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Online Programs Are Life Savers for Business Schools

Online Programs Are Life Savers for Business Schools main image

Clearly, online education has come a long way from even just a decade ago, when many were questioning the validity of such degrees. Those who were hiring MBAs and other business professionals really did not want to see online degrees on resumes and gave little attention to online training programs. They were thought of as third-rate or cheap imitations of the real thing.

Now, online programs are making world-class education more affordable and more accessible, even to those in remote parts of the world. Plus, these online programs provide another source of revenue and another outlet for their educators to pass on knowledge and contribute to industry.

Here is why they are more successful than before:

Educators can fine-tune lessons quicker than ever

One of the major criticisms of traditional business schools is they are slow to react and integrate technological advancements and other industry trends into their curriculum. As a result, students end up graduating without having all the skills necessary to compete in the current professional world.

On the other hand, online programs live on platforms that are intuitive and adaptable. This means educators can easily tweak curriculum and add new lessons to react to industry trends, advanced technology, and relevant headlines.

Usually, there is far less bureaucracy applied to making changes to online programs than for traditional ones. As a result, the process is quicker and means students can prepare for what’s happening in the real world in real time.  

These programs address the need for management training in technology

By 2030, as many as 375 million workers may need to switch jobs because advancement in digitization, automation and artificial intelligence will change the future of work, according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report

Many online programs are able to train people in practical, of-the-moment skills, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence or blockchain. Again, it’s easier for online educators to stay up-to-date on technological advancements, and the format of online courses makes it a good match for this kind of training.

They are cheaper than traditional programs

Quality education is expensive, whether it is online or in a fancy building. But online programs have less overhead, and advancements in the cloud have made online programs more affordable.

While degree programs that tend to be longer and more in-depth will still be a significant investment, participants usually can stay put and keep working. Besides helping them avoid moving costs and time without paychecks, they can immediately apply what they are learning and potentially garner a better (or at least faster) return on investment.

Training programs, which can be compared to auditing a course, are even more affordable online. Often, these kinds of programs provide access to the faculty and curriculum of a world-class institution that is providing legitimacy through a certificate in some sort of practical training.  

Online programs attract a more diverse student body

When anyone in the world with an internet connection can join a course, there is a certain guarantee the class profile will be diverse. With technological advancements, participants in online programs join forum discussions and conduct team projects across cultural and geographic divides. They usually also gain experience in planning meetings across time zones.

In addition, women, who have often felt locked out of traditional MBA programs because the timing often coincides with family planning, find online programs more convenient. They can more easily attend classes and be close to home while dealing with pregnancy or child rearing.

They are closer than ever to their traditional counterparts

In the past, online programs were the less impressive stepchild of traditional, top-tier business schools. Now, however, the best business schools in the world have made their mark in online education. The same faculty and curriculum appear in an alternative format.

Nowadays, online programs exist on sophisticated platforms. In some cases, the programs are hybrid, which means students and faculty meet in the real world too. More professors and administrators are embracing these courses, and recruiters are more accepting of such credentials.

After all, these programs fit into the digital transformation in which we are working and living – and they represent both the future of education and work. While there is still room for bricks-and-mortar programs, these online versions can buoy enrollment, relevancy, and revenue.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Nunzio Quacquarelli

Nunzio is the founder and CEO of QS. Following completion of his own MBA from the Wharton School, he has gone on to become a leader in education management with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He is truly passionate about education and firmly believes in the QS mission to help young people to fulfill their potential through educational achievement, international mobility and career development. 

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