Should you get an MBA online?


As education embraces online technology, the number of fully online and hybrid MBA programs continues to increase. The top online MBA programs are accredited, flexible and can have a positive impact on a student’s career prospects.

Pros and cons

Pros

Online MBA Programs Offer Flexibility

One of the advantages of earning an MBA degree online is that it offers flexibility. Students in online degree programs are able to set their own study schedules and review lectures and reading materials when they have the time.

Online MBA Programs Offer Large and Varied Networks

Online MBA programs might enroll students from across the U.S. and even the world. Students in these programs can benefit from having classmates from a wide variety of places and backgrounds. In addition to providing new perspectives, these networks might provide internship and employment opportunities that students might not have considered.

Cons

Online MBA Programs May Not Offer Internships

An important aspect of the MBA experience is the internship done toward the end of the degree program. Some online programs are not able to set up internships for their students because the students live in cities across the country. These internships not only provide experience, but can also lead to employment for students who do not already have jobs.

Online MBA Programs May Not Have Good Reputations

There is a difference between an online MBA program offered by a traditional school and an online MBA program offered by an online school. Many online schools have bad reputations and earning an MBA from 1 of those schools is probably not worth the investment. When reviewing the salaries of students who graduate with MBAs, students should be aware that the graduates who earn the highest salaries usually graduate from the top business schools and have jobs waiting for them once they finish school.

Are you ready for an online MBA?

Successful online MBA students share some key qualities. Most importantly, students must make room in their schedules to be able to commit to time-intensive MBA programs. Online MBA degree programs require students to complete reading, homework and participation assignments. Although online programs offer more flexibility than on-campus programs, students must still be able to commit a good deal of time and energy to their online courses.

Successful MBA students also possess the motivation to complete their degree programs and pursue their career goals once they have graduated. Even though online programs offer flexibility, it can be easy to put assignments and projects off. Students must be consistently motivated throughout their online programs to get the most out of their education.

In addition, the following skills will help students succeed in their online classes and degree programs:

Computer and Internet Skills

Students who enroll in online degree programs should have basic computer and Internet skills. They don’t need to be experts, but should be competent enough to send and receive e-mails, download and upload documents, learn how to use new software programs and make comments on discussion boards.

Time Management Skills

It is imperative that online students possess good time management skills. Students in online degree programs have the flexibility to create their own study and work schedules, but also have the responsibility to stick with those schedules and submit their coursework on time.

Study Skills

Successful online MBA students have strong study skills that allow them to work independently without much outside help. Although online programs have student communities, it may be difficult for online students to create study groups and interact with other students.

Working while earning your online MBA

It is possible to work while earning an MBA online and many students enroll in online MBA programs because they want to continue to work. Both online and traditional MBA programs are accustomed to students who are working professionals and are structured to accommodate students with active careers. Online MBAs will offer an even greater degree of flexibility than traditional MBA programs. It is entirely possible to work while pursuing an MBA online.

How do employers view an online MBA?

How an employer views an online MBA depends on several factors. First, employers who endorse their employees’ pursuits of MBA degrees online will very likely view one favorably. Graduates of online MBA degree programs who seek employment after graduation may face employers who are less sure of online degree programs. A 2006 survey found that hiring executives and employers were more likely to choose a job candidate with a degree from a traditional school over a candidate with an online degree. As more traditional schools offer online and hybrid degree programs, employer opinions continue to change, but online degrees may still pose a challenge in students’ quests for employment.