Factors to consider while choosing an online MBA program
Just the way many things can be efficiently done online today, one can even earn an invaluable Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The program prepares graduates for leadership roles in companies, and just because the program is online does not mean that it can’t have the same rigor as that on-campus. An online MBA program not only follows the same curricula but also offers one key advantage: the students can complete work at their own pace. With so many accredited MBA programs online releasing each year, now is the best time to get it. Read on to find out more about the benefits of an online MBA program and factors to consider while choosing the best program for yourself.
Why get your MBA online?
An online MBA is a prudent choice for those who may not be able to travel to campus. Some of the main reasons to consider earning your MBA online are
This is the reason most consider when thinking about getting an online MBA. Prime candidates who enroll owing to flexibility are people who balance work with family duties while planning a career advance. Online MBA schedules can be incredibly adaptable most of the time as many institutions offer asynchronous learning. This means you can attend class whenever you have the time, which is perfect for those studying while working.
Compared to an on-campus program, the difference in fees is exponential. You can find accredited online MBA programs for as little as $5,000 to $10,000 a year. That being said, you will come across programs that cost as much as $50,000. When it comes to online MBA programs, you can even adjust the total credits you take per semester. Depending on how much you can afford, you can even adjust the program’s duration. And since the online programs offer you the flexibility of distance learning, you can continue earning while completing your degree.
An online program gives you the chance to meet people from various backgrounds, learn their viewpoints, and share their unique ideas. Managers at top companies like Apple, Boeing, and Cisco share the same classroom with air force pilots and even lawyers. This is another great advantage of taking an MBA course online as you connect with students of various ages, career paths, and nationalities.
- Global opportunities
Online MBA programs have gained tremendous popularity in recent years. Thus, many schools offer international business immersion and even establish satellite universities across the globe. This life-changing opportunity of connecting with other students, professors, and business professionals in an international setting can have a significant educational impact on students. Some universities offer more than one global immersion a year, which gives online students a chance to travel to major business cities across the world like Mumbai, Johannesburg, and Istanbul.
Factor to consider
Once you’ve decided to pursue an MBA online, it is time to get started with detailed research. There is plenty to consider when selecting the best program, and it’s important to know what you must focus on while looking for a program. Here are some key factors to consider:
Choosing an accredited program is important. Apart from approving the school’s quality of the program, there is a big financial advantage included. Only students admitted to accredited schools are eligible for federal loans and grants. So, ensure that the schools you’re considering have gained national or regional accreditation. The accreditation is your assurance that the school has the academic quality you want and is regularly monitored by an outside agency.
When searching for online business degrees, you should look for a school that’s accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It is a non-government agency that admits only a few business schools into its elite ranks. Another advantage is that this accreditation is highly regarded among corporate recruiters, and some company’s tuition plans might even pay for the AACSB-accredited courses. The Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) and Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) are other accreditors to consider.
- Program rankings
Business media houses like Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, and U.S. News & World Report provide rankings of business schools each year. But you mustn’t forget to consider the criteria these list-makers use before you rush to apply to schools based on rankings. Remember, this is only one of several factors, so it’s okay if you can’t apply to a high-ranking school program. There are other great options too.
- Student support services
Just because you’re completing your MBA online doesn’t mean you’ll get less than what college-goers do. Top programs provide student services like financial aid resources. And the best programs will offer career counseling, mentoring, job fairs, and informal networking opportunities. When doing research, you must make sure that you’re aware of the school’s relationship with companies you’re interested in after completing the program. You can even ask the school to provide documentation for alumni employment data.
- Faculty and resources
The faculty’s expertise should not be less than that on-campus. You should explore the school’s official website to learn more about the professors and learn their credibility when it comes to the subject. Also, it’s crucial to find out if your potential teachers have prior online teaching experience as their fluency in online classes will ensure that they can offer an effective teaching experience.
- Course delivery system and technical support
Since you’ll be accessing lectures online, it’s important that you know whether the course delivery system is easy to use and offers round-the-clock access. This will be especially helpful when it comes to attending class while managing your work and family duties. You must know beforehand whom to contact in the event of a software crash. Also, you must check if the software facilitates easy communication with your teachers and fellow students. You can look for features like chat, email, voice, and video conferencing.