On Campus, or Online? Six Advantages of a Distance MBA

If you’re looking to enhance your skill set with a Master of Business Administration degree, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to enroll in an online MBA program rather than going the traditional campus route. Online degree programs are just starting to crack the mainstream (even though MBAs have been available at a distance since 1987), so you may wonder whether there are disadvantages to studying for your MBA online that outweigh the convenience and flexibility of study offered by the Internet.

Here are a few great reasons to complete your MBA online rather than on-campus.

1)    Forget The Class Meeting Times

Traditional MBA programs have a fixed meeting time. If you’re a mid-career professional with a family, old-fashioned classroom learning requires you to sacrifice more family and working time to attend classes. Online learning, on the other hand, can be done anytime. You’ll still have to carve out time in your life to watch lectures and complete assignments, but at least you get to decide when that happens.

2)    Portable Campus

In addition to a set time, college classes at a bricks-and-mortar school are also restricted to a specific place. If you live near a university with a great MBA program, it might not be an issue for you to commute. You might even consider dropping out of work for a while to become a residential student at a specific university. But if you aren’t near a university, or if you need to continue working full-time, an online MBA program liberates you from the traditional campus. Anywhere you access the Internet can become your classroom when you need it to. Some online universities even make course materials available for your web-enabled phone, or as downloadable podcasts for your iPod.

3) A Bigger Network

Attending an MBA course in person can be a great way to make local business contacts that could benefit you in the future. Attending an MBA online, however, puts you in touch with a wider, more varied student body. Your course members may come from across the country or around the world. Even if you don’t use them as business contacts, the exposure to different viewpoints will add an extra richness to your learning experience, and may give you ideas about practical implementation of what you’ve learned in class. Finally, you just might make a few friends.

4)    Online Learning Works

The Obama Administration plans to create millions of new college graduates by 2020. Since traditional campuses will have a hard time keeping up with the demand, the US Department of Education has been looking into the effectiveness of online learning. Turns out that, after analysing 12 years of data, the Department of Education has concluded that online learning actually results in slightly better performance than traditional classroom education alone, as outlined in the report entitled “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Studies”. Other studies have shown that online learning is also more efficient: physicians who took a professional development course online scored just as well as their classroom-educated peers on a test—but with fewer hours spent studying.

5)    Get Tech Savvy

If you don’t already use web conferencing, instant messenger clients, Facebook, webcams, and many other useful technological innovations, you probably will once you join your online MBA program, whether it’s for your courses or for socializing with classmates. You may just discover a great new tool for networking, marketing, or getting work done outside of class.

6)    Learn While You Earn

Because online learning lets you study at a distance and set your own schedule, it’s a convenient option for MBA-seekers who can’t give up family or professional obligations to spend a few years on campus. But there’s another advantage: if you study for your MBA while continuing to work, you can test the practicalities of the theories you’re studying in class right away. In other words, what you learn in your marketing class tonight can be put to use in your meeting tomorrow.

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602-2504) www.ncahlc.org.

CTU does not guarantee employment, salary, or performance of graduates.

References:
First Online MBA Program: http://www.aspen.edu/history.htm
US DOE Study: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf
Physician learning study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10858176


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