Many professionals who yearn for a bigger management role after achieving a certain height in their respective careers often feel that the lack of an MBA degree hinders their professional growth. However, not all have the luxury of going back to the classroom quitting their job. Online MBA can be a tailor-made solution for such professionals.
What is an Online MBA?
Online MBA programs from reputed business schools are globally respected, recognised, and considered at par with traditional MBA courses. The difference lies in the fact that course materials are created and organised so that they can be delivered online. Recorded videos of lectures, virtual classrooms and online group conference calls are a regular feature of online MBA programs.
The quality and rigours of the course curriculum of an online MBA are similar to an on-campus traditional MBA program.
One of the biggest advantages that online MBA programs offer is the ease of access to various resources. It doesn’t matter whether you are working, getting transferred, relocating your residence, travelling, or taking care of kids at home. You can always pursue an online MBA course as long as you have a laptop or computer with internet access.
You get relatively greater flexibility in scheduling your studies as many recorded lectures can be accessed at your convenience at any time. This can help you make a better study/work-life balance while pursuing your course.
- No Geographical Boundaries
You live in India, and the business school of your choice is in the USA. However, your family and work commitments don’t allow you to relocate to the USA for your MBA. Does this situation sound familiar?
Well, you can have peace of mind by getting admitted to an online MBA program from a reputed US B-school without needing to relocate to a foreign country. Contrary to popular belief, many reputed business schools in the US offer online MBA programs that are duly accredited.
While an online MBA program from a reputed institution is not exactly cheap, it is far more affordable than a traditional 2-years full-time MBA course, or an EMBA for that matter.
- Technological Exposure
Online programs are generally managed by an institution’s in-house learning management system, which is used in teaching, assignment submissions and so on. So naturally, such courses offer students a different level of exposure to the latest technologies and learning tools. These online tools are often used to organise and digitally store notes.
You can be a part of an online community of international students from different countries worldwide during your course duration. Although nothing can substitute the feeling of physically connecting to such a diverse group of individuals, you can still get plenty of opportunities to interact with them over various online group tasks and meet-ups.
[READ: Cost of an Online MBA Program]
Top Online MBA Programs
|Kelley School of Business
|Kenan-Flagler Business School
|University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
|USC Marshall School of Business
|University of Southern California (Marshall)
|Tepper School of Business
|Carnegie Mellon University
|Warrington College of Business
|University of Florida
|Foster School of Business*
|University of Washington
|W.P. Carey School of Business
|Arizona State University
|Eller College of Management
|The University of Arizona
|Saunders College of Business
|Rochester Institute of Technology
*The list also includes Hybrid programs where most of the course is delivered online with quarterly in-person meetings.
Source:- US News
Downsides of Online MBA
- Lack of Professional Network
Networking with industry professionals and regularly interacting with industry veterans is integral to any management education. However, you can find it hard to increase your professional network without regular face-to-face interactions.
- No Campus Life
A dynamic and vibrant campus life aids students to develop many soft skills that can help them throughout their careers. Besides, campus gatherings inculcate a sense of belonging among students. Unfortunately, online MBA students don’t experience this part of student life.
- Lesser Group Collaborations
While online MBA students do project works and group collaborations online, nothing can ever replace the benefits of physical group collaborations that often generate new ideas more frequently during brainstorming sessions and debates.
- Higher Expenses on Technologies
Since online MBA programs are entirely dependent on Internet, students are often required to invest in fail-safe options for smooth functioning such as high-speed internet connectivity, backup power source, etc.
Lack of social life, physical contact and long hours in front of the computer can affect your physical and emotional health. Therefore, you need to be supremely self-disciplined to complete the course successfully.
Online MBA vs EMBA
Long before online MBA started gaining popularity due to the flexibility they offer, Executive MBA or EMBA used to be one of the favourite options for working executives. While both online MBA and EMBA are favoured today by working professionals, there are certain differences between them.
|Minimum 2 years or more.
|Minimum 8 to 10 years or more.
|Online MBA programs usually require valid GMAT/GRE scores.
|Many EMBA programs don’t require a valid GMAT/GRE Score
|Online MBA can provide a more flexible course Structure.
|EMBA provides lesser flexibility when compared to online MBA courses
|Online MBA can be the cheapest available option as the course fee is relatively less. Also, there are no living costs as you will be taking the course from your home.
|EMBA can be relatively costlier.
Should You Go For Online MBA?
Online MBA programs have shot up in popularity since the Covid-19 began in the early part of 2020. However, they were slowly gaining popularity among MBA aspirants long before the pandemic started.
You can consider an online MBA if you are already well-established in your career and now looking for the next big leap. An online MBA can provide you with the right launchpad for a career in management without leaving the comforts of your home or your present job. However, if you’re relatively new in your career or wish to make a change, consider a full-time MBA or an EMBA from a reputed B-school.