MBA Online: Is It Right For You?
With starting salaries at 50% higher than what MBA online students were earning in the year before starting school, it is no wonder that interest about this strong degree program continues to rise (Eduventures, 2012; Forbes, 2012). In 2011, almost 3 million students were enrolled in fully online programs (Eduventures, 2012). The trend is not too surprising, as many enrolled students know that their pay nearly doubles over the next five years, and that these salaries have held up well during the current economic soft patch (Forbes, 2012). In fact, every year decisions about how much to pay MBA graduates are made by numerous hiring companies who continue to feel they are getting their money’s worth. MBA students feel secure in not only their prospective salaries, but in knowing that by choosing a quality program they are almost assuring that they will be employed within a few months of graduation (Forbes, 2012).
Those who are best suited for MBA online programs include working professionals who want to continue their career in the same industry but would like to deepen their knowledge and skills in specific areas in order to move into a higher position. Since the degree requires intense focus, it is best if applicants begin with a strong background in business fundamentals (US News and World Report, 2012). However, quality MBA online programs have many resources for assisting a new student with basic business fundamentals if they are new to the business administration discipline.
In today’s global business environment, much of the day-to-day interaction takes place remotely, via e-mail, text, or video conference. The online format aligns with this real-world phenomenon, as it is both a time and money saver while providing a faster return on investment than other program types (US News and World Report, 2012). The online format maximizes these technologies and perhaps even better prepares tomorrow’s business leaders for navigating within the dominant communication methods (US News and World Report, 2012). There is a great deal of discussion and writing required when you take classes online and, while you don’t have to be a technological wizard, you do have to know the basics of using a computer and have high-speed Internet service. Online courses are often packed into a shorter timeframe, which means you must keep up while on vacation or during holidays.
While the MBA online program can be intense, it means a degree can be earned in as little as 13 months. For students who are unable to leave their job and family to pursue a full time degree, this less than two-year degree can benefit them as they can complete their program from the comfort of their own home. Since 55% of students claim one or more dependents, the MBA online program is especially ideal for those who have family and need the flexibility to balance work, school, and other obligations (Flores, 2013).
The continuing healthy demand for MBA graduates and the significant pay increases they achieve confirm that the MBA online program will continue to be in demand in the near and distant future. With the program’s history and current outlook, there is only one question left to answer: is the MBA online program right for you?