Is an online MBA sub-par to the traditional MBA? Get to know the traditional and online MBA programs, their similarities and differences.
Nowadays, many universities are investing money into their online MBA programs because it is such a convenient option for many people wanting to go back to school. But what is not to like about it? It is practical, cheap and convenient.
However, how does it work? How does it differ from the traditional classroom MBA? Traditional and online MBA programs share the same objectives when it comes to preparing students in the world of business, and while both share similar curricula and levels of difficulty, their differences go beyond the learning format.
With the traditional MBA program, students will have to adjust their schedule so they can find time to attend MBA classes. For online learners, this could mean taking evening or after-work classes. Online MBA programs often present a more flexible and convenient alternative.
Attending a campus-based program also means driving to and from school. This could lead to some difficulties for people who are very busy most of the time. With online learning, you can attend classes anywhere so long as you can connect to the Internet.
Many students are concerned about two things in an online MBA – the accreditation system and if their degree will indicate they got an online degree compared to getting an in-person degree. Generally, MBAs consist of 36 credits, typically divided into two years – one for the general business management study and the other for the concentration study. But the online MBA degree works the same.
A minimal difference is the classroom discussion, which is replaced by message boards and forums through the Internet. Concerning your degree, most degrees do not indicate where it was obtained. Often the only way a prospective employer would find out if you received an online MBA degree is if you got it from a college that only functioned online.
Most students also wonder if it takes more time to finish an online MBA compared to that of an in-classroom MBA at a university. But the truth is, students can complete their degrees in less than the usual two years that it typically takes. It is because majority of the work you do in the online program is self-motivated.
Another common concern about online MBA programs is whether a degree helps candidates in increasing their pay like the traditional MBAs are often advertised to do. Actually, online MBA candidates can hold any position after graduation, such as CEO or vice president positions. According to GMAC, all MBA graduates, whether they graduated from online or on-campus MBA programs, could expect to make an average of $106,000.
Perhaps the best benefit that the traditional MBA programs could offer is the reputation. This is especially true if students have graduated from renowned universities that are looked up to in the business world. However, online MBAs are catching up, with more and more universities now offering distance learning opportunities.
Both traditional and online MBA programs have their individual benefits and disadvantages. For online learners, an online MBA is an attractive option for the obvious reason that online MBA graduates are now increasingly held in the same level of regard as those with traditional MBA programs. An online MBA program is no less legitimate than a traditional MBA, so pursue the right program that works for you.