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Are Online MBA courses just as viable as the real deal?

Many people nowadays are enrolling in online MBA course degree programs. Most of us who want a successful corporate job place an MBA degree high on our priority list. Being an MBA ensures that you are capable of superior leadership and have excellent business skills. Moreover, it is undeniable that an MBA degree enables you to be more skilled to earn more money. So, on the whole, an MBA degree appears to be a luxurious bundle that caters to everyone’s career goals. However, any traditional MBA programme at a brick and mortar school is just too time, money, and effort-intensive.


An online MBA course has demonstrated its effectiveness over the last decade. However, people are still hesitant to enrol in an online MBA course due to a lack of accurate information, and they wonder if an online MBA is worth it. Students are unaware of the online MBA course’s global acceptance and, as a result, continue to mistrust its utility. Many students are unaware of the advantages of online MBA courses. They prefer traditional campus programmes, even though they are far more time consuming and demanding than online programmes.

Last month, U.S. News issued its rating of online MBA course degree programmes, which included over 270 programmes, up from 180 in 2017. That doesn’t even take into account all of the online MBA schools accessible throughout the world. As a result, the online MBA course has already become saturated and commoditised while being a rapidly rising section of the management education market.

What is the reason behind the growing popularity of online MBA courses? For one thing, getting an MBA does not necessitate quitting your career. For a student, an online alternative provides the most freedom. If you’re a frequent traveller for work, you can complete your classwork and assignments from any location, including an aircraft with Wi-Fi or a hotel room.

Furthermore, most online MBA courses can be finished in as short as 18 months or spread out over several years. This flexibility enables a student to balance personal and professional obligations. For example, if you’re working on a difficult project at work or expecting a kid, you can take a break from your studies for a while.

You don’t have to commute to a physical location and be physically present somewhere, unlike part-time MBA programmes that sometimes need you to sit in a class for a couple of nights a week. Part-timers have had to slog through classes after work for years, relying on caffeine to remain awake. They’re also more likely to forgo taking a standardised test like the GMAT or GRE. Finally, because you are currently employed, you may be able to take advantage of a company-sponsored education plan to cover at least a portion of your costs.

Furthermore, online MBA course programmes have a high level of satisfaction. Graduates of these schools were recently polled by PoetsandQuants, who were asked if they would suggest the programme to friends or family.

Graduates awarded their programmes an average score of 9.22 on a scale of one to 10, with ten representing the most enthusiastic recommendation possible. For example, the mixed online MBA programme at Carnegie Mellon received a perfect score of 10.0. In contrast, Ohio University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Indiana Kelley, and Lehigh University all received 9.8 to 9.7.


What would you give up in Online MBA courses?

In an online MBA programme, what do you give up? You essentially give up something that most part-time MBA students have done for years: the sense of camaraderie that exists among a cohort of like-minded students who are effectively living together for two years. That time helps students form lasting ties, which makes an alumni network important in the long run.

However, you are primarily sacrificing job opportunities. There are on-campus presentations from corporate recruiters, on-campus interviews with possible employers, and an endless stream of career prospects at any good full-time residential MBA programme, particularly at the higher schools. This pipeline is essentially absent in an online MBA programme because most students already have jobs and businesses’ aversion to hiring MBAs from online institutions. Another concern is that online MBA graduates are frequently older and outside of the traditional MBA employment window.

Despite this, many graduates of online MBA programmes report good outcomes almost immediately after graduation. Online MBA graduates at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, for example, report average salary increases of 29% over their pre-MBA salaries. In addition, 76 per cent of online students at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School have obtained promotions or began new careers while enrolled in the programme. By graduation, students’ salaries have increased by an average of 29% over their pre-MBA levels.

Students are faced with myriad questions like is pursuing an online MBA worth it, which is the best platform to pursue an online MBA, what are the jobs after pursuing an online MBA, etc.

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Let’s examine all the similarities and differences between traditional MBA and Online MBA. 

Content covered 

There is no doubt that online courses can teach you everything you would learn in a regular MBA programme.

Online learning provides the necessary research, analyses, and debates for learning and understanding business management topics. In the same way that more organisations encourage employees to work from home or remotely, effective business management does not necessitate a degree in business administration.

The same curriculum and coursework are available in online programmes as they are in traditional schools.

Hands-on experience

Many people are concerned about the lack of hands-on experience offered by online MBA programmes. Is it possible to learn how to cope with real-world business issues solely by viewing lectures and online quizzes? (Note: newer online courses include far more interactive discussion capabilities.)

The truth is that getting the real-world experience you need to prepare for a new job or profession truly can be challenging in an entirely online school.

Equal accreditation 

One of the most common concerns among people considering an online MBA programme is whether or not the degree will be recognised. Is it just a pricey piece of paper that no employer will care about?

The answer is that it depends on the programme in which you enrol.

In general, online MBA programmes are available from respected schools and colleges across the country. These programmes can get the same accreditation as on-campus programmes, usually from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

However, it is critical that you do not just look for accreditation but that the accreditation is credible. So take the time to do some research and see how everything comes together.


Employer perception 

Okay, you’ve done your research and discovered an accredited online MBA programme. And you put forth a lot of effort to get your degree.

On the other hand, will employers laugh at you out the door if they discover you took online classes rather than attending an in-person programme? It’s really unlikely.

Employers trust and value online MBAs just as highly as traditional MBAs, according to studies. So, in general, your preferred institution may still be important. However, whether you pursue it online or in person is unlikely to have a significant effect.

Networking and connections

One of the pillars of an MBA programme is networking with other prominent/rising company professionals. It may be the primary motivation for seeking a degree in the first place.

In an online MBA school, there is less networking and developing contacts. You won’t be sitting next to your peers daily. You won’t be able to participate in online activities or clubs either.

But that doesn’t rule out the possibility of making similar connections online. Integrated online learning is available in many curricula. There are in-person residence possibilities, lively online conversations, and other opportunities to engage with and meet your classmates–even if only digitally.

It’s debatable whether these connections are worth as much as they would be in a typical programme. However, the possibilities remain. To get the most out of your degree, you must make an effort to meet and network with your classmates, as with other things in life.


You must do your homework if you choose to pursue the online path. That’s because online programmes can cost anything from $128,000 to $16,800, depending on what you obtain. Some are entirely online, with no in-person meetings. Others include on-campus in-residence weeks, weekly live classes, global immersion excursions, and consulting assignments with corporate customers that need live presentations. Some schools provide full access to their career management centres, even including one-on-one executive coaching.

Bottom Line: If you can’t quit your job and want an MBA degree, an online option is a great opportunity to do it on your time.


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