A master’s degree in business administration or an MBA can be the perfect way to get ahead in your career, whether you want to start your own business, make yourself more competitive in the workforce, or move up in your current company. But the decision to enroll in an MBA program isn’t one to take lightly. MBAs are expensive; between tuition, the cost of relocation, and the opportunity cost of leaving the workforce for a year or two to study, the price tag of an MBA can easily reach six figures.
But an MBA could bring your salary up to six figures, too, especially for entrepreneurs. What if there was a way to earn an MBA from a reputable institution without the need to move to a new city, quit your job, and pay many of the costs associated with attending graduate school, such as renting an apartment close to campus and commuting to and from class every day? What if you could earn your MBA while staying in your job and continuing to raise your family? Here’s how earning your MBA online could help you further your education and career while still leaving you the time to live your adult life:
Employers respect online MBAs
One of the biggest fears many prospective students have about earning an online MBA is that employers won’t respect the degree. In the past, online degrees have carried the stigma of for-profit education, but that’s changing as more and more reputable, well-known schools offer online-only or low-residency MBAs. Employers are receptive to online MBAs from reputable universities, and many won’t even bother to ask whether you earned your degree online or on campus. Academic standards are just as rigorous for online students as they are for on-campus students, and the degrees awarded are the same; yours won’t have an asterisk with the words “earned online” printed next to it.
Study on your own time
MBA programs traditionally expect applicants to have some real-world work experience, and program administrators understand that many of their students are fully-fledged adults with careers and families of their own. Online MBA programs are typically designed with these adult students in mind. They’re friendly to the needs of students who have full-time jobs, mortgages, kids, and other responsibilities.
Most programs incorporate a lot of asynchronous learning, meaning that course materials are made available online and students are allowed to go over them and submit assignments at any time of the day or night that works for their schedule. Some programs are entirely online, meaning you can complete the degree from home, working early in the morning, late at night, on your lunch breaks, on weekends, or whenever works for you. Some low-residency programs give students the opportunity to spend a few weeks a semester working together in a more traditional classroom environment on campus, so you can get to know your fellow students and build network connections for your future.
You’ll still have to pay tuition and fees to attend an online MBA program, but these programs still cost less on average because they allow you to save on many of the secondary fees associated with going back to graduate school. You’ll be able to keep your job, so you can keep earning your full-time salary while you study. For most programs, that’s at least two more years of earnings at your current salary in your pockets. You may even be able to get your company to reimburse your tuition, which can make the degree even more affordable.
Because you won’t need to relocate, you won’t need to pay to move, to store items you can’t take with you, or to rent an apartment closer to the campus. You won’t need to buy gas or pay bus fares to commute to classes. You’ll just need to pay for tuition, books and other fees, and you can probably get your company to reimburse some or all of these costs.
Is an MBA the right choice for you?
Now that you’re more familiar with the benefits of an online MBA, it’s time to decide if it’s the right choice for your career. An MBA can give you an edge over other candidates or make you more valuable to your current employer, increasing your future opportunities. In addition to building the technical skills needed to run a business or advance to a leadership role in your company, an MBA can help you develop the soft skills managers and leaders need. Pursuing an MBA online can also help you grow your professional network and build the technological aptitude that’s increasingly important in the business world today.
If you’ve been thinking about an MBA, an online program might be right for you. Online programs offer the flexibility working adults often need, with all the academic chops of traditional brick-and-mortar programs. Finish your education, further your career, beef up your resume, and increase your earning potential with an online MBA.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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