If you are serious about pursuing a business career, whether it’s as an entrepreneur or working for a big organization, then you may be considering pursuing an MBA. The MBA – Master of Business Administration – has long been a gold-standard for those studying business. Not only do you learn business theory, you learn a whole host of practical skills that you will use throughout your career.
While an MBA is hard work and a big commitment, nowadays, there are lots of different ways you can study for one. An increasingly popular choice is to study an MBA online, which allows you to get a high-quality education from the comfort of your home. Here are some reasons why an online MBA might be right for you, and why there’s never been a better time to get started.
1. Accredited Courses Give You a High Standard of Education
Online education used to have a bad reputation, but this is improving thanks to accreditation boards, who check that people studying online get the same quality of education that their peers in the classroom receive. Simply ensure you start your online MBA with a quality provider. For example, if you study for an AACSB accredited online MBA at Suffolk University, you can be sure that the course will give you a high standard of education.
Do some research into the university you’re interested in and make sure it has an accreditation. You can then feel confident that you will graduate with a qualification that’s taken seriously by employers.
2. It’s a Prestigious Qualification
While an undergraduate degree in business is advantageous, for those going for the top roles, it may not be enough. While around a third of people have an undergraduate degree, only 8% of the population has a master’s. Although this number is growing, a qualification such as an MBA will often set you apart from other candidates and show you have a high level of education. When it comes to master’s degrees, MBAs are still held in high regard.
3. You Learn Real-World Skills
The problem with some graduate qualifications is that, while you may learn a lot of theoretical stuff, you don’t learn many skills you can apply in real life. An MBA can teach you:
- Problem-solving skills for business
- How to analyze large amounts of data
- Business law and ethics
- How to adapt to challenging times
- Strategic thinking
These are all skills that are useful in the business world, so from your first day at work after graduating, you’ll no doubt start using what you learned during your MBA program.
4. You Can Balance Studying and Working
Many people pursue an online MBA because it offers more flexibility, which means they can work and study at the same time. It may be that you already work in the corporate world and don’t want to step off the ladder to pursue your MBA, or you may want to look for an internship while you study, so you can graduate with real-world experience. The nature of an online MBA means it can suit all sorts of lifestyles.
An MBA can be a tough master’s degree to pursue, so those who work full-time may want to speak to their employer about getting some flexibility. In general, employers are usually happy that their employees are pursuing MBAs, as it gives them all sorts of skills they can use at work.
5. MBA Students Are Often In Their 30s and 40s
An MBA course is one area of college where non-traditional students won’t feel left out. The average age of a graduate student is 33, but MBA courses often have a higher average, and there are many reasons why people might wait until they’re older to pursue an MBA:
- It allows them to get real-world work experience
- They might want to pay off undergraduate debt before going for a masters
- They have more material for case studies and can use their experience when completing essays and tasks
- They may have had other responsibilities such as caring for relatives or children, so not been able to pursue their dreams until later
- They might not have had the confidence to pursue an MBA when they were younger, then decided to go for it in later years
While older MBA students can bring a lot to the table, it is obviously going to be more difficult for them to study. They are more likely to be paying off a mortgage, have responsible careers, or even have things like voluntary work to do that they don’t want to give up. It’s no wonder options such as online MBAs have exploded in popularity in recent years, allowing non-traditional students to pursue their dreams.
6. It Cuts Out Your Commute Time
Because most MBA students are non-traditional, i.e., those who haven’t come straight out of an undergrad program, many of them are settled and have families or have bought their own homes. Moving into a dorm simply isn’t an option for them. There are options such as becoming a commuter student, but this has disadvantages, such as the cost and time of commuting and lack of engagement in campus life.
When you take an online MBA, you use the time you would have spent commuting doing something productive, whether it’s writing an essay or reading learning materials. Why sit in traffic or on a bus for an hour when you can simply open your laptop and get on with your course? You will have no doubt got the full college experience as an undergraduate, so there’s no need to repeat it again.
7. It Suits Different Learning Styles
There are many different types of learning styles, but the main four are:
- Visual – these people like learning through pictures and images
- Aural – learn through sounds and music
- Linguistic – a more traditional learning style, learning through written words and speech
- Physical – a hands-on learning style, where you learn things by doing them
The problem with traditional colleges is, most of the learning is delivered through lectures and books, which just might not work for you. Learning online, in a subject such as an MBA, gives you different styles of learning. You can watch videos, read articles, and even try things out in the real world, so non-traditional learners who may struggle with traditional masters can still achieve their goals.
8. MBA Graduates Have a Good Starting Salary
It’s challenging to come up with an average figure for a fresh MBA grad, as it depends on how much experience they have pre-masters, as well as what industry they choose to work in. The average salary for an MBA in most areas was over $50k, and those with 10 or more years of experience ended up with six-figure salaries on average.
While an MBA isn’t a guarantee for a well-paid job, it does give you a lot of useful skills and looks great on your resume, so you can get the confidence to go for top roles. Taking the time to do an online MBA could, therefore, be great for your future career.
9. Many Successful Businesspeople Started Off With an MBA
If you’re wondering whether to do an online MBA, you may be wondering who else has completed the course, and what they’ve gone on to do. If you complete an MBA, you’ll be in good company, many successful people started off with an undergrad or postgrad degree in business administration, as it provides a solid foundation for an entrepreneurial career. Some of the world’s richest MBAs include the founders of Bloomberg, Nike, and other big names, so if you’re ever lagging and need inspiration, there are plenty of successful MBAs whose career paths you could follow.
10. The MBA Can Help You Expand on Existing Knowledge
As you get older, it’s quite common to want to expand your knowledge and study, but you may not want to take on a whole new subject. Many people who get into an MBA program do so because they already have some subject knowledge, usually gained from work experience, so the concepts and terminology won’t be utterly alien to them. When you choose an online course, this may be even more important, as you may feel nervous about starting from scratch and learning new things from home, even with a lot of support.
11. You Aren’t Limited to Local College Courses
Most areas have a local college nearby, whether it’s a small community college or a state university, but what’s on offer will vary wildly. When you look at business schools in the USA, you’ll notice many of them are in big cities or major metropolitan areas. If you don’t live in these areas, then you may not be able to find an MBA program locally, which means you’ve either got to move or compromise and choose one of the local college’s programs. Doing your MBA online means you aren’t limited by the choice or quality of your local school, you can find a plan that works for you.
When you study an MBA online, you also have the option to specialize in a concentration you are interested in, which may not be on offer at your local college. The four main concentrations are:
- Business intelligence
- Health sector management
This means that if you have experience in one of these specific fields, or are just interested in them, your MBA can be tailored to the industry, making it much more relevant to you.
12. It Can Work Out Less Expensive
An MBA can often pay off in terms of an increased salary. However, it is still a significant investment, especially if you have other financial commitments like a family or a mortgage. An MBA can easily cost $60k from one of the big business schools, not to mention the high cost of living in these expensive college towns. By comparison, online MBAs have less expensive college fees and also have the advantage of being flexible, so you can combine them with a full-time job. This means you can pay as you work your way through college, graduating with less debt.
13. The Job Outlook is Good
Because those who study online are often older students, employability is critical, and they want to know that their course is going to lead to a good job. Of course, no postgraduate qualification is a golden ticket to a good career, but the job outlook for MBA grads is good, with many companies stating they’d be hiring people off these courses in the next couple of years. Those studying accountancy or finance were especially in demand, usually achieving the higher salaries on offer.
14. You Can Still Network
One of the great things about doing an MBA is that you never know who’ll be in your class. It is a great chance to network with professionals, classmates, and visiting tutors, meeting people from the business world, and making connections. Surprisingly, you still get the potential for networking with an online MBA. Firstly, there’s social media and events done via video conferencing, so you can feel like you’ve met people face to face. Most online colleges also do residential events, and there will be other times you’ll meet the people in your class, giving you an excellent chance to network.
15. The Application Process is Simpler
Applying for an MBA is tough, both online and in a traditional college, and only those with promise make the cut. However, online colleges tend to have a more streamlined process, so you aren’t applying a year in advance and waiting for months to hear whether you’ve gotten in. You can often start in the spring or fall term, so you aren’t waiting to get started, and the application is done online, so it’s much easier.
If you’ve been thinking of doing an MBA for a while, why not do it online? This type of study suits many different students, and it’s the same qualification you get from any college.