The popularity of the “online” domain is not just limited to e-commerce and social media. Today, even education has taken to the online platform to grant people wider access to education. Among the many online educational programs offered today, MBA is one of the most popular and fast-growing online program choices for young aspirants – particularly for those who wish to make it big in the corporate world. The popularity of online MBA programs has reached such a massive scale, that even reputed B-schools all across the globe have joined the online bandwagon with their online MBA programs.
While online MBA programs have gained a strong foothold, one is faced with two pertinent questions before choosing an online MBA course –
Is an online MBA program worth it?
Does it offer the same value as a traditional, full-time, on-campus MBA program?
Let’s find out!
Online MBA program vs traditional MBA program
The most important question that arises while comparing online MBA programs to traditional on-campus MBA programs is – how do potential recruiters view your MBA degree?
While earlier the ruling would incline towards traditional MBA degrees, times have changed now. Today, more and more employers are both accepting and respecting online MBA degrees. Many recruiters hire candidates those who have obtained an online MBA degree from a reputed B-school or institution. This is a pivotal deciding factor for many employers. Since an increasing number of B-schools are now offering well-designed online MBA programs, employers are beginning to trust the quality of online MBA programs. As a result, there’s been a considerable increase in the number of candidates with an online MBA degree. Employers lay more emphasis on the quality of your education rather than the method of learning.
However, the acceptance of an online MBA degree is still mostly subjective. Even today, many employers swear by the conventional learning approaches. They believe that physical, classroom sessions are imperative to quality education. So, while it is true that the stigma around online courses being ‘incompetent’ is gradually reducing, there are still some people who prefer the traditional learning approach.
Is an online MBA program the right fit for you?
Before choosing an MBA program, you must first consider your present position. You have to take a close look at your financial situation, the amount of time commitment you can give to the MBA program, and your career goals as well as MBA goals.
First, you must remember that all online MBA programs are not created alike. Different colleges offer different kinds of online MBA programs. So, you will have to spend some time researching about various courses and see which one is in sync with your career and MBA goals. You should choose one offered by a reputed B-school since most of these courses are incredibly well-designed and taught by expert faculty members.
Second, you must understand your financial situation. The good thing about online MBA programs is that they cost much lesser than on-campus MBA courses. While the course fee for on-campus MBA programs can range anywhere between Rs. 500,000 – 25,00,000 (two-year course), the course fee for online courses usually range between Rs. 1,00,000 – 3,00,000. So, if you have financial restraints, online courses are a good option.
Third, you have to consider the learning style of the MBA course. If you are someone who learns better with online interaction and communication, an online MBA program will be the best idea for you.
Fourth, you have to ask yourself why do you want an MBA degree in the first place. Are you looking forward to making a career transition with an MBA degree? Do you wish to advance your position within your current company/organization? If the answer to these questions is a YES, opting for an online MBA program is the right choice since it will offer you the flexibility to retain your job while upskilling. However, if you are looking for a major increase in the salary package, a traditional MBA program would be better. This is because the salaries of on-campus MBA graduates are much higher than online MBA graduates.
Benefits of an online MBA program
Perhaps the biggest advantage of online MBA programs is that they offer a flexibility that on-campus courses do not offer. You can pursue the MBA program even while managing your other commitments like job, family, etc. Since the medium of learning is online, you can finish up with coursework at your convenient time slot; you can access study materials from any location, and you can work on projects and assignments while traveling home from your full-time job. You can manage your study schedule according to your life schedule and not the other way round.
Another crucial advantage is that unlike part-time or full-time on-campus MBA courses, you will never be required to be physically present in a classroom. You will not even have to relocate to the institution facility to obtain an MBA degree. From study sessions and discussion forums to receiving feedback on your completed projects – everything will happen online. Also, while different colleges or B-schools follow different MBA entrance exams, online MBA programs almost always follow the standardized entrance exam like the CAT/MAT/GMAT.
Since online MBA programs are conducted online, students from all corners of the country or the world can take up the course. So, you will be learning alongside classmates hailing from a different educational/professional background, different cultures, different nationalities even. In the process, you’ll make some invaluable contacts.
So, you see, online MBA programs have their unique benefits. Just as everything else, they come with a distinct set of pros and cons. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not an online MBA program will be worth the cost and effort depends solely upon your career goals.
We hope this article has helped you gain some perspective about online MBA programs!
What are some of the pre-requisites for pursuing an online MBA degree?
Pursuing an MBA program online will require you to have access to a stable internet connection and trustable network devices. Moreover, it is also reported that it is tougher to continue a degree online. In a world of distractions, it is easy for one to get absorbed in their work and forget about the online program. This is why it is also a prerequisite to have the zeal and enthusiasm to pursue a degree online. Apart from these, it will also help to have the relevant skills required from any management professional such as leadership, time-management, as well as good interpersonal skills.
Will I really be able to pursue an online MBA and my full-time job at the same time?
One of the benefits associated with an online MBA is the flexibility they offer. This is why they are often preferred by working professionals who are looking to advance their skillset and profile but are not yet ready to give up their job. Although managing several commitments could prove to be stressful at times, effective time-management practices and adequate advance planning can help you face this challenge. It could also be helpful to talk to your employers about your new or future plans beforehand. Sometimes this can help you get access to additional resources and support that you might need in your journey.
Which online MBA program should I opt for?
Choosing the right MBA program is an important decision. If you are a working professional and plan to balance the course with your job, you might have to be even more considerate while choosing the program. Thus, some things that you should consider are your work timings, willingness to commit, and future plans. You should also have a look at the online reviews and the faculty before making a final decision.