Why It’s Time to Embrace the Online MBA | TopMBA.com

Why It’s Time to Embrace the Online MBA

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By Alex Chisholm

Updated June 26, 2019 Updated June 26, 2019

On June 27, the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2019 will be published, featuring 50 of the world’s top online MBA programs. More business schools are currently offering online MBA programs than ever before. Part of this growth is attributable to improvements in technology, as it’s simply easier to deliver an engaging online educational experience today than it was a decade ago.

Cultural shifts among students, schools and employers are another driver. The acceptance of online services across a variety of industries is becoming the norm and not the exception.

So, is now the right time to apply to an online MBA program? Here are three strong reasons to give it serious consideration based on recent conversations we’ve had with more than 50 business schools while compiling our ranking.

Online MBA programs replicate today’s global business environment

If you already work in a global organization than you know that most conversations, even with clients, are done from a distance. You pick up the phone, jump on Skype, or group chat in Slack. The emergence of new tools and the infrastructure to support them has accelerated the viability of online education in the same way that remote workers are now more adequately connected to their wider teams.

In many ways, the online MBA is the graduate business degree that most resembles the true nature of how global business is conducted today. It’s important to know that earning an online MBA doesn’t mean watching videos in your pajamas and taking multiple choice tests behind a screen. Business schools estimate that 40-50 percent of work done within online programs is group work where you will be constantly experimenting with the most effective ways to communicate digitally.

Online MBA programs offer extreme flexibility for working professionals

The average online MBA program takes a little over two years to complete. In this case, however, averages are misleading. Recognizing the need for flexibility, 95 percent of online MBA programs offer students the ability to complete the degree on slower or faster tracks.

The shortest reported timeframe was only nine months, while the longest was 120. In other words, there are options out there that fit with your schedule and your expected timelines.

This flexibility correspondents with multiple intakes for many schools, which empower you to decide when to begin the journey. In fact, the business schools we spoke with offered start dates that covered each month of the year. In addition to flexibility on scheduling, online MBA programs increasingly offer customized academic paths.

Students are provided the opportunity to choose electives or specializations in 96 percent of programs we spoke with. Taken together, the online MBA offers the most flexibility for seasoned professionals to advance one’s career while also balancing demands at home and the office.

Online MBA programs aren’t fully online

Despite the name, most online MBA programs today also facilitate face-to-face interactions. Business schools, and the world of higher education overall, are moving toward a hybrid model where some content is delivered online and some is delivered in person.

Nearly two in three online MBA programs (64 percent) now have required, in-person meet ups as part of their experience. Some of these interactions come in the form of exciting and perspective-gaining international trips, which are made available at nearly 80 percent of programs. These are great ways to build face-to-face connections that add sincerity and depth to the digital interactions made throughout the program.

On average, online MBA programs today deliver 65 percent of course content through asynchronous learning opportunities. This means a chance for you to absorb content at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Synchronous online learning, where students and teachers get together in “real-time” make up 28 percent of content delivery. Finally, face-to-face encounters represent 7 percent of the average online MBA programs.

An online MBA offers many benefits. It lets you learn business the way that business is being done, while providing you with the flexibility to balance work and family life and ensuring you meet passionate people from all over the world.

Want to learn more about online MBA options? Our QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2019 will be published on June 27. Check back to TopMBA.com then to learn more about the world’s top online MBA programs.

This article was originally published in June 2019 .

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