MBA stands for Master of Business Administration, and it is one of the most popular degrees. An MBA is designed for students who aim to work in a business-related field. On the other hand, an Online MBA is designed for individuals that strive for the same goals but do not wish to leave their current activities.
Most often than not, an online MBA includes the same professors, learning standards, and courses. However, ultimately, the curriculum of an Online MBA gives you the same preparation that a traditional MBA would; only in this format you would be learning with a flexible schedule.
Why Pursue an Online MBA?
There are plenty of reasons to believe an Online MBA is a wise choice. First and foremost, you will receive the same quality of education. Universities worldwide have improved their e-learning education, and students can attend courses at universities located in distant regions of the globe.
Secondly, you will have the opportunity to make wise use of your time, especially if you are studying and keeping a full-time job. A fully online format ultimately allows you to balance your professional and personal responsibilities. Additionally, an Online MBA will result in lower costs than a traditional MBA.
For more benefits to pursuing an Online MBA, see below:
Online MBA Benefits
If your goal is to pursue an MBA, but you are also looking to balance work and family relationships, completing your studies online might be best.
The benefits of earning an Online MBA include the following:
An Online MBA gives you the advantage of continuing your life without making many changes. If you wish to continue working, an Online MBA allows you to do so. Additionally, you will be able to attend lectures and study when it is convenient for you and not travel back and forth. Having to commute or relocate does take time, and it is a financial burden you can avoid by pursuing your MBA degree online.
Pursuing an Online MBA does not mean you will receive any less quality than students who pursue a traditional MBA. You can still have access to world-class faculties. You can still benefit from the expertise of the brilliant professors that lecture both in traditional and online MBA programs. Whatsmore, you will have the ability to immediately apply what you learn during classes to real-world business cases.
In the past century, the way we learn has shifted from chalkboards and parchment paper to computers and laptops. Learning in a digital setting is not only convenient in that it saves you time. It also benefits you because you will develop new digital skills. As the demand for digital skills has increased even more recently, earning an MBA and possessing excellent digital skills will put you at an advantage when applying for a new job.
Online MBA Disadvantages
Some of the disadvantages of pursuing an Online MBA include:
No Social Life
If you are a person that values the social aspect of business school, an Online MBA might not be the best option for you, considering all interactions will happen virtually. You might also not have the opportunity to network with other students due to not meeting face to face at all or only periodically. In addition to this, campus experience is an exciting part of your studies, and by studying online, you will face a lack of campus experience.
One of the disadvantages of pursuing an Online MBA is there are more chances for distractions than in a traditional MBA. In a traditional setting, you will have peers that will remind you to stay focused. However, by studying online, you might face time management and focusing issues when you have a number of electronic devices striving for your attention. Ultimately, there might be a need for greater discipline.
Although world-class universities offer Online MBA programs, there is still a stigma attached to earning an MBA online. Usually, there is an equal accreditation between traditional and online MBA, but that is not all you should consider. Some employers are interested in how reputable is the business school from which you graduated. So, looking into the accreditation and reputation of the university you are going to apply to is a crucial step.
Online MBA Types
Besides the fully Online MBA option, you can also pursue an:
Online Executive MBA
Executive MBAs or EMBAs are degrees explicitly designed for students that plan to advance to top-level leadership positions. The curriculum of your EMBA will include core coursework in fields like management, entrepreneurship, and international business strategy. By earning an Online Executive MBA, you will be able to work in top executive positions such as CEO or COO.
Online Hybrid MBA
An Online Hybrid MBA is a blended format where 95% of the classes are held online while the remaining 5% are on-campus. This type of MBA ensures that you have both the flexibility and networking opportunities. An Online Hybrid MBA is an excellent option if you are a working parent, young professional, or frequent business traveler.
Online Part-time MBA
If you need even more flexibility, business schools offer Online MBAs part-time. Institutions that offer this type of MBA allow you to choose specific concentrations in financial business, healthcare management, data analytics, marketing, etc. By attending an Online MBA part-time, you will be able to earn your degree on your terms.
Online Accelerated MBA
Online MBAs are also available in an accelerated format. This option allows you to take more classes in a shorter period than you otherwise would in a traditional MBA. Most Accelerated MBAs take around 1 year to complete. Although you will pursue a program that fits the credit hours in a shortened time frame, you will still earn the same degree as traditional MBA students.
Online MBA vs. Traditional MBA
Online and traditional MBAs differ in a number of aspects. There's a difference in the duration of traditional and online MBA programs. Traditional MBAs take 1-2 years to complete, whereas online MBAs might take longer— although not all types of Online MBAs. Accelerated online MBA programs allow you to complete your degree at a faster pace.
Other differences between the two types of MBA programs include flexibility, collaboration, and career network. Online MBAs are typically more flexible than traditional MBAs. Students that pursue a traditional MBA have several corporate recruiters to hire them for internships or even full-time jobs. By studying online, there will be a lack of in-person connection from which students in general often benefit.
Cost of Online MBA
The cost of an Online MBA can vary widely. Some factors that impact the cost of tuition are the type of school you choose to attend (private or public) and the country you pursue your MBA. Usually, in more developed countries, an Online MBA is more expensive than in a developing country.
In addition to this, universities that have a better reputation might charge you higher tuition fees.
On the other hand, smaller or not-so-well-known universities tend to be cheaper. In the United States, for example, you can expect to pay from US$10,000 to US$80,000 per year for an Online MBA.
Best Online MBA Programs
Some of the Best Online MBA programs include the following:
- Indiana University - Bloomington (Kelley)
- University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
- University of Southern California (Marshall)
- Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
- University of Florida (Warrington)
- University of Washington (Foster)
- Arizona State University (Carey)
- University of Arizona (Eller)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (Saunders)
- University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium
Affordable Online MBA Programs
If you are looking for inexpensive Online MBA options, you can consider the following universities:
|Texas A&M University Kingsville College of Business Administration||US$6,157|
|University of Fredericton||CA$25,993|
|University of Wales Trinity Saint David||£10,000|
|Victorian Institute of Technology||
AU$48,000 for international students
AU$16,000 for domestic students
|Rushford Business School||€7,200|
|IE Business School||€51,200|
Online MBA Requirements
Entry requirements between traditional and online MBAs do not differ as much. To be eligible for an online MBA program, you should meet the following requirements:
- Online application.
- A Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent to the country in which you will study.
- Professional work experience.
- Academic credentials such as transcripts, certificates, or mark sheets.
- Personal essay or statement.
- Recommendation letters.
- Language proficiency test scores (if the university’s language of instruction is not your native).
Online MBA With No GMAT Requirement
If you are wondering whether you can pursue an Online MBA without sitting for the GMAT exam, the answer is yes.
Some of the universities that offer Online MBAs to applicants without GMAT scores are the following:
- Missouri State University
- Campbellsville University
- University of Southern Mississippi
- Dakota Wesleyan University
- Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
- Ivey Business School
- The University of Massachusetts Lowell
- University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business
- Lehigh University College of Business and Economics
- Auburn University Raymond J.Harbert College of Business
Career Prospects for Online MBAs
After graduating from an Online MBA program, you will have many career prospects. Considering that in many institutions, the quality of an Online MBA is equivalent to the traditional MBA, recruiters will not hesitate to hire you. Your MBA degree will give you an edge in getting well-paid jobs in some of the world’s largest companies.
As MBAs have various specializations, after graduation, you will have the opportunity to work as:
- PR Specialist,
- Media Planning Manager,
- Market Research Analyst,
- Financial Advisor,
- Chief Financial Officer,
- Cash Manager,
- Supply Chain Manager,
- Chief Operating Officer,
- Operations Manager.
Salary Prospects for Online MBAs
Among the benefits of pursuing an Online MBA are the salary prospects after graduation. Although pursuing this type of degree requires a significant amount of financial investment upfront, you will be able to secure a well-paying job once you graduate. In the United States, you can expect to earn an average of $96,970 per year.
Typically, your salary prospects will depend on a number of factors. Factors that might impact your salary potential include your professional work experience, skillset, and, most importantly, your work location.
If you have more years of work experience, you will most likely earn a higher salary. Additionally, if you work in a more developed country or larger city, your salary will be higher than working in a developing country or smaller city.