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Online Or Traditional MBA?

Posted on Mar 28, 2019
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Why do you want to pursue an MBA? Do you want a hike in your salary, switch your role or industry, gain global opportunities to network for your start-up or boost your career growth? Do you want to possess strong leadership and team management skills or to improve your problem-solving skills and teamwork? These are a few questions that you should ask yourself when you are taking a decision on whether to take up online or traditional MBA degree. Here are three factors which would help you decide, which MBA is right for you:

  1. 1. Flexibility–Online MBA courses have the advantage of being flexible. One can be in any part of the world, sitting miles away from school and take classes at a time convenient to you. This gives you the flexibility of working full-time and earn your degree. The curriculum of a university’s online MBA degree is also often similar to that of its traditional counterpart. The largest opportunity cost of a full-time MBA program is that it takes you out of the workforce for one to two years, depending on the program in which you are interested in enrolling. It is also important to note that increased freedom also often means increased responsibility. A lot of students are overwhelmed by the workload of an online MBA in addition to a full-time job, which is an additional stress that traditional MBA students do not have.
  2. 2. Social Interaction – Though people are quite comfortable in communicating and conversing with others in a virtual classroom, your interaction with the faculty and your peers won’t be as successful as it would be in a traditional MBA. And a significant amount of learning happens over interaction outside the classroom. This starts with an intense orientation program that abounds with exciting social activity and continues through participation in campus clubs and student government, international travel excursions, and overall generally high levels of social interaction. The network effects of a traditional MBA are profound – business school students develop deep, meaningful relationships with each other, whether it is in terms of becoming lifelong friends or becoming prospective employees or employers for each other’s companies. These relationships are cemented not just with students in one particular class, but also with professors and students from other years and sections.
  3. 3. Job Prospects–Accreditation and the reputation of a business school are inherently interlinked. There are many non-accredited online MBA programs that feign legitimacy, which can make finding the right, trustworthy degree more difficult. Hence, although an increasing number of qualified professionals are earning an MBA online, many employers still prefer to hire candidates with traditional MBA degrees. So if you are looking to enhance your salary, switch careers or improve your current career trajectory, you need to ensure that your employer values an online MBA analogously to a traditional MBA. Additionally, traditional MBA students have physical, flexible access to on-campus career services. This gives them a significant competitive advantage when it comes to finding a job, as they get more hands-on support through the recruitment processes. They get to interact face-to-face with potential employers during on-campus recruitment and discuss, in person, their preferences with recruiters or their resumes with careers services professionals.

It is important to consider your motivation for applying for an MBA, as it relates to time management and flexibility, social interaction with peers and professors, and job prospecting, including a segue to a career abroad. If you would like more advice on which MBA is right for you, feel free to connect with us!

Want to evaluate if your profile is MBA ready? Use our FREE MBA Profile Auditor. It will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses with respect to studying abroad.

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