Everybody knows the demand for professionals with a Master of Business Administration is declining, right? Wrong. As is often the case, the conventional wisdom about the declining fortunes of MBA degree holders turns out to be not so wise after all.
In fact, U.S. News & World Report describes the demand among businesses for financial managers with data analytics and other technical skills as “ravenous.” Similarly, CNBC explains that an MBA remains a prerequisite for a career in consulting, finance, and other key industries. Lastly, Professional Woman’s Magazine points out that graduates with an MBA earn more than their counterparts with other types of master’s degrees, have more career opportunities, and benefit from strong professional networks.
Perhaps most importantly, MBA graduates have the latest tech skills and knowledge that employers need, and they bring a “holistic perspective” that allows them to respond quickly to ever-changing business environments. These are only a few of the great reasons to get an MBA—and especially to get an MBA online.
Seven Smart Reasons to Get Your MBA Online
1. Flexible Scheduling
This is a major decision point for many students. Having the flexibility to pursue your education in harmony with your work, life, and family responsibilities eliminate several stressors. Yes, you will still have to make some hard choices about where to focus your time and energy, but those decisions will be yours alone. In fact, Forbes cites the “maximum flexibility” of online MBA programs as a primary reason for the growing popularity of the programs for working people.
Online MBA programs allow students to participate from any location and often at the times that fit around their work schedule. The flexibility of online MBA programs extends to the time students take to complete their studies: students can choose to accelerate their coursework to finish in as few as 18 months, or they may extend the time required to finish based on the demands of their work life and personal life.
2. Virtual Classroom Environment
Hand in hand with flexibility is the convenience and reach of the online learning environment. You can study from anywhere, at any time, whether you’re at home, in the office, or traveling for business or pleasure. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with professors and professionals from many locations and all walks of life, further enriching your educational experience.
Virtual classroom environments make online MBA degree programs accessible to more people, including those whose disabilities make attending traditional education programs difficult. They also make it easier for teachers to plan lessons, complete administrative tasks, and track their students’ progress. This also helps them determine the effectiveness of the curriculum and easily make adjustments to the assignments as necessary.
3. No GMAT Requirements
High scores on standardized tests may be one indicator of a student’s potential success. However, a high GMAT score doesn’t necessarily mean a candidate will be a high-performing student or the most employable graduate. Conversely, a potential candidate may have all the skills needed to be successful in an MBA program and to translate that into high performance in a career but may not score well on standardized tests.
Some schools are placing less emphasis on GMAT scores in candidate selection, and the number of MBA programs with no GMAT score required for acceptance is on the rise. For those considering an online MBA degree, accredited programs that do not require a GMAT score for admission can offer a path to a quality education that is free of the obstacles that standardized testing can present.
The Seattle Times notes that waiving the GMAT requirement is one-way schools encourage more applicants who may be dissuaded from applying by the need to score well on the test. This is part of a trend toward devising custom MBA programs designed to train graduates in the skills they require in their management candidates.
4. Quality Education
Another reason to get an MBA online is that most online MBA programs offer the same curriculum as their on-campus equivalent. You’re able to learn from the same faculty members and share educational resources. There is no longer a need for the physical trappings of the traditional university setting, particularly for working professionals who are not interested in non-educational aspects of college life.
The Seattle Times notes that recruiters are beginning to recognize the value of online MBA degree programs, especially the many innovations that allow the programs to offer “higher-quality education.” The traditional two-year general MBA model is being replaced by specialized programs that emphasize finance, digital marketing, supply chain management, business analytics, and other focused areas of business management.
5. Financial Considerations
Online MBA programs are normally less expensive than on-campus ones, simply because they require no infrastructure costs. Online students don’t need to pay for access to the library or the gym or other campus amenities. You’ll also save money on commuting costs. And you won’t have to ask for special scheduling arrangements at work that could cut into your earning power. In fact, the opposite is true. You’ll gain professional credibility and recognition for advancing your education in a very smart way.
Inside Higher Ed writes that online MBA programs can cost as little as one-third the expense of a traditional on-campus MBA program. The extra cost and the growing quality of the online education experience have convinced some schools to phase out their on-campus MBA program in favor of their online MBA degree program. By making it more affordable to earn an MBA, the online programs help address the continuing struggle to address education inequality.
6. Entrepreneurial Skills
The education gained through a rigorous online MBA program can expose you to new measures for vetting your business plans and potential for entrepreneurial success. You’ll have access to the opinions of your fellow business students and the guidance of experienced faculty while learning how to better position your ideas for widespread acceptance by your target demographic. Online MBA graduates also gain leadership and managerial expertise, along with a level of confidence that is essential for achievement in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Perhaps most important of all is that earning your MBA online will demonstrate your commitment to entrepreneurial success. It’s a credential you can present to potential investors, financiers, and business partners as an indication of your seriousness about the venture at hand. Getting an online MBA can help to pave your path to the future and give you the edge you need to move forward with your goals and dreams.
7. Digital Communication Skills
Success in modern leadership means knowing how to engage people you don’t know—and may never know—face to face. Where we once traveled to meet our colleagues in other states or countries, we now are just as likely to use Skype and FaceTime instead. Professionals who have experience working remotely on projects to complete their online MBA degree often find that they can build a long-lasting relationship with a virtual stranger across a webchat.
That’s just part of adapting to leadership in 2020 and beyond. Leaders should understand how the digital universe impacts marketing, finance, sales, human resources, and other key organizational functions. An online MBA degree can help you develop essential digital communication skills to guide discussions, collaborate with virtual teams, and train and manage employees via digital channels.
Ohio University’s Online Master of Business Administration Degree
Ohio University’s online MBA degree program allows students to choose from eight concentrations: accounting, business analytics, executive management, finance, health care, operations and supply chain management, strategic selling and sales leadership, and business venturing and entrepreneurship. Learn more about how getting an online MBA from Ohio University prepares students for successful careers in business.
Ohio University Blog, “Online MBA Program Named to Top 30 in the Nation by Poets & Quants”
Ohio University Blog, “10 Steps to Starting a Business”
Ohio University Blog, “Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Business Plan, and How to Write One”
CNBC, “Suzy Welch: These Are the Only Four Reasons to Get an MBA Right Now”
Forbes, “Is Getting an Online MBA Worth It?”
Graduate Management Admission Council, “About the GMAT Exam”
Inside Higher Ed, “4 Worries About Higher Education in the 2020s”
Professional Woman’s Magazine, “5 Great Reasons to Get an MBA”
Seattle Times, “Thinking About Getting an MBA? Here’s How the Degree Is Changing”
U.S. News & World Report, “5 Hot Jobs for MBA Graduates”
U.S. News & World Report, “Top Online MBA Programs: No GMAT, GRE Required”