With the advancements in technology and the overall flexibility that comes along with it, online MBA programs are gaining popularity by the day.
The most obvious advantage of an eMBA is the flexibility to study and learn whenever you want. You are time bound and can fit the online schedules in your working life. The busy mother can study whenever the children are taking a nap or the executive can study late at night. It’s totally up to you (in most cases). We would definitely consider doing an online MBA because the program will give the necessary flexibility to pursue the courses at my own pace with my current job. We will simultaneously get the opportunity to learn more in the same job environment and also implement my knowledge, which will give hands on experience enhance my learning and widen my horizons.
The costs of online programs are cheaper than attending a full time program in any university campus. For instance, a full time program at the University of London’s Imperial College will cost you £34,000 (plus the living expenses which are around £10,000 whereas the distance learning MBA program costs about £24,000. The university of Phoenix’s online MBA program costs about US $ 35,000 whereas average regular MBA programs in the US range form US $ 45,000–US $10,000. And don’t forget that since you will be working full time while pursuing your eMBA you will not lose out on your income.
One important benefit and difference between an ordinary MBA and an online MBA is the asynchronous sessions. When you have the time, you follow forums and do exams. Also, the opportunity to review classes and discussion several times is extremely valuable. This is the only way to have the time to do an MBA for many managers and of course valuable for participants in different time zones. Challenge is to convey your personality skills and knowledge and network only virtual. Also you have even more cross cultural and social skills, in order to succeed on the internet words are more apparent when written online.
One of the main concerns that students have is that they are afraid that there will be no inter student interaction and hence their learning process may be incomplete. This may be true with many online programs but some programs give you the option to attend online classrooms where you can discuss various topics with fellow students.
Another common concern for most students is the validity of the degree they receive. This is a very crucial point and you should always check the accreditation and recognition of the programs before enrolling. We are concerned about the reliability of an online MBA. Which employer would accept that? In a regular MBA you work in a group but in online you will be reading on your own. Even if the fees of an online MBA programs are cheaper I would still want to work in groups and hence would prefer a regular classroom MBA states MBA aspirant.
Will prospective employers look at online MBA in the same light as a traditional MBA? If an applicant does not have practical exposure like case studies and group interaction I would give the applicant less preference. However if the degree is from an accredited and well recognized international university, then I would give the applicant bonus points. I would base my decision on the personal interview I have with the applicant. Most employers look at prospective employees in a holistic light and hence your degree the institution where you studied prior work experience and so on will be considered when you apply for a job. Possessing an online MBA degree will not necessary reduce your chances of getting a job.
Don’t just assume that because a university is offering the degree online, admission will be a cake walk. Imperial College’s online MBA program only admits students with a bachelor’s degree, prior full time work experience ( three years is recommended )and GMAT scores of 600 and above. Similarly Manchester Business School’s MBA programs wants applicant wit a good first degree and at least three years of work experience.
So what type of student succeeds in an online MBA program? Ask yourself the following questions to determine if an online MBA is really for you:
1) Do I have at least three years of work experience after graduation?
2) Will this degree help me achieve my career goals?
3) Am I self motivated and disciplined?
4) Can I operate and work on a computer?
5) Can I take out time from my scheduleand dedicate a few hours to studying?
Don’t look at the online MBA as a cheaper alternative to a classroom MBA. If you will be spending an inordinate amount of money for your MBA, you should be aware of your reasons for wanting an MBA and the program you are applying for.
Universities offering an eMBA
Name of university Location Fees
University of London UK £34,000
University of Phoenix US $35,000
IE Business School Spain $ 36,000