Joe Lane, jug­gling a job and family, wanted to get an MBA, but didn’t like the idea of doing a pro­gram entirely online.

Then he found a solu­tion: Babson College’s Fast Track MBA, a pro­gram com­bining online learning with face-​​to-​​face classes that meet for 2½ days every seven weeks at the Wellesley campus. Lane, who com­pleted his degree in 2010 and launched his own med­ical device start-​​up, said having an MBA on top of engi­neering degrees made it easier to raise money for his com­pany, giving investors con­fi­dence in his ability to lead the business.

The pay­back time [for the pro­gram] was less than two years,” said Lane, 48, of Methuen. “I liked that the pro­fes­sors at Babson are prac­ti­tioners, not just aca­d­e­mics, and the average stu­dent has 14 years of expe­ri­ence in the work world. Sixty per­cent of my knowl­edge came from my peers.”

Many working pro­fes­sionals like Lane are turning to flex­ible, part-​​time pro­grams to advance, retool, or change careers without having to uproot fam­i­lies or quit jobs. Called “hybrid,” “blended,” or “low-​​residency,” these pro­grams aim to offer the best of both worlds: the flex­i­bility of Internet learning with the face-​​to-​​face inter­ac­tion of the col­lege campus.

Read the article at Boston Globe →