Are you looking to earn a Master’s in Business Administration? Will you need to continue working while you obtain your degree? Or, perhaps, you desire to attend a far-away university and cannot move your life to another city. It might be time to weigh your reasons to get an Online MBA versus an on-campus MBA.
As businesses grow and competition increases, along with the level of professionalism, experience, and knowledge needed, people require more education to obtain desired jobs and advance in their careers. Master’s programs in Business Administration (MBAs) are “the most popular graduate business degree program.” MBA programs provide advanced leadership, management, and entrepreneurial training. Also, many degree programs offer focused specializations to concentrate your studies in a specific area of interest.
With advances in technology, many business programs have developed Online MBAs that provide the same high-caliber curriculum, faculty, and experiences as their on-campus counterparts and earn national accreditation. Many top-ranked universities and accredited business schools offer an Online MBA with options to complete the degree 100% online or in a hybrid format that combines online and on-campus coursework. Online MBA programs can be earned while working full-time, taking care of family, or handling any other responsibilities. There is much to consider when choosing the right format to pursue, so let’s dig into the other top reasons to get an Online MBA.
One of the most important of the top reasons that people choose an Online MBA is flexibility in schedule. It’s incredible that you can now continue to work full-time while obtaining an MBA online in our advanced technological day. Most programs design their Online MBA for working professionals with an incredible amount of flexibility. Even schedules cater to personal and professional holiday seasons, where classes end well before holiday obligations begin. It not only works for full-time professionals but those who need to balance earning an MBA with other responsibilities. Those who have full-time family obligations, taking care of children or working all day, have to attend class in the evenings or weekends, making for very long days. And, those who travel for work may not be able to pursue an MBA at all. But, with the flexibility of entirely online MBAs, where you can access classes and coursework at any time, these obstacles have been removed. Students can complete the degree at times that are convenient for their schedule.
No Commute Time or Costs
Another top reason to get an Online MBA is that you do not spend time or money commuting. Time is precious. The way you spend your time affects everything in your life. As a traditional MBA student, you have to get yourself to campus for classes every week. Depending on how far you live or work from the university, your commute time could be several hours round trip, especially when you live in cities and have to drive through rush hour traffic. Not only does the commute require time, but there are also costs that come with commuting, like gas, parking, or bus fares. Online MBA coursework, recorded lectures, and even real-time sessions are accessible from anywhere that has wifi. This benefit opens up the entire world as your classroom and removes any necessary commute. Students can attend class from the comforts of a home office, the coffee shop, the airport, hotel rooms, at their job, and even a friend’s house. The options are endless.
Increasing School Options
Typically, for a traditional, on-campus MBA program, you have to attend a local college or university, or you must relocate to a different city or state to be near your college of choice. Sometimes, the universities nearby offer just the MBA program you want to obtain, but you might be settling for a less than perfect program most of the time. Also, most working professionals cannot leave their jobs to move away, and it isn’t easy to uproot your family to pursue a degree in a different location. With an Online MBA, the advantage you find is that you can attend any program that is offered anywhere in the country, which keeps you from settling for a lesser program or relocating. There are hundreds of Online MBA programs in the U.S., and the number continues to grow each year. This gives you an increasing amount of school options where you are not restricted to your vicinity.
Diversity Amongst Peers
Universities all over the U.S. are growing in diversity. Sure, you can experience diversity in your classes on campus, but the amount amongst peers in an Online MBA is extensive. A virtual classroom reaches to the far ends of our world, both nationally and internationally. Students from all over the U.S. and other countries can find themselves all pursuing the same Online MBA together. You see people from all different races, religions, genders, beliefs, lifestyles, and backgrounds. Classmates come from various work environments, levels of work experience, education, undergraduate majors, and types of industries, like real estate, financial services, manufacturing, technology, engineering, healthcare, and government. Whether the program is cohort-based, where you start and end with the same students, or is open and you meet different peers in every class, the incredible impact and benefit of conversing with, studying with, and learning from a diverse group of peers are priceless.
Lower Costs Than Traditional MBA
Let’s face it, acquiring a degree of higher education, especially an MBA, is not a cheap venture. Any MBA, whether on-campus or online, will cost thousands of dollars. Typically, Online MBA credit hours will cost the same as traditional MBAs. With that said, there are always extra fees and costs associated with earning a degree. These fees include things like transportation, commute costs, childcare, time off from work, and even relocation. Therefore, the overall cost of acquiring an Online MBA is lower than traditional MBAs. Another cost-benefit you may find is that some universities will waive the increased out-of-state tuition fee for their online degree programs. So, students who relocate to a different state to pursue their MBA in person will face significant cost increases for out-of-state tuition. Still, Online MBA students can select a program in another state and possibly be exempt from the extra costs.
MBA graduates earn a respectable degree, tend to be more competitive in the job market, are highly sought after by prominent employers, and face increased job security. If you are someone pursuing an MBA, more than likely you have a lot of responsibilities in your life, are driven, can multitask successfully, and highly value your time. The desire to obtain an MBA is typically coupled with wanting to move into and succeed in leadership and management roles at the current company you work for or transitioning to another organization. An MBA and work experience are the main factors that will get you to that dream management position. What if you could use your time wisely and efficiently and gain the required education and work experience at the same time? This is precisely what you can accomplish with an Online MBA. Each program is designed for working professionals and is flexible to fit your schedule. You can efficiently get to a management position quicker by combining an Online MBA with full-time work experience.
Enhanced Writing Skills
Communicating your thoughts, ideas, plans, and instructions in written format is essential to success in a professional business environment. Any undergraduate and graduate business degree will focus on developing your writing skills, especially an Online MBA. You can be assured to graduate from your Online MBA with enhanced writing skills. Benefits include learning to communicate clearly, effectively, and professionally through email, messaging, presentations, written documents, and other business materials. All of these written communications happen between you and your bosses, fellow employees, your team, other companies, and clients. Sometimes, the impression you make by your writing ability can build or destroy the trust that others have in you. Advanced writing skills will help you get hired, promoted, and help you succeed in management positions. Students will develop writing skills in every class throughout their Online MBAs. But, there are also entire classes devoted to enhancing writing skills, like Digital Communication, Executive Communication, Business Writing, and Management Communication. Some degrees even provide concentrations in areas like Strategic Communication.
Acquire Knowledge Through Your Learning Style
Although some of us are similar, we are all wired slightly or vastly different. Not everyone learns in the same way. The VARK Modalities explains four main ways people learn: Visual, Auditory, Reading & Writing, and Kinesthetic. And, “life and work are multimodal,” therefore many people acquire knowledge best through combining these learning modes. Another great reason to pursue an Online MBA is that it offers enough options and flexibility for you to learn and study based on your learning style. Online MBA programs differ across the board, so you are bound to find a program that fits you. Some of them are completed entirely online, and others offer hybrid options to achieve a mix of online and in-person classes. Typically, even the 100% online programs will include some hands-on learning opportunities. You can find programs that are asynchronous, where you complete recorded lectures and coursework entirely on your own schedule, or some that mix in real-time, live lectures in an interactive synchronous format.
From continent to continent, our entire world experienced a disruption in our daily lives with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic back in March 2020. No one imagined the changes we would all experience over the next year and a half. Many mandates went into effect throughout our country to help keep people safe from the virus. People had to wear masks to cover their mouths and noses when in public places. We had to try to stay six feet apart from everyone else. Gatherings of people were limited, and quarantines were in place. Many businesses closed, including restaurants, stores, schools, and universities. But, schools and universities turned to online classes so that students could continue their education from home while being protected from the spread of Covid-19. Online MBAs continued, and even more schools began to develop programs. Online MBAs are “Covid-friendly” and “Covid-safe,” which has become extremely important and will continue to be one of the top reasons to get an Online MBA for years to come.
Virtual “Remote Work” Experience
The technology and ability to work remotely have been around for many years now. Some companies would offer a remote work option as a perk or just for a select few employees. But, due to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, the business world has been forced to become more digitized and virtual. “Working remotely,” “remote work,” and “working from home (wfh)” have become normal descriptive words used among all types of professionals, especially those in business industries. There are more remote workers currently than at any other time in history, and it feels this may be a more permanent shift than we first realized. Technology-driven Online MBAs are an excellent way for professionals to learn and develop the necessary skills to navigate the virtual world of business successfully. Students have to communicate with professors and classmates, conduct group projects, study with peers, complete coursework, and submit assignments all online. This is excellent training to prepare professionals for the digital marketplace.
If you are reading this article, you have probably already decided to get an MBA and are inquiring to see if an Online MBA is right for you. Or, maybe you are researching Online MBAs for someone else. Take your time and ponder each of these top reasons: flexible schedule, no commute time or costs, increasing school options, diversity amongst peers, lower costs than traditional MBAs, efficiency, enhanced writing skills, acquiring knowledge through your learning style, Covid-safe, and virtual “remote work” experience. If you align with any or all of these reasons, then an Online MBA might be just the path for you. Your action plan from here should include analyzing Online MBAs that fit your learning style, fall into your preferred price range, and offer the flexibility in schedule that you need. With hundreds of options in the U.S., you are bound to find the right Online MBA program.