What is an Accelerated Online MBA?

accelerated omba

In an educational field saturated with MBA programs, differentiation has been key; General MBA programs, specializations, on-campus formats, online programs, part-time, full-time, and even accelerated programs. The in-person campus experience is no longer the only option students have. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses. So, let’s dive into Accelerated Online MBA programs and why we should give them significant consideration while researching programs.

The MBA

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 professionals an edge in this healthy job market. An MBA 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 programs require an entrance exam, extensive time commitments, and financial resources for tuition.

After you complete your MBA, you will have an education that has been focused on business administration and management. With your 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 Online MBA programs

accelerated mba

An accelerated Online MBA gets you that same education and opportunities but in 10-16 months and generally for less money. This doesn’t mean that the courses you take online are 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 programs. With either route you take, quality, accredited colleges are available on a national and regional level.

In order to make sure that your degree is respected, your accelerated Online MBA must be accredited – meaning it has to be a regionally or nationally recognized and approved program. Accredited programs 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 require less time or money, but these programs do not hold the same quality or prestige.

Schedule

An accelerated Online MBA is 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 Online MBA, it is far easier and more convenient to plan your education around your life. There are also options for students to participate in live 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 programs follow a classic semester setting, while others start month-to-month enrollment with a new set of students. 

Cost

For students, the cost of a program is an important factor to consider. An accelerated Online MBA is generally less expensive because of multiple 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 benefit from zero commuting or relocating costs. Even some book and resources costs can be lower in the online format.

Exam

Many accelerated Online MBA programs do not require a GMAT, which is a 3.5-hour business school entrance exam. Instead, more and more OMBAs allow you to substitute the test for your relevant work experience. The specific program you choose will detail the requirements you need for entry.

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The majority of people who are drawn to an accelerated OMBA 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 graduates 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.

Benefits of an Accelerated Online MBA

  • Fully accredited postgraduate degree
  • Flexible, shorter timeline than traditional MBA
  • Less expensive than traditional MBA
  • Comparable education

Action Steps

With technology advancing and the changes happening in the world, 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 Online MBA is right for you. Make a point to write down your goals for the future and current needs to see if this program is a good fit.

There are a few evaluating factors for you to consider before you decide if an accelerated OMBA is the right choice for you.

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  • Can you afford it? While they are less expensive than traditional MBAs, there is still a significant cost to getting your online MBA. 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.
  • Will it benefit you? Before you go for your accelerated OBMA, evaluate if the degree will actually open you up to the opportunities you want – higher salary, promotions, or different positions. 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. 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 OMBA.
  • Is the program accredited? Do your research and ensure beforehand that the programs you’re considering will give you what you need.
  • 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 OMBAs 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.