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Online MBA Programs Offer Convenience, Affordability – And Credibility

MBA-Degree-OnlineIt seems like the negative perceptions associated with the online MBA degrees have finally started to fade away, at least judging by the growing number of online business programs offered by the second-tier and third-tier business schools. Even the cream of the crop, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, have recently signed up with the online education start-up Coursera. For now, they are offering only a handful of business courses, but this may be only the beginning.

The interest from students in getting an online MBA is growing steadily. It is estimated that a third of all online students is currently pursuing a business degree. Two-thirds of those students attend not-for-profit institutions, which seems to be the beginning of a new trend: the traditional brick-and-mortar higher education institutions are launching their online MBA programs with varied concentrations. The mass market is, though, still dominated by for-profit business schools like the ubiquitous University of Phoenix and Kaplan University.

The quality of your MBA program, and not the method of study, should be more important to the potential employers – but that has not always been the case. Online-only business schools in general have had less than stellar reputation and were often accused of being “diploma mills”. Certainly, not all online MBA programs are the same. Those business schools that are for-profit and accept anybody willing to pay tuition will never carry as much clout as the schools that have equally strict admission requirements for their online tracks as for their residential tracks.

Increasingly, the online MBA programs are catering to the older, more experienced students. They certainly cannot afford to take two years off from work and family in order to study for a full-time MBA. For many, choosing an online MBA over the residential one is a matter of convenience and cost. Because of their full work schedules, or simply their location, an online option may be the only one for many students. Although there are exceptions – most notably, the online versions of the MBA programs from prestigious schools – an online MBA degree will cost you much less than a traditional MBA degree.

Neither online or traditional MBA degree cannot guarantee you a job, but for those who have already gotten their foot in the door, and are now looking to move up the corporate ladder, getting an online MBA is an excellent choice, well worth both the time and money.

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