Decision to pursue an online MBA

Online MBA Programs

The decision to pursue an Online MBA could not be made at a better time. Employers today are demanding more education from their employees than ever before. An accredited online MBA degree will carry significant value in any organization's hiring and career advancement decisions. Plus, there is a direct correlation between higher salaries and earning and MBA.

In difficult economic times, going back to school to build new skills -- and make you more attractive to future employers -- becomes extremely popular, even for people with full-time jobs. MBAs are especially popular since the degree is usually meant to prepare someone for more advanced, leadership roles in business (or even government). But is an MBA degree worth the extra years of schooling -- especially when you could be spending that time working full-time

At first glance, the numbers indicate that the answer is a definite yes. Some studies indicate the MBAs earn up to 145% more over their lifetime than non-degree holders. So getting your MBA, while sometimes expensive, is certaining economical.

An online MBA is still a very good idea. The numbers are still very persuasive. Statistics from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (the folks who administer the GMAT) indicate that in many cases someone's pre- and post-MBA salary can jump 50% or more. For example, someone working in marketing making an average of $42,000 before getting their MBA can make an average of $80,000 after receiving their degree. That's nearly doubling your money.

"An MBA may not be equivalent to a winning lottery ticket, but the odds are good that your earnings" will increase after earning your degree -- making those extra years of school worthwhile. Just be sure that you're pursuing the right degree for the right reasons and, of course, good luck with that graduate school application.

An online MBA Programs offers students unparalleled flexibility and choice, allowing them to pursue this highly valued business degree without giving up their family life or work commitments. Prospective employers appreciate job applicants who hold MBA degrees, and many companies help pay to for their employees to complete online MBAs.

Is an online MBA program a good choice for you? Almost two-thirds of today's MBA degrees are sought by part-time students who fit their studies into busy schedules. When you study online, you not only have the convenience of self-paced courses that you can attend on own schedule, you save money in commuting, parking fees, and other customary student charges that campus students pay.

However, there are many mitigating factors affecting an online MBA. Keep in mind that the salary figures quoted above are fairly flexible and can vary widely based on a number of factors. For instance, the type of work you're going into can make a huge difference; consulting jobs will often pay more than finance/accounting jobs, though each could have a different compensation/bonus structure. Your previous experience also speaks volumes. If you're fresh out of business school and go hunting for an investment banking job after years in a marketing firm, odds are good that your starting salary will be much lower than someone with greater comparable experience.

Enrolling in an online MBA program is not a decision to take lightly. Accredited programs require hard work, time, and effort. But, for the right person, an online MBA can be a great way to get a jumpstart in the world of business.


What are the Benefits of the Online MBA?

Often, online business school programs offer accelerated learning modules, enabling some students to complete their degree in less time than other MBA programs allow. You'll do everything online, like enrolling for classes, downloading lectures, viewing streaming classes, participating in chat-room discussions, delivering your papers and taking exams. Some online schools will grant course credits based on your existing work experience. Most schools offer the same financial aid, grants, and loan packages as do their campus-based equivalents.

Discipline Is Required?

There are risks. You must be dedicated to doing the work, with no one looking over your shoulder to prod you. This can confuse students who think that online programs are easier than campus-based programs, or those who need external motivation or deadlines to complete assignments. If you lack the discipline to log into your class, you'll fall behind quickly.

Because you won't have face time with your colleagues and professors, it's up to you to participate in online discussions, sent frequent email messages to instructors and classmates to keep communications and assignments clear. For a self-starter, an online MBA can be a great education option.

How are online MBA programs different from traditional MBA programs?

Distance learning and traditional MBA programs generally share a similar type of curriculum and can be considered equally difficult (depending, of course, on the particular school). Instead of spending hours in class, online MBA students are expected to dedicate their time to studying independently.

Online curriculum generally consists of lectures, readings, assignments, and participation in online discussions. Some programs also offer multimedia components such as video lectures, podcasting, and videoconferencing. Online MBA students from some programs are expected to physically attend a certain number of courses or workshops in order to acquire residency hours. Required tests can usually be taken with proctors in your own community. Online MBA students don't spend less time studying than their traditional student counterparts. But, they are given the power to fit their school hours into their own schedules.

Are online MBA degrees respectable?

This question deserves a qualified "yes." There are two main factors in determining a business school's respectability: accreditation and reputation. Online MBA programs that are accredited by the proper agencies should be respected by your future employers and colleagues. However, there are many unaccredited or "diploma mill" programs that give out worthless degrees. Avoid them at all costs.

Is earning an online MBA worth it?

Many online MBA graduates have used their new degrees to excel at the workplace, gain promotions, and achieve career success. Others have found that their time could have been better spent elsewhere. Those who find their degrees to be "worth it" share several traits in common: they knew they wanted to work in the business field beforehand, they chose a school with proper accreditation and a positive reputation, and their specialization was appropriate for the type of work they wanted to do.

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