Earning an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree is a worthy goal, but when you begin to consider it, there are a lot of important considerations. Depending on your current situation, the first might be where to even find the time. But you also need to consider location, cost, and specialty.
Sometimes it’s just not possible to quit your job and move onto campus to study. That is where online MBAs come in.
In the past, the crop of available online schools were shady at worst and had no name recognition at best. An MBA from an online program wasn’t necessarily a good investment.
That’s all changed now. Here are the reasons that online MBAs are only gaining in popularity.
Top Tier Schools Offer Them
In a surprisingly short period of time, online degrees have become just as valuable as those earned on campus. In fact, many huge brand name schools began offering their courses online, allowing students to earn MBAs that greatly improve their resumes and overall prospects.
But you don’t need to attend the fanciest private college in order to get value out of an online MBA. Many state schools offer them, too. Even online-only institutions that have no connection to an actual campus can provide a solid program.
The important thing is that the school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). A school must follow accepted educational standards in order to earn this important seal of approval.
When you choose to attend school on campus, obviously you have to live nearby. That limits your choice to a place nearby or else forces a move. But when you pursue an online degree, geography ceases to be a factor.
With an online degree, colleges the world over are open to you. You can apply at places that inspire you. Do you want to experience a program offered out of Cyprus, Milan, London, or Spain? No problem. Even if the school of your choice is just on the other side of the country from your current location, earning the degree online takes the hassle and expense of moving out of the equation.
Because an MBA is an advanced degree, chances are good that you’re already working when you decide to pursue one. Even if you’ve just finished your Bachelor degree, student loans may demand that you get a job immediately before pursuing more education. Online MBAs can take the stress out of this situation, too.
Many online programs are designed to accommodate the needs of working adults by allowing students to set their own pace. In this case, seminars are pre-recorded and assignment deadlines open-ended, so that you can study during your free time and keep a regular job, too. Self-paced MBA programs are also really great for people with significant childcare obligations.
The trade-off is that a self-paced online course typically takes 4-6 years to complete, much longer than a traditional full time program that comes in at 2 years for completion. However, there is flexibility here, too. If you want to power through and have the time to commit, there are also accelerated online MBA programs.
Any way you look at it, earning an MBA is gonna cost you. Consider as a benchmark that the average cost of an online MBA degree is more than $25,000. That’s a huge chunk of change, but is still less than the cost of attending in person. You’ll save the expense of campus housing and hard copy text books, for starters.
Still, if you are willing to compromise on the brand name, you could actually earn your MBA through a tuition-free program. While not totally free, these programs only charge for the necessary exams and reduce your out-of-pocket expense to just $2,500 – $5,000 for the entire degree. Tuition ranges significantly between schools as well, so do some research. You may be able to find a great low tuition program.
It’s also possible to lower the cost by attending an in-state school, even though your classes will be online. And remember that you can apply for scholarships and financial aid for an online program just as you would when attending in person.
Keeps Options Open
The most successful people are able to react quickly to new opportunities. With an online MBA, you can stay open to anything life throws your way. Anywhere with internet access can be your college. Any time of day can be class time. You can start the program in one location and finish in another.
In fact, you may find that opportunities for advancement occur simply because you are working toward a coveted MBA. When you choose online learning, nothing stands in the way of you or your family taking advantage of whatever exciting options come along.
No matter where you intend to go in your professional life, an MBA can be a huge benefit. Understanding all of the complex facets of business administration opens a lot of doors. When you do your program online, you’re free to enter any of them.