A Guest Post by Mike Patterson
As a result of the current economic climate, many professionals are going back to school to acquire a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, in order to give themselves an advantage in the ultra-competitive job market. Recently, online MBA programs have been popping up all over the internet, claiming to offer the correct pathway to an MBA degree, and subsequently, to a more successful future. With a vast selection of programs to choose from, how does one navigate through all of the clever marketing and advertising to find the program that is right for them?
What to Look for in an online MBA program
With literally thousands of institutions and schools offering online MBA degrees, choosing where to attain an online MBA can be difficult. However, there are several variables to pay extra attention to when choosing the program that is right for you:
Cost: Ensuring that you can afford to participate in a program financially is the first thing to consider. With prices for online MBA programs ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is important to choose a program that fits your current budgetary needs. In addition, many programs offer financial aid in the form of grants and low-interest loans that can assist in making attaining an MBA degree more affordable.
Accreditation: Quite simply, if a school or institution is not accredited, you should not enroll in their MBA program. Prospective employers look carefully at whether or not your MBA degree comes from a reputable institution. You can look up a schools accreditation at the Department of Educations Postsecondary Institutions and Programs Database
Curriculum: With many specialized subjects falling under the MBA umbrella, it is essential to choose one that fits your needs, and lines up with what you want to specialize in. For example, if you desire an MBA in Human Resources, participating in a program that specializes in Engineering MBA degrees would be counterproductive.
Reputation: Even if a school is accredited, it is important to ensure that its MBA program has a good reputation in the business world.
Support: Earning an MBA degree online can be very difficult, necessitating access to support staff such as professors and fellow students. If you are struggling with your courses, having a support net in place can mean the difference between passing and failing.
Advantages of Earning an MBA Online
There are several advantages to utilizing an online program to earn an MBA degree. These include:
Convenience: You can attend class on your schedule, while still working at your current occupation. Travel time is negated, offering you more time to focus on your studies.
Cost: The cost of earning an MBA degree online is generally significantly cheaper than a campus-based program. You will also save money on gas and food since you take your classes in the privacy of your own home.
No relocating: You can earn an MBA degree online from schools all over the world without having to relocate.
Making the Most of your MBA Degree
While earning your MBA degree online, it is important to network with professors and other students. In addition, speaking with alumni of the same online program you decide to participate in can give you valuable job hunting tips and their personal experience(s) with their MBA degree. Those who found their online MBA degrees to have been worth their time and money share several traits in common: they chose a specific specialization that truly interested them, found a program with a positive reputation and accreditation, and knew they wanted to go into the business field before enrolling in the programs.
This article was written by Mike Patterson who helps run and maintain online MBA, which is a website that directs people to the best ways of obtaining an MBA on the internet.