Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deciding Between an Online or Traditional MBA?

Author: Katheryn Rivas

If you are in the process of deciding whether or not an MBA degree is right for you, you'll probably have noticed during your time spent researching that there are a whole lot more options than you probably thought existed. Wading through all these different options can sometimes cause quite the headache. Before trying to decipher which school(s) you are interested in attending exactly, it may be better to divide the choice among three options: online-only MBA, traditional MBA, or a partial online MBA. Here are a few things to consider.

1. Traditional MBAs and online MBAs can have very similar tuition rates, so be careful.
While many online MBA programs will sing the praises of paying substantially less for a fully-accredited program, this isn't necessarily always the case. Of course, tuition varies from school to school, and the one thing that you'll surely save on with an online degree is the cost of transportation, possible relocation, etc.

2. The online MBA is more conducive to working and studying at the same time, but completing it successfully requires more discipline. Online MBAs work well for someone with a very specific work ethic. The great thing about pursuing an online MBA is that it enables you to more easily work full-time and raise family. Still, all potential online MBA candidates should know that there is less direction and hand-holding using an online platform, so you have to be an independent student who doesn't mind putting in lots of extra work and staying on top of all your assignments.

3. Some MBA programs out there offer distance and in-class options, which may be ideal for those looking for a good mix of both online and traditional coursework.
That there is only a choice between an online MBA and a traditional one is something of a false dichotomy. Many schools, especially community colleges, will offer business degrees that you can pursue using a mix of distance work and face-to-face interaction. This option is perfect for the potential MBA student who can't decide between the two typical choices.

4. If you are looking to get a certain job or work in a certain industry once you graduate, make sure that your potential employers are accepting of online MBAs.

While online MBAs, if you do your research very thoroughly, are completely legitimate, many employers are still not completely convinced that they represent a valid credential. As such, be sure to ask different companies or people who work in your target industry about the reputation of the online MBA among the industry professionals.

About the author:

Katheryn Rivas, a freelancer who blogs about online universities, contributed this guest post. Questions and comments can be sent to:

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