditional and why Executive is an advantage? I will break this down into three key areas for consideration in decision-making.


Traditional Programs will take between 2 to 5 years (MBA and/or DBA, PhD). By its default definition, Traditional Program is structured to systematically go through classes and lectures, assignments and discussions, thesis and presentation. No short-cut. And hence the long program duration is required to make sure all grounds are covered.

Executive Program takes up to 12 months to complete. With a better flexibility in hybrid learning method, Executive Program rides on peer working experience, case studies discussions and assignments. Shorter course duration warrants a concise but intense program structure. It fast-tracks and accelerates individuals in career progression and profile development.


How is this relevant: These 2 Programs are distinctive. Traditional Programs are academic and research based; Executive Programs are peer learning and case studies based. 2 different learning methods, deliverables and duration while achieving the same degree, accreditation and title. Time is of essence and Executive Program strives on efficiency.



Traditional Programs want you to be in campus; that is, you will be required to leave the work force for 2 years, or more. This is a hard clause and it is not new, simply because there are a lot of discussions, networking and researches, in order to deliver the Program and your thesis eventually. While having no income and potentially losing touch with the work market, you are also funding for Program and tuition fees, not to mention the financial and family commitment which will be your next major concern.

Executive Program is tailored, per se. It is available in the market to ensure individuals can commit to study objective and personal commitments. Given the nature of hybrid learning method, the flexibility attends to these needs. For working executives, it is important to remain active in the workforce for several reasons – constant in-touch with the market, financial stability and maintaining quality family time, all while improving and achieving professional profiling goal and title.

How is this relevant: The opportunity cost or trade-off is imperative. While both types of Program are equally stressful – financially challenged embarking on Traditional Program while time management challenges for Executive Programs – to remain professionally active in the workforce will be the standout key factor. After all, the ultimate objective for Post-Grad Program is a career-driven one. And Executive Programs makes sure of it.



Target Group

The popular age group for Traditional Program is between mid-20 to mid-30. This is the group which is relatively junior, as the progression to Post-Grad is rather natural from undergraduate. The objective and aggressiveness of this group in career are entirely different and they are sprinting. For working executives who have accumulated 10 to 20 years of working experience, Traditional Program in particularly prestigious university, for example Harvard Business School (HBS), will bring more impactful benefits via top-tiered alumni network.

Executive Programs aims for those who have already have long term and vast working experience, be it highest Executives in Corporate, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. This group of individual focuses on exchanges of business best practices, corporate governance and guidelines, instead of theories and concepts. And in fact, this group has high preference towards Executive Programs, because the flexibility which helps them to network and socialize more productively among like-minded individuals with similar background and fundamentals.

How is this relevant: Unless top-tier universities (regardless Traditional or Executive Programs), the association of individuals in the Program is an important consideration. The large amount of time spent in the Program garnered business ideas, entrepreneurial skills and creativity among peers, only if the right group of people are sharing them. Executive Program is definitely geared towards more matured and established professionals.


UBA Executive Programs – Executive MBA and Executive DBA

Consultation hours:

Saturday          4-6pm

Sunday            2-4pm

Contact Ms. Jessie (+6011 6963 9432) or Dr. Shirley (+6013 743 8181) for arrangement

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