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getting an MBA online - pros and cons image

Over fifteen percent of applicants considering an MBA are thinking of doing the qualification online, as opposed to on campus, according to the QS MBA Applications and Aspirations Report in 2018. While the traditional brick and mortar MBA is here to stay, the online MBA is gaining in momentum, especially since more top business schools have now stepped in to offer the degree.

Below are some of the main advantages to enrolling in an online MBA program, as well as the challenges students can face when studying remotely.


    Getting your MBA online means that you can continue working, and therefore maintain a steady flow of income. There are no relocation costs, and very few, if any, extra commuting costs.
    The program schedule is flexible. While real-time learning, via videoconferencing for example, is a requirement of reputable online MBAs, much of your study can be managed through synced technologies such as online message boards, recorded seminars and lectures, and through e-mail.


    The more reputable the program and institution, the more likely the curriculum and faculty involved in the teaching of their online MBA are to be the same, or almost the same, as their on-campus equivalents. It’s always worth checking this with the school(s) you’re considering. In addition to a shared MBA curriculum, online students should also have access to the same alumni network, the same career counsellors, and they will likely take part in very similar projects.



    Another advantage of online MBA is that applicants who wouldn’t have been able to attend the traditional, full-time programs at top notch MBA schools because of the high tuition can participate in the online format of these schools.

    Admittedly, world-class online programs are expensive. However, with some research, you can zero in on a quality program that would allow you to launch or continue your career and is affordable. Students of online MBA continue to work during their program, which means they don’t miss out on their salary and they can repay a part of their fee with a part of their salary.

Online MBA challenges: Missing out on the immersion

Doing an MBA online is, arguably, is similar to watching a concert on TV as opposed to actually being there. The on-campus experience can’t really be downplayed – it is a valuable opportunity to form close relationships with MBA peers, to partake in lectures and seminar discussions led by stellar professors and to attend presentations given by eminent speakers. In-person interaction is hard to beat no matter how innovative technology might become.

There’s also the need for greater self-discipline. Peers can send words of encouragement online, or through social media, but in the end, it’s all up to you and that means fitting hours of study into the work commute, or at home on your laptop. It is also worth considering that online MBA programs usually require their students to have more work experience than demanded by a full-time, on campus program, so if you are younger or less experienced, it may be more difficult to gain entry onto an online MBA.

Choosing the right MBA requires careful deliberation, and it does inevitably come down to what you can afford. A full-time MBA demands full-time commitment. Not everyone can, for example, afford a year’s sabbatical or more. The part-time MBA meanwhile tends to demand more hours than its online counterpart in terms of on-campus attendance.


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