What You Need To Know About Online MBAs
Online MBA programs are growing. Yet, there are still stigmas and stereotypes that plague the online education world.
Stacy Blackman, a U.S. News & World Report contributor and founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently published a piece on three things you may not have known about online MBAs.
Online MBA Programs Offer Top-Notch Faculty
The quality of an MBA is in its faculty and Blackman says a number of online MBA programs have enlisted leading professors.
At Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, students can take the same classes from the same faculty as they would in the on-campus program, Amy Hillman, dean of ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business, tells U.S. News.
“We began offering online degrees in the early 2000s, long before it was as widely accepted as it is now,” Hillman says. “So, we know from experience how to deliver great content to students and offer a flexible degree that will ultimately help them take that next step in their careers.”
At Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, the part-time online MBA program “offers flexibility to working students as well as the same faculty, curriculum, career planning resources and degree that on-campus students receive,” Blackman says.
For University of Southern California’s Marshall Online MBA, students get taught by faculty teams rather than individual professors.
“Faculty members, each an expert in a different discipline, teach the course together, providing students with multiple perspectives that may include, for example, marketing, accounting, data analytics and communication,” Miriam Burgos, academic director of USC’s online MBA program and associate professor of clinical marketing, tells U.S. News. “This holistic approach to learning mirrors 21st century global business practices.”
Moreover, Burgos adds that online MBA courses are structured around more particular topics rather than discrete topics.
Online MBAs Can Offer Experiential Learning
Perhaps some of the most valuable experiences one can gain from an MBA is the hands-on aspect of experiential learning. Now, a number of MBA programs are bringing experiential learning to their online programs.
For instance, at Indiana’s Kelley Direct Online, students can take immersion courses that “focus on particular business areas, such as advertising and branding in New York or a Washington Campus immersion program to navigate the gap between business and politics,” Blackman says.
At the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, students can take part in the Student Teams Achieving Results Program, or STAR, and take on consulting roles at real companies.
“Our students take on the role of consultants to real companies in order to develop consulting skills for their future careers in business,” UNC’s website reads. “Together, from January to May, STAR teams of five to six full-time students work under the skillful guidance of our tenured or clinical/adjunct professors with significant business and consulting experience. The STAR teams collaborate with the corporate partner sponsors for ongoing dialogue in a similar manner as a consulting engagement.”
You Can Get Scholarships & Financial Aid For Online MBAs
Blackman reports that prospective online students, who are applying for an online MBA at an AACSB International-accredited school, can expect the same financial aid process as those who apply to traditional MBA programs.
“Students apply for financial aid using the FAFSA, the same as they do at other institutions. We contact them via their email account and direct them to their student portal when there’s action they need to take,” says Cheryl Storie, associate vice president of financial aid at the University of Maryland University College, which serves both traditional and online students.
In GMAC’s 2017 Application Trends Report, 38% of online MBA students expect to receive employer support for their education.
Blackman advises prospective MBA students to choose a program that will fit their needs and goals.
“For many busy professionals, an online MBA program makes perfect sense as a way to achieve their career goals through a flexible format that adapts to their schedule,” Blackman says. “As you consider programs, choose one that is a fit with your goals and lifestyle to ensure the best results from application to graduation.”