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Are Online MBAs Worth Your Time?

If you've been hearing about online MBAs and wondering, “What's the big deal?”, you've come to the right place.

MBAs are getting popular of late, and for good reason. For some, it’s about entering a career transition and for others, it’s to boost and accelerate one’s career

There’s also evidence that investing in an MBA will pay off in the long run.

With prominent institutions such as Harvard and Carnegie Mellon setting up their programmes and more than 300 online MBAs from the US alone, you have the freedom of choice.

In fact, over 15% of applicants are willing to consider an online MBA. If you are one of them, you may have questions regarding the legitimacy of these programmes.

Read on as we shed some light on the pros and cons of these online MBA programs.

The Advantages & Disadvantages Of An Online MBA

Online MBA’s Advantages

#1: Flexibility

If you are working full-time or already have plans to settle down in the city you’re in, travelling abroad for an MBA may be out of the way.

That’s where an online MBA comes in. Wherever you have WiFi, be it in a cafe or at the airport, you’ll be able to access your online lessons and work on your coursework.

And if you are worried that you’ll have less face-to-face contact with your instructor, make sure you pick a top-tier programme with live internet classes or video-conferencing.

#2: Savings

University fees can be hefty and MBA programmes are no different. Online MBAs cost significantly lesser than their full-time counterparts.

A full-time MBA programme at Imperial College will cost you US$65,934 but an online MBA from the same institution will cost $46,329.

The average cost for an online MBA is around US$35,000 but prices vary widely across institutions.

While UMass Lowell offers an online MBA for an astonishing $19,650, you'll be paying $137,200 for an online programme from Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business.

#3: No Pause To Your Career

With an online MBA, there's no need to keep your personal and professional commitments on hold. Speed through your programme in 18 months or spread out the workload over a couple of years - it's your choice.

 There’s also one additional perk: you may get a waiver for standardised tests like GMAT.

Online MBA’s Disadvantages

#1: Less Extensive Curriculum

A study by Walden University found that online MBAs lacked group interaction and in-class discussions.

Remote learning might be convenient, but you’ll miss out on class discussions led by experienced professors that expose you to a variety of perspectives.

While you set aside a year of your time with a traditional MBA, you'll be devoting all your effort to learning. However, with an online MBA, you'll need to have the discipline to fit all your commitments into your schedule on top of your career.

#2: Greater Difficulty to Develop Real Friendships and Professional Networks

We get it. There's email, Skype, and a variety of instant messaging apps, so you won't be missing out on contact with your classmates.

But nothing beats face-to-face contact, where you'll be able to connect with the people you meet. With 86% of graduates listing 'networking' as the primary mode of finding employment, the lack of offline contact puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to online MBAs.

#3: Miss out on the Opportunity of Exploring a New Country

Studying abroad is not just about the actual studying you’ll be doing. Exploring your host destination, picking up the cultural quirks from the locals, learning a new language - all these are part of learning too!

And from a practical perspective, you’ll have better access to career opportunities you might miss out on with an online MBA.

Is An Online MBA Worth It?

It’s time for the verdict!

If you have a variety of commitments you can’t give up and can’t take the time to travel abroad, there are myriad top-tier AACSB programmes that’ll provide you with an excellent online MBA to suit your needs.

But if you have the freedom of choice, a full-time MBA at an eminent university abroad is perhaps the ideal pathway.

It’s not only an excellent way to explore another part of the world; you’ll also get the best chances to learn and adopt new experiences. Additionally, a traditional MBA still holds weight and is more recognised by many international companies.

Fulfil Your Career Goals With An MBA

If you’ve decided to take the traditional route for your MBA, we can help you sort out the nitty gritty - such as guiding you through the necessary paperwork which can be tedious.

Also, our friendly counsellors will help you narrow down the most ideal MBA program, which can be an arduous task if you have to do it yourself.

Keen to kick-start your own overseas adventure? Swing by our upcoming Study Abroad Education Fair – the biggest of its kind in town! Happening 7 & 8 March, Suntec Convention Centre, Level 3, Summit 1. Doors open from 12pm to 6pm.

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