If you are looking for a kick-start to your career or planning your future prospects, chances are that you might be considering an MBA degree. Whether you need to improve your earning potential or choose a challenging career that will keep you excited over the years, an MBA is the right choice. But for many, pursuing an MBA degree might not be possible due to lack of time, other commitments or even financial constraints. As a solution to all these problems, an online MBA program is your best bet. An online MBA degree will allow you to study at your own time and pace, work part or full time throughout the program, earn while you learn and is also relatively cheaper than other traditional MBA courses available. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection and you are ready to begin.
But, you will soon realize that there are several online degree programs available and choosing the correct one for you can be quite a tricky process. There are certain things you must check out before enrolling for an online MBA program and these include:
o Will future employers accept your online degree program? An online MBA will only be accepted if it is earned from a college or institution that is accredited by the required agencies. Only if the school is accredited, will the degree count for anything in the job market. Be careful of fly by night schools that promise you a degree without any effort or at extremely low fees. Always verify the program before signing up for any course.
o What is the student support available by the online school? Contact the admissions office to find out what contact channels are available to online students. Does the college offer only email communication or provide for forums, chat rooms and online tutorials? Are there professional advisors available for online students? Will the financial aid office of the college extend its support to online students as well?
o What are the means of imparting education with regards to a particular online degree program? You need to check how the school will deliver the lessons and whether the course material is available 24/7 to you online. This is especially important if you are planning to work and study simultaneously. If there is a facility to interact with other students and faculty online, getting an online degree will be made easier.
o What is the cost of the online MBA degree? You need to check on regular tuition fees along with possible extra charges such as examination fees, special tutorials, library fees, etc. In this way you can make a budget for your education and look at aid options or cheaper alternatives in case the costs are too prohibitive. If you are working and completing your MBA at the same time, your employer might defray a portion of your fees. The cost of tuition for online MBA programs varies from college to college so shop around before making a final decision.
To make the most of your online MBA programs, you also need to understand the differences between a traditional MBA program and an online program. While the curriculum offered by the two is normally the same, online MBA students spend most of their time not in class but studying the same course material independently. Online programs provide a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, reading lists, assignments, online forums and discussions, video tutorials, one-on-one sessions with faculty and even podcasting. Exams will be conducted routinely (often at pre-determined centers near your locality) and assignments need to be submitted regularly so as to fulfill credit and course requirements. An online MBA is in no way easier than a traditional one and in some ways could even demand more of you in terms of discipline and effort. Finally, as an online MBA can be completed in a much shorter frame of time as compared to the normal four years, the earning potential and possibility for career advancement is also quicker as a result.
Choosing an online MBA program is not a decision to be taken lightly. Accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs require a great deal of hard work, time, and effort. But, with the right attitude, an online MBA could be the perfect way to break into the world of business and improve your chances of success.