Online MBA programs are a wonderful option for working professionals, and like brick and mortar graduate programs, they vary in quality and specialty. Today, Gradschools.com is here with advice on finding an Online MBA program that works for your needs, without sacrificing quality.
There are so many things to consider when you are considering going back to school to pursue an MBA, not the least of which surrounds finding the program that is right for you. Nowadays, students have access to a variety of learning options that may enable them to easily fit their studies into their lives. There are traditional two-year programs, one-year accelerated programs, executive MBA programs and of course the online MBA.
When considering your educational options, the most important decision you will face will be determining what is most important to you in the long term. If your goal is to continue full-time work or your personal life would be negatively affected by the financial and time commitments typically associated with enrolling in a traditional MBA program, you might want to consider the flexibility and economics of an online MBA. When making your selection, make sure you begin by looking for programs that are professionally accredited by AACSB, EQUIS or AMBA. Programs that meet accreditation standards are more likely to be well received by the academic and professional community.
Take plenty of time to research different program options. Not all business schools offer the same concentrations. Be aware of the specialties offered by each institution to make sure the education you receive will help you pursue your intended career path. You should also look at the employers that traditionally recruit from the school(s) you are considering. Some MBA programs have a reputation that may be of great assistance to you when networking and looking for a job.
Consider the financial aid offering for each program as well as overall cost in relation to the value. The cost of online programs may vary greatly. A higher priced program may offer you a greater return on investment in terms of reputation and attractiveness to future employers.
Compare the curriculum of your online program of choice with a similar on-campus curriculum. Really dig into the types of assignments and projects you will be assigned as well as the required courses for the program. You should feel very comfortable that you are getting an education similar to the curriculum offered in an on-campus MBA program.
As you narrow down your search, learn about the faculty that will be teaching your online program. Ensure the online program uses the same faculty as the institution’s on-campus program if they have one. Does the faculty have work experience in your field of study or a strong reputation in the industry? One of the most important benefits of earning an MBA are the networking opportunities that become available to you through your program, an outstanding faculty may really give you a leg up in your career.
You should also review lists of college rankings. These are released each year by different organizations and websites and may provide you valuable insight into the quality of a particular program.
With so much of our current business environment consisting of email, video and web-based content management, an online MBA may provide the added bonus of preparing you to work with many of the technologies you will leverage in your professional career.
Written by University of Pennsylvania graduate and freelance writer Kerry Auge and edited by Laura Morrison, the Content Manager of GradSchools.com. If you are interested in earning an MBA, find out here.