Many people are considering going back to school in order to increase their chances of keeping the job they have or getting a better one. In tough economic times, they want to remain competitive in the job market. Yet, because of personal and family responsibilities, they may not have time to drive to the local university and take classes. Because they have time constraints, many choose online MBA programs that offer flexible schedules. Before anyone considers this option, though, they must consider the pros and cons of getting an online MBA.
One of the pros of taking online MBA courses is the flexibility that these programs offer. Although most of the programs have general deadline set to complete the courses, individuals can do their class work any time of the day or night. If they have a job, they can do a little on their lunch break. When they get home and settle in, they can do work before they go to bed. Some people even get up early in the morning to do their work. The ability to work at their own pace allows them to work and have a life while receiving their MBA.
The anonymity is another reason some people may choose an online MBA program over a traditional classroom. Most colleges that offer MBA degrees are very competitive, and in a classroom setting, students tend to show off for their professors. For individuals who may want to return to school but are afraid of speaking up in class, online MBA programs could relieve anxiety. Anonymity may also help a person who is older and wanting to go back to school. Some people feel uncomfortable in a classroom filled with students in their 20s. Taking online courses helps them not stand out among younger college students.
One of the cons of opting for an online MBA program in place of a traditional university is the legitimacy of the program. Many of them are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, but some companies still question the authenticity of degrees received in this manner. Thus, if two individuals walk into a company, one with a traditional MBA and the other with an online degree, the person with the traditional degree will likely get the job. Individuals who already work for particular companies need to talk to their supervisor to see if an online program would be recognized by them. Some companies are coming around though. Just make sure the online program is accredited.
Another con of earning an online MBA is the lack of networking opportunities. At traditional universities, MBA candidates are given necessary information not found in a textbook. Many of their professors have worked in various industries and can lead them to other people in the field. Students build a network of contacts by joining professional business organizations and attending conferences. People who get an online degree are basically a school of one. Unless they are working, they don’t get to meet people who may be able to help them steer in a particular direction.
Like any decision, a person needs to consider the pros and cons of getting an online MBA. They have to ask themselves what they want out of an MBA program and find out if online education is the right choice. They have to consider whether or not they can learn in a solitary environment or if interaction is better for them. In the end, they may find that an online MBA program is right for them. Others may decide to sacrifice some of their personal time and go to a traditional university.