Pursuing an online MBA

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If you are a successful professional seeking growth, you probably don’t have the time or flexibility to attend a normal MBA program even if the classes are offered in the evenings. This is the primary reason online MBA programs are becoming increasingly successful. An online MBA degree is a popular choice of mid-career professionals who want to earn a degree but don’t want to sacrifice their career and family life.

Over the last 15 years, online learning technologies have improved significantly. At the same time we have also changed in the last 15 years. We are now more technically savvy, connected to high-speed Internet 24/7, and are comfortable using Internet for virtually anything.

Online MBA programs offer several advantages over traditional university programs but all online MBA programs are not the same. They vary in accreditation, area of expertise, and quality of learning material delivered. You need to first do your homework and then choose the program which best suits your requirements.

How is an online MBA different from a traditional MBA?
Online MBA programs generally have a similar curriculum as a traditional MBA and are generally taught by an equally qualified member of faculty. The lectures, readings, assignment and participation is online and there is a lot of independent study. Group study is generally online and there are time zone handicaps such as a 12 difference between US and China. However, due to the global nature of the student body, group discussions are richer in content and more relevant to a globalized world.

Just because a program is online does not mean that there are no deadlines. There are deadlines for assignments and projects. You might also be required to go to a nearby testing center to present your take a written exam on a specific date. Many online degrees are partially traditional in the sense that you will be required to take a few courses the traditional way. You cannot dissect a frog online! Would you allow a surgeon to operate on your loved one who has no experience of a physical surgery? No surgery required for an MBA.

Does the market value online MBA degrees?
An online degree is valued as much as a degree you acquired by attending lectures in physical classrooms. The value of a program, online or traditional, is determined by its accreditation. An online MBA from an IVY league institution is just as valuable as a traditional MBA from an IVY league institution. Avoid unaccredited programs unless you are only seeking a piece of paper.

Why pursue an online MBA?
People from different educational backgrounds move up in their careers over the years and reach a level where they can no longer continue climbing up the ladder without management qualifications. This is when professionals start seeking an MBA. An MBA from a reputed institution can cost from $30,000 to $100,000 and takes about 18 – 36 months to complete. This is a hefty investment of time, effort and money but the cost of not making this investment is higher in the long run.

Final Word
Online MBA is the best way to move up the career ladder and get promoted. It is the best decision an experienced professional can take. It is a hefty investment of time, money, and effort so do your homework so that you choose the program that is most suitable to your needs.

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