We are living in an age where an MBA is a degree aspired by many. From a fresh graduate to a working professional, everyone wants to pursue an MBA. While it seems a good option for fresh graduates for a good career start, is it worth getting enrolled in an online MBA program for working professionals? We know you might be worried about your career advancement, especially during these uncertain times. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive online MBA guide elucidating the following:
What is an Online MBA Program?
An online MBA program is a convenient and advanced version of distance learning. In an online MBA program, the lectures are offered on virtual learning platforms. These programs allow students to learn at a pace that is ideal for them, without feeling stressed or hassled.
MBA has become a vital requirement for a business today. Organizations are on the lookout for MBA graduates with good leadership and management skills. However many people do not wish to quit their job but would like to pursue an MBA course alongside. For those learners, an online MBA is an ideal choice.
Refer to this blog – All You Need to Know About Online MBA Programs to learn more about the types of online MBA programs, specializations, job profiles, salary, top recruiters, and more.
Benefits of Online MBA
An online MBA Program can help freshers, as well as working professionals, advance their careers. Here we have listed down the top 9 factors why you should enroll in an online MBA program.
Online MBA programs have flexible academic schedules. Their coursework allows students to watch live video lessons, answer quizzes, and join discussion forums with classmates anywhere around the world anytime. Many online programs require around 14 to 18 months for completion.
By enrolling in an online program, you will not have to pay high tuition fees, which you would have to pay at traditional full-time programs at prestigious MBA schools.
There is no additional commuting which will save you some money and time. Also, there will be no on-campus expenses such as textbooks. Moreover, if you take the online route, you can continue to work during your program. This will make sure that you don’t lose out on your salary and can repay a part of your fee with a part of their salary.
3. Expands your Knowledge
An online MBA program provides you with a vast knowledge of different topics. The core courses enable students to develop a holistic foundation in business disciplines such as finance, marketing, and accounting. The specializations, on the other hand, allow students to gain in-depth knowledge in specific areas they are interested in, such as business analytics, international business, and entrepreneurship.
Besides, you also get access to case studies from businesses in different industries, which improves business knowledge and problem-solving skills.
4. Career Advancement
Career Advancement is one of the most common reasons for many people to pursue an MBA. At times, working professionals feel that they have reached a certain level in their careers, beyond which they need something to get to higher or managerial level positions. An online MBA can help you with this. Earning an MBA online can also help working professionals get job promotions and salary hikes.
5. Builds Managerial & Interpersonal Skills
With an online MBA, you can sharpen your managerial and business skills and achieve a new sense of professional fulfillment. It can teach you specific business skills, such as strategic thinking and leadership. These skills will help in boosting your confidence that can help you capitalize on new career opportunities or drive organizational change in your existing role. Online MBA programs focus on business management, leadership, and marketing, making it a valuable degree to have.
Hard skills and soft skills go hand in hand. In many jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to get the job done effectively. Soft skills are required in all careers to make hard skills valuable, which is why most of the online MBA programs help students to enhance their:
- Interpersonal Skills: Teach how to work collaboratively with others.
- Entrepreneurial Skills: Teach how to evaluate markets, set goals, and think creatively.
- Communication Skills: Train students to communicate effectively with peers, superiors, and clients.
Thus, pursuing an MBA program for skill development makes sense. After all, most firms look for potential employees with not only skills to perform the job but also with a sound thought around making business decisions.
6. Ideal for Networking
Networking with different people makes an online MBA program worthwhile. The professional network you develop while pursuing the program will extend beyond your peers and professors to include contacts outside of your program. You will be able to interact with working alumni, business leaders, and some other professional connections through online classes, virtual social events, or via an online portal.
With an extensive network, you will be able to understand even the change in the global business environment and discover new ways to adapt fast.
7. High Salary Potential
Apart from expanding your career opportunities, online MBA Programs also prepares you for high-salary paying jobs in today’s competitive market.
As per a recent study, the pay of average MBA graduates was 50% higher than their position before earning their degree. Moreover, in the five years after earning their MBA, the average pay increased by 80%.
After earning an MBA, you can easily get a high-salary job. However, for that, you will have to choose your course providing institute and specialization wisely. The salary aspect also depends on the industry you choose and the company you join.
8. Job Security
Nowadays, the job market is more uncertain than ever before. Getting fired is one of the biggest fears for employees, in today’s job market. Having an MBA gives you a benefit in the sense that your employer will be less likely to let you go.
9. Strengthens Your Resume
An Online MBA can strengthen your resume by adding those specific skills to your resume that employers are looking for. Mastering all such skills will help your resume look better in comparison to other candidates. It would show that you have the knowledge and flexibility to keep up.
10. Easily Switch Careers
Nowadays, it is difficult to find someone who stays with one company or even one industry throughout his or her entire professional life. Many professionals expect that they will switch jobs many times throughout their careers. While some professionals are keen to discover new workplaces with different tasks, some of them plan to start their own business. With an MBA qualification, it becomes much easier to make those transitions, as an MBA is proof of your expertise and your skills to switch careers or start a new business.
11. Worldwide Recognition of your Credentials
An online MBA certification/degree is recognized throughout the world. On completion of your online MBA, your online certification/degree will be acknowledged worldwide and your credibility will increase among business people, opening doors to a variety of career opportunities.
Disadvantages of Online MBA
1. No Campus Experience
One of the major disadvantages of taking an online route to an MBA is that there is no campus experience, although they may include a few face-to-face classes. The atmosphere of on-campus learning can hardly by online learning.
Moreover, listening to a professor’s lecture or building enduring relationships with your classmates in an on-campus program cannot come close to anything that an online program can offer.
2. Need for Greater Discipline
In an online route, you will need great discipline and balance your work and family commitments while pursuing an MBA. It will require you to find time in a busy schedule for your coursework by utilizing your time-management skills.
3. Need for more Experience
It is worth considering that online programs usually require learners to have more work experience than demanded by an on-campus program. As a fresh graduate or as someone with less experience, it would be difficult for you to enroll in an online MBA from a top business school.
4. Recruiter Apathy
There is also the risk that your online MBA degree will not be as highly valued by employers as one from a traditional offline school might be. Prospective employers may ask you whether you completed your MBA online or on-campus. If you have attended an online program of an accredited school, the doors may still open.
5. Technology Cost
While online MBA programs may ask you a lower tuition fee, but you may have to invest in devices that make online learning possible, like a laptop and high-speed Internet.
Who can Enroll in an Online MBA Program?
Education: Usually, the basic eligibility criteria for an online MBA is Graduation/Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline or equivalent from a recognized university with a minimum of 50%.
Work Experience: While most programs do not require prior work experience, some of the programs might ask for 2-3 years of work experience to enroll.
Entrance Exams: There are no entrance exams for online MBA programs.
How to Select an Online MBA Program
All online MBA programs are not designed in the same manner. Some programs are more job oriented whereas others are more exposure oriented. Additionally, many institutes have started adding a layer of specialisation on the general management content. Moreover, employers notice where job applicants have earned their degrees while sorting through the stack of resumes, which makes the brand of the institute an important consideration.
Importantly, since it is not the ideal time to leave your job for education, choose a program where the time commitment is something that you can manage.
It is better to do your research before you apply for an MBA program. You should opt for such a course that suits your personal career goals, whether those lie in finance, marketing, human resources, strategic management, or any other domain.
To sum up, here are some factors that you should consider while choosing a program:
- Brand of the institute and university
- Profile of the faculty
- Course curriculum and duration
- Price of the course
- Placement assurance/career support
- Peer group profile
- Specialization options
- Time commitment
If you are looking to combine a top-class education with flexibility and convenience, the following online courses may be perfect for you:
Popular Online MBA Courses and PG Programs
The following listed online MBA courses have excellent pedagogy and most of them are accredited by top institutes, ensuring the program content matches the expected delivery standards.
1. Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management – For Working Professionals Batch-13 by IIM Kozhikode
- Two years of master’s degree program in management
- 750 hours of classroom instruction through Interactive Learning (IL) platform
- 3 weeks of on-campus learning
- Certificate from IIM Kozhikode
- Helps in learning leadership skills, strategic thinking, analytic learning using a holistic approach
2. Master of Business Administration by Amity Online University
- A 2-year online degree program (97 Credits)
- Recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC)
- Online video content, interactive video lectures, virtual job fairs, dedicated career growth
- Includes free access to 11 essential life skills courses
3. Executive Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Management by IIM Indore
- One year online program (classes only on Sundays) with 5 days mandatory on-campus orientation
- Designed for professionals having work experience
- Interactive online projects and assignments
- Special focus on most in-demand skills like strategic management for executives, spreadsheet modelling, quantitative techniques
- UGC-recognised degree from an A+ NAAC accredited university
- 2-year fully online programme
- Expert academic and career support
5. Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Management program by Alliance School of Business, Alliance University
- 16-month program with live classroom sessions conducted every weekend
- Accredited by IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education), USA and Jaro education is the associate partner
- Option to opt for a second specialization after successful course completion
- Opportunity to collaborate and grow a strong professional network
- One year certificate program for working professionals
- Offers a holistic business management approach to grasp the latest skills
- XLRI certificate and alumni status
- Covers interesting lessons on subjects like international management, product management, data visualization & analytics for decision making
Is It a good time to pursue an Online MBA?
Given that the world is changing so much during these transitioning times, pausing and reflecting on one’s career strategy can be immensely helpful. This is why we think that pursuing an online MBA during the Covid-19 pandemic is something that you should consider.
In March 2020, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva stated that “We have reassessed the prospects for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. We do project recovery in 2021.”
While many experts agree that COVID-19 will trigger a recession, the coronavirus crisis also has the potential to change higher education more than any recession in the past. Historical data suggests that recessions are the times when the online MBA applications increase. The reason is quite obvious. Recession often results in increased unemployment and fewer new opportunities. Due to the same reason, professionals seek higher education to add value to their resumes by expanding their skills.
The Bottom Line
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” a quote from the speech that John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. President prepared in Dallas in 1963.
We cannot agree more with this quote. Just getting a job or a promotion is not the end. Rather, it is just the beginning of a lifelong learning process. A leader cannot lead without a desire to learn and must continue learning to maintain a position of leadership.
An online MBA can benefit you in various ways. It can help you develop vast knowledge, build soft skills, enhance your career path, build a professional network as well as help you land a high-paying job. It’s a good idea to enroll in a program that will provide you with the required knowledge and skills, that will help you fit the best in the business community.