Is an Online MBA Worth It?

So you are thinking about pursuing an MBA and you have probably done a good amount of research on what programs are out there. In your research, you might have actually come across a number of programs that are offered completely online. In this article, I will be talking some reasons why you might want to consider going the online route and decide if it’s worth it for you.

Why Should I Consider an Online MBA?

So if you followed the state of higher education at all in the last few years, you’ll notice a couple of trends. One is that MBAs are as popular as ever and that’s because it offers prospective students a well-rounded business education that they can then use to advance their careers. Not only that, MBA degrees tend to be the most popular choice when it comes to filling upper management positions.

However, the second trend is that MBAs are getting more and more expensive and of course that’s because there’s just a lot of demand for it. The return on investment typically is very healthy when it comes to pursuing an MBA. However, again the costs are increasing because you can pay for a full-time in-person MBA program anywhere from $50,000 to a $150,0000 and that’s not including the fact that you forego a salary for one to two years.

Because of that, while people still desire an MBA they really need to weigh the economics of their specific situation. Now it goes without saying getting an MBA from an accredited institution will generally yield a return on investment so really it’s a matter of exactly how much benefit you get financially from this investment and really what is it going to cost you. Now everyone’s situation is different but here are some reasons you might want to consider online MBA and decide if it’s worth it to you.

Flexibility

The number one reason you should consider an online MBA is flexibility. This is probably the biggest benefit of really any online program. The fact that you don’t have to be physically in the class, you don’t have to travel somewhere to physically be in a class, you don’t have to go anywhere physically to do any kind of group work, so this in itself is a huge benefit.

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This is especially important if you have a family to take care of or if you are working. You save a lot of time just by that when it comes to classes and attendance. Online programs generally have designated times for classes that you can attend. You can attend with your classmates and it’ll all be virtual.

Now there’s the degree of flexibility when it comes to that and depending on even the classes or attendance may or may not be required but the benefit here though is these sessions mostly are recorded so you can refer back to them in the future throughout the course of the semester. There’s also the component of the class that you do at your own pace so long as you meet certain deadlines. So again here flexibility is key.

Affordability

The second reason is that online MBAs tend to be very economical and I mean that in a few different ways. This is because you have the opportunity to continue working and continue to bring in an income so you can pay off tuition. If you are taking on debt to do this, you can pay off your debt sooner. So net of it is at the end of the program, you are typically in a better financial situation.

The other part to it is when it comes to online MBAs is that historically in more recent past as online MBAs have come online, there are a lot of programs that as far as tuition goes, there are programs that are almost the same cost as their full-time in-person offerings. So you historically haven’t really had a chance to save a lot of money on the program itself.

There have been a handful of disruptions in this market in that, for example, you have the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that offers their online MBA for $22,000 for the entire program which is at that time unheard of. It’s still fairly unheard of because there are simply not many brands or not many schools of that reputation offering their MBAs in that format.

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There are other institutions getting on board with this as well. Boston University is another institution that has recently promoted their online MBA and are offering it for $24,000. So the fact that you can continue to work makes the online MBA worth it. Also, you have in some cases lower tuition and you can pay this off quite a bit sooner than you could if you did a full-time MBA that costs quite a bit more money.

Career Advancement

An online MBA is also worth it if you are looking to progress at your company. This isn’t to say that you couldn’t leverage the MBA to go find an opportunity elsewhere but it’s generally harder to do so versus a full-time MBA.

This is because with a full-time MBA in person, you’re there in person and you can seek opportunities because you have got recruiters from companies also coming by in person and they’re seeking folks that could be interns and those they could mentor into full-time opportunities. They are seeking full-time employees as well.

So in some cases, this is more like being spoon-fed these opportunities to put it in that way. The idea is that this is a funnel for a lot of those companies. So in an online setting, you don’t have access to that same environment. With that said, you can actually build a fantastic network with all your peers in the online MBA program.

Think about it this way, the programs typically attract folks that are already in their careers, enjoy what they do, and they are looking to gain more knowledge to advance in their career. So a good amount of your peers are already working at the companies that you yourself might be interested in and they could also be a resource for you if you just want to explore opportunities there.

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But again that takes more initiative on your part; more initiative than I would say one who had to have an in-person full-time MBA program. This is because everyone again is physically there and everyone is exploring the same opportunities. It’s a more natural thing to do in that environment.

With online MBAs, you do have to reach out stay engaged and take initiative when it comes to that. So if that’s not your goal here it really is going to be something that develops at your company and that’s probably going to be in my opinion one of the biggest reasons you would want to pursue an MBA online.

Final Thoughts

So there are your three reasons on why an online MBA might be worth it to you. Now we’ll caveat everything I just said with this and that is make sure to choose an accredited, established, long-standing institution or University for your online MBA program. The reason for that is again you don’t have to seek out a top 10 MBA program because then you’ll be paying top 10 MBA program prices.

You certainly want to be careful about spending money at any institution that doesn’t have a lot of history to back it nor any good amount of data points to explain why their MBA is valuable to you. So again pick your school wisely and you’ll be set.

That about does it, hope that helps. If you yourself have been looking into an online MBA program, I’d love to hear your top reasons as to why you’re looking into an online MBA program, leave your comments down below I’d love to hear your feedback.

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