Not all MBA Programs are created equal. Prospective degree candidates have to consider each business school's admissions requirements, accreditation, their program's pedagogical foundations and areas of specialization, and their career placement services, among other factors. Increasingly, prospective degree candidates also must weigh the option of pursuing their MBA via an online program. But what does this really mean, and what are the benefits of earning your MBA online?
Quality of Instruction
Why are online MBA programs so much less expensive than their traditional counterparts? Several factors account for this difference.
Institutional funding. How well-endowed is the college or university? (Harvard, for example, manages an endowment fund totaling nearly $36 billion USD.) Does the college rely on public funding? Regardless of base cost, what will your financial aid options be? Beyond federal aid, will you be eligible for scholarships? If so, which of these scholarships are merit-based?
Size of the student population. The more students an institution can enroll, the lower it can keep the cost of a degree per student. Traditional MBA programs are limited in terms of the number of degree candidates they can enroll. Physical classrooms can only hold so many individuals, and on-campus housing presents challenges as well. These same limitations do not apply to online MBA programs.
Infrastructure. A large part of college budgets goes to maintain older buildings and constructing new ones. The actual cost of operating online degree programs is less because infrastructure expenses are more modest. A server room or a license for enterprise-level cloud computing does not require the same level of investment (and fundraising) as efforts to erect a new library or add new dining facilities.
While this all may be true, we are all accustomed to following the old adage "You get what you pay for." At Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, you have access to the same rigorous curriculum and award-winning faculty that serves on-campus MBA students. Choosing an online MBA does not mean you are settling for a lower-quality education.
Not everyone can afford to relocate to attend the MBA program of their dreams. Work, family and military service obligations may prevent students from moving, even for just two or three years. Or perhaps you live in an area where there are no universities with an MBA program.
Like the majority of online MBA programs, Baylor's is self-paced, allowing you the freedom to build a class schedule that is convenient for you. You can also elect to complete your degree on an accelerated basis. Within a year, you can be searching for a new position that will allow you to realize the professional and financial advantages of having earned your degree.
Technological Innovation and Expertise
You have to be tech-savvy in order to complete an online MBA. Whether you plan on focusing on accounting, marketing, finance or business analytics, your MBA program is a laboratory in which you can experiment and begin to master the tools of the global 21st century workplace.
Communicating and collaborating in an online environment means becoming adept at using software solutions such as Slack, GoToMeeting and Basecamp. Any technological skills you acquire while completing your MBA are easily transferable.
The foundation of Baylor's online MBA experience is the Canvas learning management system (LMS). This powerful open-source software isn't simply a tool for posting lectures, assignment and tests on the internet. Canvas is equipped with functionality that supports many different learning styles and drives engagement by being optimized for mobile devices and most social media applications.
Additionally, as a Baylor MBA candidate, you will enjoy complimentary access to Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus, essential software for business professionals.
Professional Development and Networking
Many students choose the online MBA over an on-campus MBA for the practical reasons already listed: convenience, affordability, and the best value in terms of work-school balance. By enrolling in a self-paced program, you can more easily keep your current position and complete your course obligations in your free time. But consider that an online MBA also offers you rare opportunities to integrate your work and school lives. Imagine learning a new efficiency in a module you complete on a Wednesday night, and then actually using that technique in the office on Thursday morning.
Committing to an MBA means extending your professional network as well. In an online MBA program, your peers will bring a diverse array of talents, proficiencies, points-of-view and professional connections from all over the country to the virtual classroom. And whatever connections you make while studying for your degree have the potential to be lasting, as well as life-changing. The Hankamer School of Business alumni form a business network of over 25,000 professionals.
If an online MBA sounds like the option that best meets your needs and expectations, find out what makes Baylor University's program unique.
Learn more about the Baylor online MBA program.
Sources:Harvard Management Company: Meeting Harvard's Current and Future Needs
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