Today, I have formally started short listing the schools and the very first question that stands is 1 year program v/s 2 years program. But before pondering over the factors to answer this question, I want to stop for a second and ask: “How important is this question for me?”
I’ve already completed 6 years of my IT experience and when I’ll enter any school, next year hopefully, I’d complete 7. So, as far as my research goes, 7 years of total experience is not so high to lower my chances into US 2 years programs and is not so low to lower my chances into European 1 year programs. In that sense, my chances are equally favourable in both of these programs. For a person who has just 2-3 years of experience or who has more than 10 years of experience, this question might not be as important, because the former knows he/she has relatively brighter chances in 2 years program and relatively lower in 1 year, and vice-versa for the latter. For instance, my friend who has 3 years of experience is not even thinking about 1 year program.
Thus, this question is very important for me. And just to mention, it is also very important for my mom, who is quite worried about my marriage ;-).
There are a few factors (not comprehensive) which I can’t ignore to consider.
Favouring 2 years programs:
1. Without any background in consulting, I need a solid base to make a transition from IT to consulting. Apart from experiential learning through team projects, this solid base would come from internship project in a consulting firm, which I could avail only in 2 years programs with a very few exceptions in 1 year programs such as INSEAD.
2. In 1 year program, I should have razor sharp future goals, as it doesn’t give me any space to rethink or reframe my career plans after getting into the school. In 2 years program, I could have that option, if I realise any change for better.
3. 2 years would give me a little breathing space. 1 year would be no doubt academically rigor.
4. I could make a strong network base with students and alumni in 2 years; 1 year would just pass in a splash.
5. After discussing with current students, friends, and experts, I have this feeling that the transformational education I could avail better in US than anywhere else.
Favouring 1 year programs:
6. If I’m very sure of making a transition specifically to IT consulting, my solid IT background would favour me, and in that case a 1 year programs could also provide the needed solid base.
7. I'll miss on just 1 year income, and will be back to work earning in just a year after 1 year program.
8. 1 year programs are relatively lower fee structures than 2 years with a few exceptions.
9. I’ll be 31 when I’ll come out of 2 years of program; a big concern for my mom.
Given these factors both suits me in their ways. Just going by my heart, I’m more tilted for 2 years program in US, but would target only the top tier ones. So, I’m planning to apply to both 2 years and 1 year programs which clearly fit my goals, and where I strongly fit. I hope this would maximise my chances.
One female just got dinged from Ross and got selected in INSEAD. Means, many people shortlist both programs, not only I. Do you think differently?
The next question is “how many schools in Round 1?”
Keep researching. This is the time to maximise it.