13 Reasons to Get Your MBA Online
In the past, when most people hung up their academic pursuits after graduating high school, college degrees and other forms of tertiary education were a valuable add-on to your resume.
But today, the market is increasingly competitive, and employers value applicants who go the extra mile. And since bachelor’s degrees are more common than ever before, pursuing an MBA is a smart way of standing out among the rest.
Besides, an MBA will teach you invaluable academic and practical skills in management, entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, programming, and more. And all of these skills will undoubtedly help you in your career.
But one of the biggest obstacles to pursuing MBAs is commitment. Many people aren’t keen on going back to college life while living in a dorm on a shoestring budget.
Fortunately, you can now pursue an online MBA, which comes with its fair share of benefits. Why choose an online MBA? Read on.
1. Time Flexibility and Self-Scheduling
Many people who pursue an online MBA have busy lives. And if you’ve been putting off going back to college because of work, family, and other responsibilities, you probably also fall into this category.
Unlike on-campus programs, online MBAs offer the most flexibility you can get while pursuing a tertiary education degree. This makes online MBAs an intelligent decision for busy adults who want to unlock new opportunities for their future careers.
An online MBA is so flexible because it combines synchronous learning, which involves scheduled classes, meetings, group projects, etc., with asynchronous self-study, which is any assignments or schoolwork that you can finish in your own time and at your own pace.
An online MBA program also comes with a custom platform (usually a website or an application) with a digital board where you’re assigned tasks with a lengthy deadline and can complete it in your free time.
Also, these digital boards typically have a chat or inbox systems or rely on email messaging for communication. So when you receive a message, you can reply when you can instead of being rushed into a response.
As for the synchronous part, you’ll typically have a weekly timetable that fits the students’ schedules as much as possible. And if there are any meetings or live projects, they’ll be arranged and agreed upon several days in advance to give you room to prepare.
Besides, all the live sessions will be held at home, so you won’t have to dedicate your time to going to campus.
This brings us to our last point: commute. A study found that, on average, students commute 46 minutes (one-way) to get to campus, which costs them an average of $220 per month.
So if you opt for an online MBA, you’ll often be saving yourself 90+ minutes of commuting time and a lot of money.
2. Affordable Programs
One of the most significant barriers to starting tertiary education is the extravagant cost. And this problem isn’t exclusive to MBAs but also to bachelor’s degrees and others.
After all, there’s a reason many students take out a loan to pay for their tuition and then spend years paying it back.
Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of postsecondary education. Facilities are expensive, high-grade professors with a lot of experience require high salaries, and getting accredited is hard. So, in the end, these costs mount onto the students’ wallets.
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According to statistics, two years of tuition fees can cost about $90,000 to $110,000 and can reach a staggering $161,000. And these prices will likely keep increasing, too, as they’ve been for the past few decades at a faster rate than inflation.
On the other hand, online MBAs can cost as little as $6,300 for 30 credit hours of education in an accredited university.
However, the average cost is closer to the $10,000 to $20,000 mark, and the top programs in the country won’t exceed $80,000, which is an outlier number that’s still considerably cheaper than on-site MBA programs.
Independent online MBA programs that provide the same education quality are often cheaper than universities. And you can even find regional pricing to match the purchasing power of each country.
At Nexford, a learner in the US will pay an average of just $5,040 for their online MBA — and can pay monthly, rather than in one bulk sum. Nexford’s tuition costs vary depending on the location of the learner, as tuition costs are matched against the economic standing of each country — so no one ever pays over the odds.
That’s because there are fewer costs involved in providing an MBA online. For example, institutions don’t have to pay for spacious campuses and colossal lecture halls, dormitories to fit the influx of students, maintenance, labs, computers, etc.
Besides, students who attend campus pay more money on things like class materials, food, commute, and housing. So, invest in your future, not a campus, with an online program.
3. The Diverse International Community
Because an online MBA program is naturally more accessible to students, it tends to garner international students looking to pursue international education without the massive costs of moving abroad.
And this is even more pronounced for MBA programs that aren’t provided by a particular university since they’re less centralized around geography and more on education.
For instance, an online MBA by a university in America will get less international attention than an independent educational institution.
So you can expect the latter programs to attract students from countries like the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Denmark, and more European countries. But also students from far away places like China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
The regional pricing we mentioned above is also an excellent incentive for international students to join these MBA programs since they won’t have to pay a disproportionately large sum of money compared to their local coursemates.
This is a wonderful opportunity for students in developing countries looking for foreign education, so you won’t struggle to find students from South America, Africa, and Asia.
4. Learn From the Comfort of Your Home
The thought of moving out to live near your college is dreadful to many prospective students. And if you live with your family, you might not like the idea of moving out and living on your own, or maybe moving out your whole family isn’t feasible, understandably.
One of the most glaring benefits of an online MBA, or any online course or remote work, is that you get to do it in your home.
For many people, the idea of tending to your responsibilities in your pajamas while lying in your bed sounds like heaven, and that includes studying from home.
Besides, who wants to go through a tedious two-way commute to attend their courses? Especially for MBA students, who are primarily working full-time, married with children, or even both, the idea of driving through heavy traffic after a long day at work or taking public transit is an instant turn-off.
On the contrary, when you’re comfortable in your bed during your studies, this can help you focus more and become more productive during your coursework.
5. You'll Get Experience for Future Online Business or Work
The COVID pandemic is one of the tragedies of the 2020s. But one thing our society quickly learned during the first lockdown was that many of the work endeavors and businesses could happen online.
Naturally, more fields benefited more from going online than the rest. For example, e-Commerce was one of the big winners. And it’s one of the fields you can get an excellent online MBA in.
For these fields, online work was not only equally productive, but it was often more efficient than on-site work since employees were less drained and worked more productively from the comfort of their homes.
So when you study these fields online, you gain experience in the virtual workspace that these fields now operate in.
You’ll also get accustomed to a remote work setting, which might be essential depending on your field, especially in post-pandemic times. That’s because remote work relies massively on self-discipline and time management, all skills you’ll acquire while studying for your online MBA. Getting an online MBA is certainly worth it if you work remotely, or manage remote teams in your business.
6. Freedom to Travel While Taking a Course
Another massive benefit of taking an online MBA is that you won’t be tied down to the geographic location of the institution you’re studying with. In other words, no more “I can’t travel because I have to attend school.”
If you can manage your time well, you can easily travel while taking an online MBA course without losing either the productivity required to focus on your academics or the fun you want to have while traveling.
Just make sure you have a stable internet connection at your destination, and you can dedicate only a couple of hours per day to your studies, and the rest is all “you time.”
This also gives you a fantastic opportunity to become a digital nomad.
If you don’t know, a digital nomad is someone who works or studies online and travels around while doing so, either domestically or internationally. All you need is your laptop, and you can take your education with you wherever you go.
7. Opportunities to Work Abroad
Getting an online MBA may unlock the door to future work abroad opportunities through several means.
First, many online MBA programs outright offer sponsored international trips to enable students from across the globe to network with each other.
This is more common in online MBA programs offered by highly reputable universities, especially those with international branches that are proud of their attendees’ diversity and cultural representation.
But you can also find international work opportunities through your coursemates. Recall what we mentioned about student diversity above, and imagine the kind of people you’ll be meeting through your online MBA and the different backgrounds they come from.
By extension, those new friends could be your gateway to new work opportunities in foreign countries. In other words, networking with your coursemates is a good way of expanding your worldwide reach and looking for further options.
After all, networking and referrals are among the most common ways people find jobs. And did you know that about 80% of work vacancies are publicly unlisted and are eventually filled through referrals?
Lastly, once you have your MBA degree, you’ll stand out even more amongst potential employers. And when you combine all these factors, you’ll see how networking with your international friends can land you some excellent opportunities abroad.
9. You'll Receive the Same Quality of Education
The fearsome people have about online MBA courses, or online courses in general is the lack of credibility. People have a misconception that online courses aren’t legitimate. And if you want a degree, you should go the old-school route and go to college.
And while that argument may have had legs to stand on ten years ago, it’s certainly not the case now.
Nowadays, the only difference between an on-campus MBA program and an online course is the delivery method.
However, the quality of education itself is the same, meaning you’ll get the same curriculum as an on-campus student.
Instead of going to class, the lecturer records their lecture and sends it to their online students, or they’ll schedule a live online class. And in many programs, you’ll typically be given the same assignments, group projects, quizzes, and exams.
And when you graduate, you’ll receive a degree equal to that of an on-campus student. Therefore, you’ll be offered the same job opportunities as an on-campus student.
So if the only thing stopping you from furthering your career by taking online MBA courses was the misconception of it being lesser than traditional courses, fear not. You’ll be indistinguishable from a college student in the eyes of an employer.
10. No Need to Move Closer to Campus
If you’re considering taking an on-campus MBA program, and unless you’re lucky enough to have a house or an apartment close to the college campus, you’ll have two options.
The first is driving. And depending on your schedule, you might be going to and from college around three times per week.
This has two significant downsides. The first is that commuting can get expensive, so you’ll have to set some money aside for gas or transportation in addition to college expenses. Second, you’ll waste a lot of time moving around — which impacts on your existing lifestyle.
The other option is moving near the campus, which isn’t a great option either for busy adults.
Aside from the fact that moving may be difficult for you if you have a family or a job nearby, it can be costly. And according to a survey that asked 1,000 people, moving can be even more stressful than divorce.
And the last thing you want while juggling a job and an MBA course is to become stressed. Stress can have many adverse physical effects on a person, including chest pains, regular headaches, insomnia, uncontrollable shaking, and a dip in the immune system.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Stress is known to have negative mental effects as well. For example, new movers reported not being able to focus on tasks for a long time, being more forgetful than usual, experiencing difficulties in making good decisions, and lacking organization.
Also, research has shown that the downsides of stress on a student can be rough. Students with stress experience anxiety and depression, which heavily impairs their ability to perform academically. An online MBA is worth it if you want to study an MBA, but without the stress of campus life.
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11. Online Benefits
If the added services of traditional on-site education are holding you back from starting your online MBA course, you’ll be glad to know most programs offer similar services online.
For starters, it’s very likely whichever course you enroll for will send you all the materials you’ll ever need online.
Things like technical support, learning support and career counseling are also available online.
Many courses will allow you to schedule an online meeting with an expert career counselor who’ll answer any questions you have about your educational path and help you plan and make decisions to pursue your desired career.
And for technical support, it’s almost standard for colleges with online programs to offer round-the-clock tech support for the students.
This way, if you have any questions regarding the online process, the hardware you need, scheduling, any help installing the required applications, or else, the program’s technical support team can assist you.
12. No Geographic Restrictions When Enrolling
While an in-person MBA program forces you to choose one of the schools close to where you live, that’s not the case with online MBA courses.
Instead, the main issues of in-person MBA courses are anxiety and budget.
You might not be comfortable with the campus itself, or maybe the schools you have access to are too expensive—either way, these issues can put you off from starting your MBA.
However, if you’re taking the course online, you have the freedom to choose between any schools you want.
So you’ll be able to scour the globe for the best school for you. And if, for some reason, you’re not satisfied with any, nothing is stopping you from looking for schools abroad.
You can choose a school with a price range that fits your budget, you can also review curriculums and pick one that you feel suits your needs and enroll in their program. So why an online MBA? As online means learning from anywhere is certainly a good reason.
13. Access to Up-To-Date Technology
Among the many benefits of online learning is having access to better technology and means of education.
A prime example of outdated on-campus learning methods is textbooks. Although textbooks have been used in school systems for over a century, they’re largely a thing of the past in today’s world.
The problem with textbooks is the second they’re printed, they become outdated.
If new vital information was uncovered the next day after a batch of textbooks were printed, the students would be stuck with the outdated version. The real issue here is that schools have to keep using the old books for years to justify the cost of their purchase.
However, with online learning, any new information can be added with a mouse click.
Also, students don’t have to stick with their school’s curriculum. Instead, they have the freedom to search the web for whatever information they may find helpful.
Another problem with the school system is the legacy hardware and software. Schools need to keep up to date with the new possibilities today’s technology presents for their students to unlock a student’s full potential. And that includes up-to-date computers.
Nowadays, there are programs and applications for every field that make the learning process easier and more informative. However, many schools don’t have advanced hardware to run those programs. And if they do, they might not have access to the latest versions of the software.
Fortunately, with online learning, you can choose your hardware and have the freedom to install the latest versions of the software you need to make your learning experience more convenient.
Known for strategy and attention to detail
Joe has more than 10 years of marketing experience, working within the public sector, client-side, and agency side.
He is passionate about using data and customer insights to improve marketing performance.
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