The world of business is one that requires those who want to do well in it to work hard and take advantage of anything they can to put them ahead of the competition. Taking an online MBA could be exactly the thing that is needed to put you over the rest when you are applying for jobs or when you are starting your own business and want to do the very best you can with it.
With more and more people choosing to learn in this non-traditional way, more and more courses are being created, so the choice is wide. So just why is the online MBA such a popular idea? Why are so many people taking up the challenge of studying for it? What are the advantages of taking this type of MBA? Read on to find out; it might help you decide what to do next.
One of the biggest benefits of an online MBA and with this type of learning, in general, is the flexible nature of it. Some courses will have a specific start date, and others will allow you to begin your studies at any point, for example. You can choose the option that works best for you.
On top of this, you may also be able to choose between a standard 16-week course or an accelerated eight-week course. Your current schedule and what you are hoping to achieve (and by when) will determine which option will be best for you in this regard.
Perhaps the most useful element of the flexibility of an online MBA is that you can learn at your own pace. Once you start the course, you will often receive a schedule that it is recommended to follow, but this is only a recommendation, and if you need to work on a more part-time basis, or if you can work more quickly, you can do this. Deadlines are more flexible, and you can fit your study in between your current work and your other responsibilities, such as your family life.
When learning in the traditional way, this would not have been possible. Candidates would have had to attend a physical school at specific times each week to learn, which would have meant quitting work or studying at night school, which isn’t always appropriate, especially if you have young children. Before the online version of the MBA became available, many people who are excellent candidates and who would have made great strides in the world of business would simply not have been able to take the degree. Now they can.
Lower Total Costs
The one thing that is true for the majority of further education, and certainly for any kind of business degree, is that it will cost money. Sometimes these costs can, when all added up, be prohibitive and much more than the student was expecting. Not only are there tuition fees to pay, but if you’re living away from home, you’ll also need to pay for accommodation and food. If you’re commuting to campus, transport fees need to be considered.
When you’re studying for an online MBA, these extra costs don’t need to be thought of at all. The cost of the tuition will be around the same, of course, but when you don’t have to factor in any additional costs because you’re still living at home and you don’t have to drive anywhere or take public transport to get you to your school, you can save a great deal of money.
Plus, you will usually need physical textbooks to take to class with you when you study at a physical school. This is not the case with an online class since the course materials will be digital. You’ll be able to download them for a much cheaper cost than buying expensive course texts.
This is an advantage that many potential students tend to overlook when thinking about taking an online MBA. Still, it’s one that, over a period of time, can become very important. Since there are also opportunities to apply for scholarships, federal financial aid programs, and grants that can be awarded to students, you may find that your online MBA costs a great deal less than you were expecting.
A Comfortable Learning Environment
There is a traditional view of what learning should look like; students sitting in rows in a lecture hall or classroom, taking notes as they dutifully listen to a professor who is pointing to a large screen at the front of the room.
This is exactly what some people are looking for, and they will be keen to go to a traditional college to learn in this way. It works for them and will help them get the qualification they are looking for. However, we now know that not everyone works in the same way, and for some, this method of studying is just not conducive to learning. Although they might enjoy the topic and find their classes interesting, the learning environment is not comfortable, so they cannot live up to their potential.
This is why an online type of MBA is ideal for some learners. Being able to learn in a comfortable environment of your choice, be it your home office, bedroom, kitchen, yard, or a coffee shop in your local town, means you have complete control over your learning, and you can do it in the way that works best for you. Once you are comfortable, you will be able to focus much more on your work, allowing you the same advantage as everyone else who is studying for their MBA.
We’ve already mentioned an advantage of the flexibility an online MBA gives to students, but there is another advantage relating to this idea: geographic flexibility. This means that no matter where you live, you will be able to sign up for and study for an online MBA, even if this is not something you would have been able to do if you had to attend a traditional school.
Not all MBA courses are created equal, and if your local school is not one that has a highly regarded MBA course, your options are limited. You can either move away, leaving your job and family behind, or you can find another course that is further away but is commutable. The only issue with this is that you’ll potentially be spending so much time getting to and from college, you’ll never have any time for anything else, including family time. With these options open to you, you might give up on the idea altogether.
However, you won’t have to give up on the idea if you look for an online MBA. There are no geographic restrictions when it comes to online learning, and you can sign up for any online school no matter where you live. If you are unable to get to a good school due to responsibilities at home or work full-time and want to study for an MBA to enhance your career without giving up that career to do so, an online MBA is the ideal alternative. Even if you can get to a physical school, there are so many advantages to an online degree that it is certainly worth considering as an option.
If you want to advance your career, there are a number of different things you can do. Speaking to your employer and letting them know that you want more responsibility and promotion (and ideally more money too) is one option. Applying for jobs outside of your current company is another. However, neither of these things can guarantee that you will get what you want, and your career may feel as though it is stalling.
Something that will often be recommended is for those who want to advance their careers to go and get an MBA. This will look great on any resume and will help you to get at least an interview for a new job. It will also show your current employer that you are a valuable asset and that you are a hard worker who is dedicated, and they may choose to promote you after all.
Yet finding the time to study for an MBA at the same time as working is difficult. You can’t sacrifice one for the other, which is why so many people choose to stick with the status quo, even if it would help them greatly to get a new degree.
An online form of MBA is the solution. You can stay at work and study too, and when you have achieved your degree, you can then make your next move, whatever they might be. When it comes to online learning, the flexibility and choice means you don’t have to compromise no matter what else you have to do in your life.
Improve Your Technical Skills
Sometimes it’s not entirely about the degree you are studying (although that will always play a big part in your reasons for taking any online learning avenue); it can also be about the technical skills you will achieve while studying. Although more of a by-product of signing up for an online version of the MBA course, these new technical skills can help you a great deal in your life and career and are yet another benefit to taking a non-traditional view of learning.
Some of the skills you will learn or become more proficient in when studying online include greater communication, better IT skills, the ability to research more deeply and accurately, and even how to utilize discussion boards and video calling. Once you understand all of these things, you can use them in many different ways. Not only will you have the skills you have learned in your online MBA, but these extra skills will enhance what you can do many times over.
Increased Instructor/Student Time
One of the problems with learning in a traditional classroom is that there is very little chance for anyone to one discussion time with your instructor, professor, or tutor. You will take part in the class itself, and there might be a chance to ask questions afterward, but then everyone will be rushing off to do other things, and the chance will have passed. If you still have questions, it might have to wait some time to be answered.
This is not how it will work when you are studying for an online MBA. Each student will be able to have dedicated discussion time with their allotted tutor, enabling them to ask as many questions as they need and get some professional, in-depth answers in response. Although you won’t be face to face, online learning does mean you can have a better chance of finding additional information that a traditional course may not offer, especially when there are potentially hundreds of students all looking for the same thing from just one tutor.
Take Another Look
When you are taking an online MBA, every piece of documentation, every video class, every piece of information you might need will be available to you to read, download, or watch when you need to. Unlike a brick and mortar college where, after you have attended a class, you can’t go back and re-watch it, when you are taking an online class, that is exactly what you can do. You can take another look at any of the information you need that will help you or that you need to learn more about whenever you want to.
This has to be a clear advantage when it comes to non-traditional online learning. Not only are you able to experience the class first hand initially, but you can see it many times over. Since you don’t have to pay any extra for this (and you may even be saving money overall, as mentioned above), you are essentially getting extra learning for free.
Although both traditional and online learning have their merits, there are many more advantages in this modern world to taking an online type of MBA as opposed to a traditional, college-based one. The result will be the same, but the learning experience will be a much better one.