Distance learning education has seen a big surge in recent years. With the COVID pandemic, online education has gained popularity, and many people are taking advantage of the benefits.

Business degrees known as MBAs are no stranger to this shift. Whether you are an executive struggling to fit lessons into your busy schedule, a home-bound parent looking for a career change or a student who wants to study abroad but cannot afford to move away, an online MBA may be the way to go. 

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What is an MBA?

A Master in Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate degree focused on business administration. At the beginning of the last century, these courses were invented in the USA to cater to an emerging class of accounting, finance, marketing, and human resources workers. Today, plenty of universities across the world offer online MBA courses.

MBA courses have a very practical approach. Through the use of case studies, they combine theory and practice relevant to daily business situations. The programmes include seminars held by academics and active researchers. These lecturers teach managerial strategies topics on diversity, sustainability, and global citizenship.

How are Online MBAs Organised?

Online MBAs are no different from traditional MBAs in terms of academic offer and employability. The programmes usually have a duration of two academic years, but some institutions may offer shortened versions. Once completed, graduates could pursue a PhD or another Master’s in a relevant field if they want to.

MBA courses can have different structures. The most important are: 

  • Full-time: requiring regular lecture attendance;
  • Part-time: while lecture attendance is required,  lessons and exams are spread over a longer period;
  • Executive MBAs: intended for working professionals seeking professional advancement.

If you are not sure an online MBA is for you, learn more about the other types of MBA Courses here.

Are Online MBA Programmes Respectable?

Online education has in the past been disregarded and looked at with distrust. This is no longer the case; today, employers have no prejudices when hiring people that have studied online. Forbes reports that in 2021, for the first time, online MBA students in the US outnumbered the ones studying on-campus.

When it comes to your degree’s value, what matters the most is the institution’s respectability. It’s advisable to do your research and don’t just go with the cheaper option. Furthermore, consider that Online MBA courses are normally recognised by companies across the world, regardless of your employer’s location.

What are the Requirements to Enrol in an Online MBA?

Online MBAs normally demand a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or political science. Some MBA programmes may also admit students without a previous university degree. These applicants, though, should provide proof of relevant professional experience.

Why Pursue an Online MBA?

Distance learning offers plenty of advantages over on-campus courses. These are key factors for people looking to combine study and work. Let’s take a look in more detail at why you should consider enrolling in an Online MBA:

Flexibility

You will be able to follow lectures from anywhere you like and at whatever time is more suitable for you. All you need is just a reliable internet connection. Some universities may require live attendance for a few selected lectures, but normally all lessons are recorded and can be re-watched anytime. Exams and assessments are the only fixed deadlines you’ll need to watch out for.

Save Money

Online MBAs are generally cheaper than their on-campus counterparts, given the reduced need for academic infrastructures. You will also save on rent, transportation, food and accommodation since you won’t need to move anywhere. 

No Need To Quit Your Job

MBAs are sought after by people already working in the field who want to further their careers. That means many are unable or unwilling to leave their jobs, even temporarily. Online MBAs are just tailored to their needs: maximum flexibility is guaranteed, and the formative calendar fits around full-time work.

Easy Access To Prestigious Universities

Perhaps you dream of perfecting your education at Harvard or Cambridge, but you are unable to move there. As reported by the Financial Times, many prestigious universities and business schools have now launched online MBA programs. So, again, it doesn’t matter where you live in the world. Your choice won’t be restricted to schools within your physical reach: there will be no limits!

24/7 Access To an Online Learning Environment

All online universities provide students with state-of-the-art learning environments. These will allow you to network in real time with your teachers and peers. Whether you require peer support, seek advice or need to complete a group formative project, your fellow students will be at your fingertips. Online universities’ learning environments guarantee 24/7 access to virtual libraries. These include interactive learning materials like videos, industry insights and articles.

Dedicated Support Tools

Online universities offer tailored support for students that choose distance learning courses. In case you experience health issues, stress due to high workloads or need support for your studies, don’t hesitate to reach out to the student support team. They will offer advice on extensions, interruptions & special circumstances applications.

Combine On-Campus and Off-Campus Experience

Many universities offer optional on-campus modules at points throughout the year, bringing together students from around the world to provide support and inspiration to drive you forward. You will have the possibility to meet your teachers and peers face-to-face, growing your professional network.

What Are the Best Online MBA Courses?

There are plenty of courses offered by universities and business schools worldwide. However, remember that since these courses are remote, it doesn’t matter where they are based.

When picking an MBA, you should focus on the programmes that best suit your interests and professional needs and, indeed, the costs. Yearly fees vary between schools, and some may offer scholarships or discounts. Some companies may have special deals with particular universities to further employees’ education, so you should talk to your employer first. Take a look at the business school ranking compiled by the Financial Times (FT) to find the best MBAs out there.

Here’s a breakdown of the best courses on offer in 2022, according to the FT:

  1. Warwick Business School, UK
  2. Imperial College Business School, UK
  3. IE Business School, Spain
  4. University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler, US
  5. Politecnico di Milano School of Management, Italy

Conclusion

Online MBAs are the perfect choice for anyone looking for personal career development in business and administration. Their flexible and remote nature makes them particularly suitable for people already in the job market. 

Online MBAs’ popularity and reputation have improved over the years; today they rank no different from their traditional counterparts. We recommend researching the options best suited to your needs and budget. Keep in mind that – as for traditional degrees – the university’s reputation will likely increase your chances of finding a good job quicker.

About the author
EWOR Team

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