In an educational field saturated with MBA programs, differentiation has been key; General MBA programs, specializations, on-campus formats, Online MBA programs, part-time, full-time, and even accelerated MBA programs. The in-person campus experience is no longer the only option students have. Each business program has its strengths and weaknesses. So, let’s dive into Accelerated MBA Online programs and why we should give them significant consideration while researching graduate programs.
The MBA Program
Total U.S. employment is expected to grow from 153.5 million up to over 165 million from 2020 to 2030. This is a total gain of almost 12 million jobs or 7.7 percent. A Master’s of Business Administration can give working professionals an edge in this healthy job market. An MBA online degree usually can take 30 to 60 credit hours and typically 24 months in a traditional classroom setting to complete. With limited seats available, competitive MBA programs require
- an entrance exam,
- extensive time commitments, and
- financial resources for tuition.
For many business professionals, pursuing an MBA program seems like the next logical step to building their career. The benefits of a Master of Business Administration are applicable regardless of one’s industry or area of professional emphasis. However, many individuals wonder if it’s advantageous to pursue an MBA program. There is a high level of commitment and expense involved. An MBA online degree can help build the leadership skills needed to succeed for those desiring to work in a managerial role within a financial institution. Students with entrepreneurial aspirations will also discover that an MBA program can help them.
Pursuing an MBA program demonstrates a commitment to improving and applying skills that can help an organization succeed. A professional with an MBA online degree gains a greater sense of confidence in the market. She also gains a wealth of information she can bring to many endeavors. Here are just a few of the advantages of completing an MBA program.
MBA Students Gain a Greater Awareness of the Global Market
Pursuing an MBA program puts a professional in close contact with other international business students who have unique work experiences and perspectives on the global economy. While learning from instructors and other students enrolled, MBA students expand their knowledge of other industries in the United States and abroad.
MBA Students Improve Their Communication Skills
Effective communication is a foundational skill required for professionals to succeed. Communication is considered a “soft skill” compared to “hard skills” like constructing a P&L model. However, it’s no less valuable. An MBA program can help a business professional hone his verbal and written communication skill. This allows him to successfully convey concepts to people at different levels of an organization to ensure everyone can work together toward a common goal.
MBA Students Expand Their Professional Networks
Pursuing an MBA makes students part of a global network of an alumni group, giving them access to respected and intelligent professionals they may not have otherwise had a chance to connect with. Beyond being a member of a broader community, MBA students can build relationships with professionals in the classroom and beyond.
MBA Students Enjoy Increased Job Opportunities
In a highly competitive market, an advanced business administration degree can help set potential hires apart from their peers. From consumer products to energy and start-ups, an MBA program is an asset in any industry. Employers look to hire or promote a candidate with an MBA as they have skills in finance and marketing that others within the organization may lack. They can hit the ground running with various initiatives and help their organization increase profits.
MBA Students Learn Better Time Management
Pursuing an MBA degree requires managing extracurriculars alongside a challenging course load. They must also juggle other personal and professional pursuits. Earning an MBA can help business students manage their time effectively, which is an in-demand skill among employers and a valuable life skill.
Questions to Consider About an MBA Program
If you’re considering earning an MBA degree, you probably have a lot of questions about the benefits of earning the degree. You may also wonder about the process involved. Here are some common questions students have when considering a Master’s of Business Administration:
How Does an MBA Help Drive One’s Career?
An MBA program will enhance your marketability as a professional in business and increase the quantity and quality of job potential. The vast sum of MBA graduates are extended full-time job offers by employers. An MBA helps you build solid business leadership skills and will add to your professional network. Business school graduates are part of an extensive alumni community.
How Does Earning an MBA Impact Salary?
One of the most popular benefits of pursuing an MBA is an increase in earning potential. Why get an MBA? The median annual base salary of an MBA graduate is attractive. Those who pursue an MBA can expect to make more than those lacking an advanced degree.
What Can an MBA Teach Me?
Professionals who pursue an MBA learn business fundamentals such as critical thinking, leadership, communication, and analytical skills. Delving further into core courses of an MBA curriculum, many programs balance a core curriculum that emphasizes
- Strategic Marketing Management,
- Organizational Leadership,
- Business Statistics,
- Strategic Management,
- Business Strategy,
- Business Law,
- Managerial Economics,
- Organizational Behavior,
- Managerial Accounting,
- Business Ethics,
- Financial Management, and
Electives can build leadership skills. And many online degree programs include student conferences, advanced student projects, and important networking events. All MBA students are transformed throughout the rigor of a graduate degree program. The lessons learned within this program are noteworthy.
Can I Specialize My MBA?
There’s a lot more to an MBA than the advanced degree itself. At many of the nation’s best business schools, there are plentiful MBA majors. Concentrations include
- Business Analytics,
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation,
- Risk Management,
- Management Information Systems,
- Business Intelligence,
- Operations Management,
- Corporate Finance,
- Global Business,
- Technology Management,
- Digital Marketing,
- Project Management,
- Healthcare Management,
- Human Resource Management,
- Supply Chain Management,
- Organizational Effectiveness, and
- Real Estate.
Some graduate students’ interests do not fit into one of a school’s existing majors. They often have the chance to craft an individualized MBA concentration tailored to an interdisciplinary path of study.
How Much Will I Spend on an MBA?
The cost of an accelerated MBA program varies from school to school. The estimated total cost for an MBA can be surprising low or well into six figures. Depending on whether students opt for room and board on-campus or go the online MBA program route, the cost varies. Veterans and active members of the military are often eligible for additional awards benefits. These positively offset the cost of tuition. Exceptional students may also qualify for scholarships and grants. Options are based on professional experience and academic performance.
When Should I Get an MBA?
There is no wrong time to consider an MBA. It’s always up to the individual. Most MBA students have worked for at least two to five years in the workforce before committing to a program. Many MBA application processes take place at different times throughout the year. This makes it convenient for students applying to the program.
After you complete your MBA, you will have a higher education degree that has been focused on business administration and general management. With your business administration degree, this means that you are prepared for such careers as a business strategist, marketing manager, managing director, investment banker, and other similar career paths. On a national average, graduates with an MBA can expect to land a job with a starting salary of $87,000, depending on their career field.
Accelerated MBA Online Programs
An accelerated Online MBA gets you that same quality education and opportunities but in 10-16 months and generally for less money. This doesn’t mean that the online coursework is lower quality than what you would get on-campus with a traditional MBA experience. In fact, because it is shortened, the workload is potentially more intense than the more spaced-out two-year MBA programs online. With either route you take, quality, accredited colleges are available on a national and regional level.
To make sure that your online master’s degree is respected, your accelerated MBA Online program must be accredited – meaning it has to be a regionally or nationally recognized and approved program. Regionally accredited institutions are the most well recognized by top employers. Do your research beforehand into the college or program you’re interested in and in the companies you want to work for. Our article How To Choose An Online MBA is a great place to start. Unaccredited programs may need less time or money, but these programs do not hold the same quality or prestige.
Online Accelerated MBA Programs are designed for people who already have a full-time life and career. For example, an established bank manager who serves on several industry boards might not have the time to attend 8 AM classes. But by going for this postgraduate degree, the door is open for her to climb higher in her finance career field than she would without it. If she had enrolled in a traditional MBA, then she likely would have had to reduce her hours at work, her volunteer commitments, and her social life.
With an accelerated MBA Online program, it is far easier and more convenient to plan your higher education around your life. There are also options for students to participate in live business programs – meaning you, the professor, and your other classmates go through the course material at the same time with live videos and assignments. With this format, your professor is largely available with office hours and live sessions. Some Online MBA programs follow a classic semester setting, while others start month-to-month enrollment with a new set of students.
For students, the cost of a program is an important factor to consider. An accelerated MBA Online program is generally less expensive because of many reasons. The biggest reason is because the degree is over in a shorter period of time. Courses are set at a minimum and students are paying fees for minimal semesters. Also, because the program is online, students in an accelerated Online MBA program enjoy zero commuting or relocating costs. Even some book and resources costs can be lower in the online format.
Many accelerated Online MBA programs do not need a GMAT, which is a 3.5-hour business school entrance exam. Instead, more and more Online MBA programs allow you to substitute the test for your relevant work experience. The specific program you choose will detail the requirements you need for entry.
The majority of people who are drawn to accelerated MBA Online programs are already working in their desired field and want a postgraduate degree that will make them eligible for promotions and management positions. Most Online MBA students don’t plan to switch to a different field. A benefit here is that some employers pay for or compensate their staff for getting their degrees. If you are already working in your chosen field, it might be worth it to reach out to your human resources department. Your HR department could also have information about grants and scholarships to help you.
Business Schools with Accelerated MBA Online Programs
- Bryant University College of Business
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University John Massey School of Business
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke School of Business
- Emporia State University School of Business
- Northwest Nazarene University College of Business
Benefits of an Accelerated Online MBA Program
- Fully accredited postgraduate degree
- Flexible, shorter timeline than traditional MBA
- Less expensive than traditional MBA
- Comparable education
Why Get an Online MBA?
While a traditional MBA can open new doors for you, an online MBA program comes with distinct advantages. For decades, the MBA has held a reputation as the premier business education. Today, many business schools uphold that reputation by leading the way with innovative online courses and research. These include global finance, alternative investments, and groundbreaking avenues in the business world. Beyond reputation, here are several other reasons to choose an online MBA program:
Online MBA Students Have Access to Extensive Worldwide Alumni Networks
MBA students learn alongside a select group of professionals in the virtual classroom. They expand their professional networks to include the thousands of MBA alumni worldwide. Business schools work tirelessly to connect their current students to alum. They hope to make lasting relationships far beyond graduation. These connections create new opportunities for getting hired and creating business in the future. Online MBA students gain a broader, more interconnected perspective on leadership and business issues. They stay informed on how factors impact the global economy.
Online MBA Students Enjoy the Same Increased Earning Potential as Traditional MBA Students
Just like their in-class counterparts, online MBA graduates can expect a healthy earning potential after graduating and for years throughout their careers. Many graduate students who earn an online MBA are offered positions. Imagine working for a Fortune 100 company or renowned organization like Morgan Stanley, Apple, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IBM, DuPont, or General Mills.
Online MBA Students Go Onto Becoming Lifelong Learners
The lessons learned while earning an online accelerated MBA extend beyond the time students spend in the classroom. With this world-class higher education, online MBA students can take part in many extracurricular activities. These activities include joining business student clubs and organizations. Typically, the larger the business school, the more clubs and organizations are housed within its walls.
Online MBA students also have access to groups and social events based on their unique interests. Activity within clubs helps to give MBA students social opportunities and beef up their resume. Employers like to see that a candidate takes initiative and puts herself out there to get the most out of professional and personal opportunities. Interacting with the current students body and alumni fosters deeper relationships. Online MBA students should look for business programs that offer best-in-class career resources for online MBA alumni. These resources support graduate students at various stages throughout their careers and help them stay connected.
With technology advancing and the changes happening in the world, online education is adapting. People have more access to education that will equip them with higher earning opportunities. What’s next is deciding if an accelerated MBA Online program is right for you. Make a point to write down your career goals for the future and current needs to see if this program is a good fit. There may be features you appreciate but several components of the program that you find less desirable. It may turn into a balancing act.
There are a few evaluating factors for you to consider before you decide if an accelerated Online MBA is the right choice for you.
Can you afford it?
While they are less expensive than traditional MBA programs, there is still a significant cost to getting your online MBA degree. There are grants and scholarships available. If you’re employed in your field, then your employer might even pay or reimburse you for your tuition. Tuition programs within organizations are common and easy to apply for. There may be money going unused each year.
Will it benefit you?
Before you go for your accelerated MBA Online program, evaluate if the degree will actually open you up to the opportunities you want – higher salary, promotions, or different positions. All online master’s degree programs cost something, even if the tuition rates are attractive. There may be a higher cost in the time you spend wrestling with a poorly designed web host or courses that have not translated well into virtual learning. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have a trusted mentor in your workplace or field who can advise you on if pursuing your postgraduate degree is worthwhile. Schedule a meeting with them to pick their brain.
What is your schedule like day-to-day?
Your school schedule will require you to create boundaries and manage your time. This is a major concern if you are balancing work with school. MBA students responsible for the care of a family member realize that another person’s schedule can greatly affect their availability. You need to be disciplined enough to enforce and protect your time for your academics. Our How To Balance Business School and Life article offers a few quick tips about balance graduate school with your other responsibilities.
Can you delegate or rearrange anything?
Some things currently on your list of to-dos may not make the cut once you are enrolled in an accelerated Online MBA. This may require learning to say “no” more often.
Is the program accredited?
Do your research and ensure beforehand that the accelerated Online MBA programs you’re considering will give you what you need. First, students will need to check regional accreditation. Then check to see if the business school or program has been accredited by a business accreditation organization. An accreditation entity like the AACSB is one of the best ways to go in this department. Other top business school accreditation is ACBSP and IACBE. Accrediting entities show the world that accelerated programs have academic credibility. This level of accountability and reputation will pay off in the future.
Do you need an in-person class setting?
Online learning doesn’t work for everyone. Professors and other students can provide live video interaction and messaging. But if you’re someone who needs that real, face-to-face experience, you might want to consider a traditional MBA in a part-time setting.
Online MBA programs open up the doors to many opportunities. The fact that accelerated MBA Online programs are generally designed with working professionals in mind makes them an ideal option for those seeking a quick, convenient, and effective way to prepare for top management positions.