Why Study an Online MBA?
Employment: Even in a potentially difficult jobs market, the demand for MBA graduates remains high, especially where blue-chip employers are concerned. In 2012, 92% of MBA graduates were in employment just three months after graduation, a 6% increase on the previous year.
The reasons to take an MBA are countless; it’s a course that’s as broad as it is deep, challenging its students to problem-solve creatively and to apply their knowledge and experience in practical situations whilst simultaneously developing a whole host of soft skills. MBAs are by very definition tailored to meet the ever-changing, diverse demands of modern-day employers, and wherever your study your MBA you’ll find a course that’s constantly evolving in step with industry and commerce. And online learning has never been more popular or more accessible: gone is the misconception that a distance-learning degree plays second fiddle to one earned full-time on campus. Quite the contrary: almost a third of all MBA students in the UK are studying for it online.
Online MBA fees comparison
|UK - London School of Business and Finance||£14,250|
|Switzerland - Educatis University||£22,700|
|France – France Business School||£18,400|
|Denmark – International Business Academy||£12,000|
|Cyprus – University of Cyprus||£7,200|
|USA – University of Delaware||£23,000|
The statistics speak for themselves: the average salary earned by graduates after a distance-learning MBA is around £80,106, just £5,000 less than the salary earned by a full-time learner. Given that going into full-time study is simply not an option for many potential MBA students, the slight slump in potential earnings is perhaps no real deterrent, and studying the course online is almost always cheaper than paying full-time fees since much of the course material is pre-prepared and delivered online. To take one example, in 2012 London School of Business and Finance charged £23,750 for a full-time MBA and £14,250 for an online MBA over three years. The average distance-learning MBA student is five years older than the average on-campus student at 36, someone more likely to have commitments that would make full-time study financially and logistically difficult, if not impossible. MBAs are known for being rigorous and demanding courses, but distance-learning allows its students to flex their timetables to fit around work, and to put in the time when it suits them best. An MBA will doubtless boost your earning potential too, since surveys show that an MBA from one of the world’s top business schools could boost your salary by anything up to 150%.
The way forward
Lecturers at business schools also firmly believe that this sort of blended learning will continue to grow in popularity, going so far as to predict that this method of study will see the greatest upsurge in the coming five years. The reason? Technology, to a great extent. Broadband speeds are only getting better, and the best ones are only becoming more widely available, and cheaper. What this means is that there are more people now able to stream online video lectures and tutorials than ever before, as well as attending webinars online, downloading podcasts and using social media to network and collaborate. Smartphones and tablets only add to the accessibility of course material and quick communication, whilst oiling the wheels of networking – an important aspect of the MBA that’s imperative to finding employment.
A really good business school, wherever you are in the world, is not necessarily going to be found on your doorstep either. An online MBA allows students to pick the business school and the course that suits them best, rather than settling for the one closest by. While most business schools will want their online students to spend some time on campus at the start of the course, the face-time spent with lecturers is beneficial at the outset, as is the opportunity to network with fellow students and make some friends to keep in touch with online for the duration of the course.
An MBA is an internationally-recognised qualification that carries serious clout on a CV. The means by which your MBA has been achieved is, by and large, immaterial. It could even be argued that a job candidate with an MBA obtained part-time shows a greater level of commitment than a full-timer. Managing ongoing employment as well as an online MBA and – potentially – a family, is a mark of serious nous.