There are a lot of factors to consider before pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Make no mistake, the road to graduating with an MBA degree is relatively long, often bumpy, and requires considerable investments of money, time, and energy.
For these reasons, it is important to seek out an MBA program that works for you. Perhaps you are already working full-time, have important family obligations, or live under other conditions that make attending business school in person practically impossible.
Well, there’s good news! Thanks to the forward march of distance learning and online education, you can now pursue your MBA entirely online. Read on for more information about earning an online MBA.
Is an MBA Worth It?
No matter what your goals as a business leader or organizational administrator happen to be, few credentials will open more doors than an MBA. Although the average cost of an MBA may be enough to give some people pause, the investment typically pays dividends that make it well worth it.
The MBA allows holders to fulfill ambitions that go well beyond the monetary, but the sheer earning power associated with the degree cannot be denied. The business education authority Business Because calculates the average wage of an MBA graduate to be approximately $115,000 per year. At this level of pay, they command twice the salary of their industry colleagues who hold bachelor’s degrees alone.
Benefits of an MBA Degree Online
If you want to decrease your expenses and overcome time constraints while pursuing your MBA, an online program may be just what you’re looking for. Here are just a few of the benefits of a quality online MBA program:
For many people who decide to pursue an MBA online, it’s all about scheduling. While in-person programs typically require students to attend classes at specific, predetermined times, most online programs present a far more flexible timeframe when it comes to addressing materials and completing course requirements.
Of course, online educational programs also offer a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to geographic location. As long as they have internet access through a functional computer or mobile device, students can visit the virtual classroom from just about anywhere.
Work While Studying
The supreme geographic and scheduling flexibility of the online MBA program makes it a highly attractive option for anyone who wants to work while enrolled. Online study allows you to attend to educational matters before, after, and in between the various demands of your professional life.
Get a Global Perspective
In today’s hyper connected business world, even small companies must often compete at the global level. For this reason, an international professional purview has become a highly sought-after attribute in the current administrative landscape. Because they have the potential to instantly connect students and educators from around the world, online MBA programs offer unique advantages when it comes to fostering a global management perspective.
Expand Your Network
Beyond securing quality business training under accommodating circumstances, many people ultimately choose a specific MBA program for its networking benefits. You simply cannot underestimate the power of well-connected players in business. Whether conducted online or in person, most high-quality MBA programs offer ample opportunities for students to seek training, mentorship, and collaboration with established business leaders.
How Hard Is It to Get an MBA Online?
When it comes to assessing the difficulty of securing an MBA online, the consensus is that it is relatively easy to get accepted to an online MBA program, but that program may be quite challenging to complete. While online distance learning is highly convenient and allows students a great deal of leeway to proceed on their own schedule, this autonomy can be dangerous for students who don’t have the proper focus and discipline. Self-starters and independent workers, however, tend to find online MBA programs considerably easier to complete than traditional MBA programs in brick-and-mortar classrooms.
What Does an Online MBA Program Cover?
Online MBA programs cover the same subjects and materials that traditional MBA programs cover. At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Gary W. Rollins College of Business, the required curriculum only differs significantly for students who are pursuing a general MBA as opposed to an MBA with a concentration in an area such as finance, business analytics, or healthcare administration. Whether they pursue these concentrations online or in-person makes no difference in what they learn.
Core online MBA program coursework at UTC consists of eight graduate business courses of three credit hours each. Topics covered in these courses include organizational leadership, quantitative decision analysis, financial management, marketing management, and business IT.
To earn an MBA through the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business, online students must also complete three elective courses that total at least nine credit hours and a three-credit required capstone course in strategic management designed to showcase each student’s practical business strategy and decision-making skills.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA Online?
Because online MBA programs tend to let student progress at their own pace, the amount of time required to get your degree will depend on your personal expectations and level of dedication. Like the hybrid online/in-person Flexible MBA program, the 100% Online MBA program at UTC can be completed on a full-time or a part-time basis. Committed full-time students can complete the program in as few as 18 months, and part-time students can complete it in as few as 24 months.
How to Choose an Online MBA Program
Full-time or part-time? Fully online or partially in-person? The right online MBA program for you may not be the right one for your coworker. Beyond these basic considerations, there are many factors to consider when choosing an online MBA program. Here are just a few:
There is certainly no shortage of disreputable organizations passing themselves off as legitimate “business schools.” Whether it is online or in person, you must ensure that your chosen online MBA program is accredited through a respected and relevant body of accreditation. In terms of both practical knowledge delivered and levels of industry respect and influence, a degree from an unaccredited institution may not be worth the paper it’s printed on. The UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business is accredited through AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International.
Make sure that the offered courses and curriculum requirements of your chosen school meet your specific needs. This is particularly important for students who want to earn an MBA with an industry-based or skill-based concentration. Take a close look at the various degree paths that your top MBA programs offer, as well as the individual classes in their course catalogs.
If you have the spirit of a true business professional, you will approach your MBA education as you would approach any other investment. In other words, you will want to ensure that the costs of your MBA study will deliver substantial dividends in the end. However, it is important to consider more intangible costs (such as those you pay in terms of time and energy) and dividends (such as improved professional conditions and life quality) that go beyond the purely financial.
Of course, the aim of most MBA graduates is some form of career advancement. Fortunately, there is plenty of publicly available information that shows how easily graduates of specific MBA programs find employment and what types of management-level positions they find. A full-service educational institution, the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business offers comprehensive job search and career assistance through its Graduate Career Services and its skilled graduate career coach.
Student support can take a wide variety of forms because the wants and needs of each student is unique. In general, support involves giving students the tools, resources, and information that they need to succeed in their chosen paths of study. They will receive holistic guidance while enrolled at an institution and ultimately earn their chosen degrees. The Student Support Services at UTC have proven successful at retaining students from diverse backgrounds and preparing them to graduate at high rates. In fact, participants in UTC Student Support Services are more than twice as likely to remain in school and graduate than non-participants from similar backgrounds.
Chances are good that you tend to read online reviews before making any major consumer purchase or time investment. Why should your search for the ideal online MBA program be any different? In addition to considering the opinions of experts in higher education and the business community, you will also want to pay close attention to online MBA program reviews posted by former and current students.
Is an Online MBA for You?
Online MBA programs offer many distinct advantages for most students. And as previously noted, the “best” online MBA program will vary from person to person.Consider making lists of pros and cons to determine the MBA program that best suits you. While comparing programs, be sure you check out what the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business MBA programs have to offer.