However, the release of the first global ranking of online and distance learning MBA programs should bring some much needed clarity.
Published on TopMBAConnect.com, the 2012/13 QS Distance Online MBA Ranking reveals the top 15 distance learning and online MBA programs in the world that boast accreditation, and have been in existence long enough to have graduated their first class.
“The popularity of this form of study is increasing amongst candidates and MBA employers as they are starting to recognize the value of programs delivered by reputable schools,” explains Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the parent company behind both TopMBA.com and TopMBAConnect.com.
“While these programs provide a very different experience to the traditional full –time MBA, they give access to business education to a wider and growing motivated work-force who are seeking a life-style education, a way to learn essential managerial skills which fits with the reality of their lives.”
The top five distance learning and online MBA programs according to the new ranking are:
Continues Quacquarelli: “This new ranking takes a snapshot of a fast–evolving sector. It is a new tool for discerning candidates seeking guidance for an important choice.”
Professor Newton Campos, director of admissions of blended programs at IE Business School, whose Global MBA program ranked first in QS’ ranking, points out that although some recruiters can still seem skeptical of online and distance learning programs, opinions are changing.
"It's true that some recruiters still see distance MBAs as a bit weird. A top online MBA? Is that possible? There is still some prejudice about that.
“However we are seeing companies now, particularly hi-tech, internet and innovative companies who prefer students from our blended MBA, rather than the face-to-face programs. They [employers] say, ‘these are the kind of people I need and have the skills I need. They have proven their ability to be with family, to work and study at the same time.’ Attitudes are changing and the number of such companies is increasing.”