Online MBAs are increasingly sought by working professionals who want to advance in their careers but may not have the time to attend traditional in-person courses. They are also ideal for students who live far from a university campus or who travel frequently for work. The flexible learning format can also help these students keep on track with their studies even when they are away from home or the office, says Emory University’s Goizueta Business School Dean Robert S. Gallogly.
But there are still a number of factors to consider before choosing an mba online. First, prospective students should make sure that the program they choose is accredited by a recognized business accreditation agency like AACSB, ACBSP or IACBE. They should also investigate what services are available to online students, including technology support and career counseling. And they should find out if their employer will pay for part or all of the tuition costs, because doing so could significantly reduce a student’s overall out-of-pocket expenses.
While pursuing an mba online will likely take less time than doing it in person, it’s important to choose a program that offers sufficient flexibility to suit your schedule. The best programs combine asynchronous (pre-recorded) and synchronous (live virtual) courses, and they incorporate group projects and simulations to reinforce critical thinking skills. They also offer students a variety of ways to network with peers, from in-person residency opportunities to online student clubs. These opportunities can help students build the valuable relationships that often result in job leads after graduation.