Is an Online MBA Worth it? The Return on Your Investment

The need for a Master’s in Business Administration degree is growing. The universities are evolving and are now providing online MBAs. Online MBAs offer opportunities to those who wanted and needed to travel but couldn’t afford to take leave from their careers or wanted a career change without leaving their current location. Some online MBA courses are designed specifically for working professionals who want to combine learning with their responsibilities while only taking online courses once or twice weekly. In addition, they also offer flexibility in terms of schedule and work-life balance.

A recent study conducted by The Economist revealed that the ratio of students in college who hold an online MBA degree versus a traditional MBA has increased from 1% in 2010 to 26% in 2019.

Are online MBAs worth it?

The answer is generally yes because they don’t have the costs of tuition that other universities have. This is a great way for individuals to get an MBA without needing to relocate. They also focus on specialization so that you can expect a high-quality education at an affordable cost. Some pros of going online include:

  1. It is flexible and can be adjusted based on your work schedule. It requires less commitment than going to college full-time and saving money on transportation to/from school.
  2. An online MBA degree allows students the flexibility of studying where they want and when they want, which typically makes it more affordable than an on-campus one.
  3. Students can also work on their degrees while maintaining their current careers, while others will adopt this option as they transition careers or take some time off from their jobs.
  4. As online MBA programs continue to grow, more specialized programs are being created targeting specific industries such as healthcare, social work, law, etc.
  5. Online MBA degree programs have a global curriculum, which opens the door for various jobs across the globe. You can take up a job from anywhere in the world.
  6. This is not a time for you to get an MBA from the comfort of your home. It is an inconvenient time for many reasons, the least being that the traditional business school model is changing and becoming less relevant.

Some examples of online MBA programs are:

Full-time MBA from Vanderbilt University – Online Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Walden University – Online Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The University of Florida – Online MBA  degrees from organizations like Simplilearn, Upgrad, Udemy, Coursera, etc. Online MBA has become popular for many individuals and companies to build their business in recent years. This trend is likely to continue because of the many benefits it offers, such as flexibility and affordability. However, it doesn’t come without flaws. Let’s examine some of the limitations of getting an online MBA degree.

Cons of getting an online MBA

  • There are plenty of accredited online MBA programs. However, they can cost a lot of money to get into.
  • They are also not easy to find on Google search, and more often than not, students will have to contact the schools and universities directly.
  • There isn’t a campus life with social events and networking opportunities that other accreditation schools offer.
  • Most students find it difficult and time-consuming to apply for an online MBA program while they still have other things they need to do throughout their day.
  • Some cons include feeling lonely at times. There is a possibility of dropping out of online MBA programs because of various factors like the inability to cope with the curriculum, lack of face-to-face interaction with instructors, change of priorities, etc.
  • Having a lower GPA in online classes is also a mentionable con.
  • Also, there are possibilities of getting scammed. The scam is a big con of any program that has an online option. Many times, the courses mentioned are not the courses offered. There have been fraud cases wherein students have enrolled in the program but have not received the certification or weren’t cited eligible to appear in the exam.
  • Online programs are not for everyone. It can only be availed by technologically advanced students living in a geographical location with good quality internet service. Someone from a rural area with poor knowledge of the internet world and equally poor internet connectivity might not choose to go for an online MBA degree.
  • For most online programs, English is the standard mode of communication. Also, many often instructors for such a program belong to various nationalities. So if you are not proficient in English, an online course might not be good for you.
  • Even though an online MBA program costs significantly less than its on-campus counterpart, not everyone can afford to enroll.

Cons of getting an online MBA

MBA programs have changed significantly in the last few decades as they have shifted from a private and highly expensive thing to a more accessible and affordable online option. Online MBA programs provide students with an alternative way to acquire knowledge. They can work on their coursework at the time of their convenience. Some students choose to work through an online MBA program for personal growth, either for themselves or for their company. The online MBA is designed for those who want to start a career in management or a leadership position without having to attend an on-campus program. The online MBA has been proven an effective strategy for business professionals because it allows them to learn at their own pace and still be productive. Ultimately, it comes down to what matters most for you – job security and income or getting into a reputable school for a good education. With that said, it is important to have a current snapshot of the cost and value of an online MBA degree to decide if it is worth it for you.

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