With the ever-increasing level of internet connectivity, plus the Covid-19 pandemic, learning has primarily gone digital, with many students and universities going online. Ranging from undergraduate programs to graduate programs, the number of those enrolling in online learning programs is growing each day. But one question still lingers in the minds of many – Is an online MBA worth it?
Well, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)’s 2020 Applications Trends Survey, 84% of online MBA programs reported increased applications. And these applications to Online MBA programs grew by 43.5 percent in 2020 – so that should be a positive trend, right?
Still, if you’re considering enrolling in an online MBA, you might have questions regarding the suitability of your program and whether it is the right move to make. While this program attracts a lot of attention among many students considering a master’s business degree, it can be expensive.
The annual cost of an online MBA degree can range from $5,000 to more than $60,000. Many of the best online MBA programs are priced similarly to traditional MBA degrees- but many others are also fairly priced. So, when considering an online MBA, it is quite natural to ask yourself whether the program is worth the toil or not. Not to worry – the following guiding questions should help you decide before committing.
Are online MBAs more affordable?
Because you will spend less on costs like housing, travel, and school fees, online MBAs are more economical. The tuition cost of an online MBA, however, will typically be the same as that of an in-person MBA.
Additionally, online MBA students have more flexibility with their schedules. You get to earn an MBA online on your schedule. This suggests that you could complete your online MBA while continuing to work. The online MBA may be more reasonable due to this harmony between employment and learning.
Can I do an online MBA for free?
Um… usually No- unless you earn a full-ride scholarship. While it is possible to have some MBA online lessons for free, it is not possible to take the entire accredited MBA online for free. Some top massive open online course (MOOC) providers and even top business schools will give some MBA courses for free, but only part of the program. To graduate from an online MBA program, you’ll need to enroll fully by paying tuition.
Do I get value for money from an online program?
If it’s from an accredited and reputable institution, then yes! You will need to ensure that the school you select is affordable. Some of these high-ranking institutions will charge very reasonable tuition fees but still offer quality studies. While some institutions, such as the HBCUs, will charge $6,000 or less per year, other top-ranking institutions will charge $10,000 yearly.
Can I save money on an online MBA?
Yes, it is possible to save money on an online MBA program. This is how:
1st, by selecting a public institution for your online MBA, you will likely benefit from an in-tuition discount as an online learner.
2nd, enrolling in an accelerated program saves you money. An accelerated program ensures you complete your studies way ahead of time. This way, you save money as well as time.
3rd, you can avoid paying the testing fee and still be able to complete your studies successfully. While some MBA programs require you to take the GMAT or GRE, not all will require it. All you need to do is ensure that you look out for the best institutions with online MBAs and where the GMAT or GRE is not a requirement.
Who can enroll in an online MBA program?
Educational Qualification: The basic requirement to enroll in an online MBA program is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. It has to be from a recognized institution of learning. Typically, you should have scored at least 50% in the undergraduate course- but each program might have specific requirements, so be sure to check.
Work Experience: While some programs might require 2-3 years of experience to enroll, not all of them will need that experience. When you have settled on a program of choice, you will need to know whether work experience is a factor of consideration to enroll.
Does an Online MBA give a return on investment?
It takes a lot of work to obtain an online MBA degree. Business school will cost a lot of money if you don’t secure complete scholarships. And it will not be the only cost; you will also have to dedicate a lot of time and work to get the degree, which takes us back to the same original question – Is an online MBA worth it?
Well, consider what you will gain first. By taking the course, you will gain new skills and abilities that will improve your marketability as a job candidate. Additionally, you will develop a robust business network that can uncover fresh career opportunities. Your abilities, know-how, and contacts should increase demand for your services, consequently boosting your earnings.
According to GMAC’s 2021 Corporate Recruiters Study, MBA holders will receive higher pay than bachelor’s degree holders. According to the survey, the median compensation for MBA graduates is $115,000, which is 77% higher than the salary for those with just a bachelor’s degree ($65,000).
The pay boost is particularly noticeable for those entering consulting, finance, and technology fields. According to a study, MBAs in the consulting sector make $145,000 on average, which is more than twice as much as bachelor’s degree holders. You will also probably work harder and produce more meaningful, lasting results…you know…in addition to earning more money!
You can determine the return for an online MBA when you compare those benefits to the time, energy, and financial commitment you are likely to make. Then, based on the comparison, you can make your conclusion on whether an online MBA is worthwhile.
How does the online MBA program compare to the traditional MBA program?
Choosing an online MBA program differs slightly from a regular on-campus MBA. One of the most noticeable differences is that students looking for an online MBA do not have to relocate and reside in another city to attend classes, as is the case for on-campus MBA degrees. This will save cost and time, which means you can take care of your responsibilities at home and still follow your desired career path easily.
What are the advantages of an online MBA program?
Undoubtedly, the online MBA program is friendly for both working professionals and freshers who want to take their skills and knowledge to the next level. The following are benefits of this program that should inspire you to take the next step and enroll.
1. It is cost-effective
Enrolling in an online MBA saves you money in various ways. From transport costs to buying books and accommodation fees, a lot of expenses are eliminated. Also, you have the advantage of working as you continue with your studies. You can recover part of the school fees you pay for the program from your pay.
2. It expands your knowledge base
Your understanding of diverse subjects will increase thanks to an online MBA program. Through compulsory subjects, students can build a solid foundation in business fields, including accounting, marketing, and finance.
On the other hand, the specialties will give you a chance to learn in-depth information about subjects they are passionate about – like entrepreneurship, international business, and business analytics. Additionally, you can access case studies from companies in many areas, enhancing your knowledge of business and problem-solving techniques.
3. A great way of creating a network
A useful aspect of an online MBA program is creating connections with different people. Your classmates, professors, and contacts beyond the program will all be part of the professional connections you build while earning the degree.
Through virtual classrooms, online social gatherings, or an online portal, you can contact working graduates, corporate executives, and other professional contacts. A vast network will enable you to comprehend changes in the international business environment and find new strategies for swift adaptation.
4. Potential for salary increment
According to recent research, the average MBA graduate made 50% more money than they did in their pre-degree career. Additionally, the average compensation rose by 80% in the five years after completing their MBA.
The truth is that online MBA programs not only increase your career options, but also equip you for high-paying professions in today’s market.
5. Increased job security
The employment market today is less certain than it has ever been. One of the employees’ greatest anxieties in the current job market is being dismissed. But by acquiring an MBA, you have an advantage, and your employer is less likely to lay you off. This is so because your increased business knowledge and skill might be handy for your organization.
6. Enables you to switch careers
These days, it is rare to find somebody who devotes their entire professional career to one business or even one sector. Many professionals anticipate changing jobs frequently throughout their careers.
Some professionals want to launch their own businesses, while others are eager to explore new workplaces with diverse jobs. Making those changes is considerably simpler if you have an MBA. With an MBA, you are equipped for career mobility.
What are the disadvantages of an online MBA program?
While an online MBA is beneficial, you might need to contend with the following drawbacks.
1. A lot of study discipline is required
You will need to be highly disciplined to complete your MBA online while juggling your employment and family obligations. You will need to use your time-management abilities to fit in your courses amidst a bustling work schedule.
2. Apathy among employers
There are chances that employers will respect your online MBA degree less than they would for a traditional MBA degree. According to the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Study, recruiters from the consulting industry are least likely to view graduates of online programs as equal to their on-campus peers.
Also, in terms of regions, the study found that American recruiters do not think that online and on-campus programs are equal, unlike their European or Asian counterparts. Luckily, this perception of online MBAs is gradually shifting for the better. If it’s any consolation, graduates of the best online MBA program in the world – at Warwick Business School – see an average salary of US$207,725 after graduating, which eclipses most of the traditional MBAs!
So, the bottom line, complete your online program from a reputable institution to increase the value of your degree.
3. Cost of technology
Even though the tuition fee for online MBA programs may be lower, you may still need to spend money on the technology needed for online studying, such as purchasing a suitable laptop and securing strong internet. While it is easy to ignore these costs, they snowball to a significant figure at the end of the year.
4. Need for working experience before you enroll
Keep in mind that online programs typically demand more job experience from students than an on-campus program would. Applying to an online MBA program in a leading business institution as a recently graduated student is challenging. The same thing applies if you have limited experience.
5. No campus experience
The lack of classroom experience, notwithstanding the possibility of a few in-person classes, is one of the main drawbacks of pursuing an MBA online. Online learning cannot match the on-campus classroom atmosphere.
From taking a professor’s lecture to forging lasting bonds with your students, these experiences can vastly differ between online and on-campus.
Final Thoughts – Is the online MBA worth it?
Ultimately, the demand for the online MBA is high, and those enrolling in the program nowadays are definitely higher than before. Both fresh graduates and the working class are registering for the program.
But as with any other area of life, the online MBA program has its share of benefits and drawbacks. However, in our opinion, as long as you choose a reputable institution, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. In this case, yes! The online MBA would definitely be worth it!
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