5 Reasons You Should Get An Online MBA
It wasn’t too long ago that an Online MBA seemed like a skeptical investment. The concept of earning a legitimate MBA degree for a severely discounted price seemed impossible less than 10 years ago, especially with a gamut of “diploma mills” clogging the academic industry. Slowly, however, reputable schools like the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and the USC Marshall School of Business began implementing ultra-flexible online programs. The same degree that seemed like an outlier has quickly become a normal option for MBA students next to the more traditional full-time and part-time programs.
The ongoing evolution of the Online MBA isn’t without its concerns, however. Plenty of the best business schools, like Harvard Business School, do not offer a full-fledged Online MBA program just yet. That shouldn’t stop those considering the online option, however.
5 Reasons You Should Get An Online MBA
Without question, the greatest asset an Online MBA program offers is flexibility. Students enrolled in online programs are offered resources beyond the traditional confines of a full-time or part-time classroom, with rigid scheduling almost completely re-tooled for optimal usability. Programs offered at institutions like the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, which has a unique Flex MBA program that students can either take entirely online or partially on-campus, allows students to maximize their busy schedules around courses. Students in the Flex MBA program can complete the course in six years; a much longer allotted time than most full-time programs.
While many academic traditionalists will argue that the return-of-investment of a full-time program is absolutely worth the cost, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any reputable source chastising the affordability of most Online MBA programs.
Full-time programs, like at the aforementioned USC Marshall School of Business can venture well into the triple digits. In fact, the first year of the two-year full-time program currently costs just more than the entire Online MBA program. And on the scale of Online MBA tuition, USC Marshall is on the higher-end. Some program, such as the University of North Dakota Online MBA, cost less than $20,000 to complete.
The Gap Between Traditional And Online MBA Programs Is Closing
When U.S. News & World Report investigated how recruiters and employers felt about applicants with an Online MBA last year, they found minimal difference from those who had earned a traditional full-time degree.
“I think more and more employers don’t have a knee-jerk negative or positive reaction when they hear the word ‘online,'” says Richard Garrett, chief research officer at Eduventures, a research and advisory firm for higher education institutions.
While there may have been a stigma ten years ago, significant trends indicate that the trepidation employers had when hearing “online” has been rapidly ceding. Not surprisingly, this trend coincides with more and more AASCB accredited business schools like the aforementioned USC Marshall and Carey Business School implementing online-friendly business degrees.
Gaining Experience Outside Of The Classroom
Anyone looking for a job will argue that experience is as important, if not more important, than academic credentials. So while full-time students are often confined by more strict schedules, Online MBA students can earn a degree and continue to work more freely at the same time. This not only helps fortify a résumé, but allows students to apply their learnings more-readily in a real-work environment.
Higher Acceptance Rates
According to a 2016 Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey on MBA trends, Online MBA programs had a higher median acceptance rate than full-time, part-time and Flex MBA programs. Those figures are only going upward as Online MBA programs increase application volume. This includes, importantly, underrepresented demographics that are otherwise usually ignored.
Among the share of US programs that are reporting higher application volume, 73 percent have seen increases in applications from underrepresented populations.