Online MBA vs Regular MBA: Which One is Best For You
There is no doubt left over the fact that an MBA degree can certainly help you make rapid strides in your career. You can break into management roles with a reputed MBA degree. While a traditional MBA program has always been a favorite among students, online MBA programs have also steadily risen in popularity in recent years.
But, what are the advantages of online MBA vs regular MBA, and which one can be best for your career? Let’s first analyze the advantages of both learning modes (online MBA vs regular MBA) before concluding.
What is an Online MBA?
Online MBA can be for one or two-year depending on the business school conducting the course. Unlike a traditional MBA program, you don’t have to physically visit the B-school campus to pursue the course. Instead, all the course materials and the classes are delivered virtually.
Why Should You Choose Online MBA?
1. Flexibility of Schedule
Not everyone can afford to dedicate full-time to an MBA degree. Whether it’s workload, family commitments, irregular working hours, or the unclear HR policies regarding study leave, there can be multiple reasons for not being able to enroll in a regular class.
However, online classes can provide you with the flexibility to pursue your MBA without disturbing your work-life balance. You can attend the classes at your own convenient time, manage the pace of your studies, and even save time and money commuting to campus.
2. No Need to Relocate
Consider a situation where you want to enroll in an MBA program, but the B-school of your choice is located very away from your workplace, probably in a different country. You can’t afford to relocate to the B-school campus due to your professional commitments and personal life. Therefore, leaving the job to pursue your MBA is not an option for you.
Online MBA takes care of all your worries since you don’t have to relocate. Instead, you can stay where you are and attend the classes online.
3. Access to Reliable Internet
Apart from a good computer or laptop, you’ll need reliable electricity and an internet connection with good speed. If you live in an area with easily available amenities, you can pursue an online MBA without any hassle, which is today practically the whole of India.
4. Good Written Communication
In an online MBA, you’ll mostly have written communication with your instructors and fellow students in the form of emails. Therefore, excellent written communication skills are a prerequisite. You can consider pursuing an online MBA if you’re good at writing and expressing your thoughts and opinions clearly.
5. Self Discipline
Unlike a regular class, an online MBA student has far lesser face-to-face interactions with faculty and batchmates. Not just an online MBA, if you’re interested in online education, you must possess a lot of self-discipline and commitment. If you think you have the self-discipline required for an online curriculum, you can do well in an online MBA course.
The cost of an online MBA program greatly varies depending on the business school’s reputation, ranking, location, and past records. However, if you compare the costs of an online MBA vs a regular MBA at the same business school, you’ll notice that an online MBA is usually less costly.
Besides, you’ll be saved from additional expenses such as the cost of living in a foreign country, relocating and arranging accommodations, etc.
Why Should You Choose Regular MBA?
Ok, enough about the online MBA. Let’s focus on the regular MBA in this hot debate of online MBA vs regular MBA. A regular MBA can be of various types. One-year MBA, two-year MBA, executive MBA, etc.
1. Structured Environment
Regular MBA programs follow a well-defined course flow and structure. You attend classes regularly, register for seminars, submit assignments regularly, and appear in regular end-of-semester exams. Such a well-defined structured environment helps you develop a disciplined approach toward learning. Besides, you’re already familiar with this approach to learning while growing up. So you don’t have to adjust to a new learning environment.
2. In-person Meet-Ups and Discussions
When comparing online MBA vs regular MBA, then one of the greatest advantages of pursuing a regular MBA is that you can participate in countless discussions with faculty members and fellow students during regular meet-ups in and out of the classroom. Such meet-ups and discussions are an important part of the learning curve.
3. Networking Opportunities
Networking is a crucial part of your MBA education that can help you get the desired job at the end of your term. While online MBA courses do provide networking opportunities, you can get more such opportunities in a regular program due to greater in-person interactions. In fact, networking is one of the best advantages of a regular MBA program. Even years post your MBA, these relationships you have built come in handy.
4. Facilities and Resources
Most reputed business schools have robust infrastructure containing different types of facilities and resources for students. As a regular MBA student, you can access most of these resources. You can attend lectures, visit the library, or indulge in sports and athletic activities inside the campus. You can also participate in various extra-curricular activities organized by the college or various student bodies.
5. Greater Recognition
Both online and regular MBA courses of a reputed B-school are recognized by accreditation bodies and the relevant industries. However, a regular MBA does command a greater amount of recognition and respect. For instance, a regular full-time MBA from USC Marshall School of Business will highlight your resume more effectively than the online program from the same B-school.
6. Bustling Campus Life
The regular MBA class of reputed business schools has a sizable number of international students. Being a part of such a diverse group of different nationalities, you get to know different cultures, beliefs, and perspectives. As a result, you can evolve as a leader with a global outlook toward businesses and life in general.
Moreover, you can make strong life-long bondings with your fellow classmates that can help you in the future.
7. Switching Careers
After a few years in the workforce, many working professionals realize they are better suited for a different job profile. For instance, people engaged in manufacturing and operations may find out that they are better suited for HR roles. Or marketing personnel may decide to switch over to a career in finance.
People find it easier to make such a career switch with a regular MBA degree. A regular MBA degree provides more opportunities for students to adapt to different courses they take through expert guidance and counseling.
Which One Is Best for Career?
A regular MBA program should be your clear choice. While online MBA is evolving fast, unfortunately, it is still not at a stage where it can compete with an offline MBA program. If you don’t have time to go for an offline MBA or can’t leave your job, go for a hybrid MBA program that offers weekend classes or crash courses over a few weeks and a mix of online and offline curriculums.
FAQs related to Online MBA vs Regular MBA
1. Are online MBA and distance learning MBA the same?
Online MBA and distance MBA can be similar in many aspects, but they are not the same. Distance MBA courses offer you study materials you need to study on your own and submit the necessary assignments. The examinations are held offline in such modes.
On the other hand, an online MBA provides access to online classes where you can attend faculty lectures. Moreover, you can clarify doubts to the instructors through email.
2. Does a distance MBA has value?
Any course can add value to your resume if you get to learn something valuable from the course. The same stands true for distance MBA programs. However, if you have questions like is distance MBA worth it than pursuing an online MBA? Then we recommend you to pursue an online MBA, which provides more flexibility and credibility.
3. Is distance learning MBA worth it?
You can decide the worth of a distance learning MBA course if you’re clear about your career goals and targets. For instance, a distance learning MBA program with an online learning module can best suit you if you’re already employed and want to sharpen your management skills. Such courses won’t hamper your work, and you can pursue the course from the comfort of your home.
4. Are there separate eligibility criteria or admission requirements for online or offline MBAs?
If you’re planning to pursue an MBA from a business school abroad, you’ll have to meet similar requirements for either an online or an offline MBA application form. You would require to submit a GMAT score, letters of recommendation, essays, and resumes, followed by a personal interview.
However, a full-time MBA program typically attracts more applications than an online MBA program. Consequently, the admission process may be more stringent for full-time MBA programs.
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