Online MBA Myths

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When considering an online MBA program, potential students have voiced concerns in the past over the credibility of a degree earned totally online.

But the nature of the online MBA has changed, with many programs featuring the exact same syllabus and faculty as on-campus full-time MBAs.

And with this being said, there are many reasons why the value of the online MBA has soared.

We think it’s time to debunk the myths about online MBAs once and for all.

Myth: Online MBA classes aren’t as challenging as those on traditional MBA programs

Reality: There are several online MBA programs that have the same rigorous curriculum as their on-campus counterparts.

In many ways an online MBA requires more discipline, as no one is there to check up on you to make sure you participate or turn in assignments on time. This means students need to be self-starters, ensuring they are proactive, perhaps even more so than their on-campus MBA colleagues.

Myth: An online MBA isn’t as credible as an on-campus MBA

Reality: You’ve heard this one before, haven’t you? But we can tell you this is a complete myth.

Accredited online degrees offer students the same high standard programs as accredited on-campus degrees, and accreditation is by far the most important indicator of credibility.

When you graduate from your MBA studies, the award listed on your scroll will be Master of Business Administration, not on-campus MBA or online MBA, simply MBA.

Myth: You need to be tech savvy in order to get an online MBA

This may have been true when online MBA programs first come on the scene, but today, technology has advanced, improving online education to the high standard it boasts today. If you do have difficulties, you can usually contact technical support. Most programs have technical support staff that can be contacted 24/7 via phone, email, or instant messaging. Some online MBA programs even offer students the opportunity to take computing classes before they start the program.

Myth: There’s no one-on-one interaction with professors

Reality: Whether you’ll interact with professors depends on the specific program you choose. Programs with higher faculty to student ratios and higher numbers of full-time faculty members (as opposed to adjunct faculty) will enable more interaction with faculty. By involving higher numbers of full-time faculty, an online MBA program shows that they are fully utilizing their faculty resources in order to deliver an online program.

Myth: There are no participation requirements for online MBA programs

Reality: Several programs included in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2019 require in-person residencies, regular attendance of online classes, and/or group projects. Residencies allow you to interact with the classmates, professors, and support staff. Regularly scheduled online classes allow you to interact with your classmates on a consistent basis. Group projects allow for close teamwork, collaboration, as well as opportunities to learn from your fellow classmates.

These residencies allow you to build stronger relationships with peers and provide you with better networking opportunities.

Myth: Reputable business schools don’t offer online MBA programs

Reality: Some of the world’s top business schools, such as IE Business School, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, and Kelley School of Business offer online MBA programs. You can find out which top schools are offering reputable online MBA programs through QS Online MBA Rankings 2019.

Myth: Studying online will be a lonely experience

Reality: Of course, online MBA programs require self-motivation and discipline, but many MBA programs are far from a solitary experience.

Students are given the tools to interact, collaborate, and seek support from fellow classmates, as well as professors. This makes the experience both inclusive and supportive.

Whether it’s a digital classroom, online student community and forums, or live webinars with professors and classmates, technology enables online students to connect just as easily as on-campus. But the added benefit, is that student can connect at the best time to fit their schedule.

Myth: Online is easier than on-campus           

Reality: This was a common perception when online MBA programs first came into existence, but we can’t say it’s the case anymore.

But is online study easier when thinking about study flexibility, being able to study when and where it suits you? Of course.

Is an online MBA program easier in terms of course content, assessment and study time required? Definitely not.

The concepts and theories studied in an online MBA will be the exact same level of difficulty as on-campus degrees.

Students will need to fully engage topics quickly, participate in quizzes, write assignments, complete group tasks, analyze case studies, pass exams, and research projects. This is guaranteed by the governing body that all accredited degrees answer to. 

On-campus students will be prompted in lectures and tutorials to keep on track with the curriculum, whereas online students will need more self-discipline.

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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