Traditionally, an on-campus MBA has been the preferred choice among both students and professionals alike. However, interest in online programs has seen a manifold increase in the past few years. Therefore, a number of business schools have re-aligned their curricula to accommodate online courses in order to meet the needs of students who want greater flexibility.
As an MBA aspirant, what are your career goals? The salary increase, switching careers, networking opportunities, building leadership and team management skills, better problem-solving and teamwork abilities, or career growth? Your motivation, along with the factors discussed below, will help you decide the value proposition of an online course vs a traditional MBA degree and which of the two formats right for you.
1. Social Interaction:
- Synergy with your peer group, alumni, and prospective employers plays a vital role in an MBA program.
- It provides a platform for networking.
- Business school students develop relationships with each other, in terms of becoming lifelong friends or prospective employees or employers for each other.
- In a regular program, you get this opportunity and an insight into the world you are about to enter on completion of the course.
- Real-time interaction with people who have firsthand experience and a deep understanding of various business models can strengthen your hold on the different concepts of management.In an online program, this communication happens through various online groups.
- Many B-schools employ high-end video conferencing technology and internet simulations to keep you on your toes. However, you don't get to engage in study sessions and off-campus activities, which are an essential part of a B-school experience.
- The full-immersion experience is lacking in an online program.
- If you are unwilling or unable to join a regular program due to family, financial, or professional issues, you will find the online course aligned with your needs.
- You will not have to leave your job if you are working or relocate yourself. Nowadays, B-schools offer online programs tailor-made to suit the busy schedule of professionals through either live streaming or offline classes at any time of the day.
- Such programs are more convenient than an evening or weekend class. You can take classes from any part of the world, across an ocean or on another continent, and at any time convenient for you. On-campus programs are less flexible.
- You will have to live in the same city where the college is for the entire duration of your course and will have to attend classes on set schedules.
- This takes you out of the workforce for the duration of your program. One benefit of a traditional program, though, is that you do not have to take the additional stress of overwhelming course content in addition to your full-time job.
- Traditional on-campus MBA programs score a point when it comes to authenticity. However, the stigma associated with the credibility of online programs is waning slowly.
- Online programs are now offered by schools with accreditation from various recognized and standard monitoring agencies.
- With the increase in demand for online programs, many multinational companies have also come to terms with an online MBA degree for their employees.
- You can opt for an online MBA program provided that the degree earned from the college is accredited by bodies governing the quality of higher education.
- It is important to look not only for accreditation but for a reputed accreditation.
- An online MBA program is more cost-effective than a traditional course.
- Apart from tuition fees, regular on-campus programs involve expenses such as lodging, food, travel, etc.
- Online MBA facilitates the completion of your higher education without creating a deep dent in your pocket. Additionally, you can work and study simultaneously.
- However, if you have the ways and means to finance a traditional, regular program, it will offer you more benefits in terms of placement, credibility, and networking.
5. Internship and placements:
- These are the luxuries you earn in on-campus programs.
- Traditional MBA programs open the doors to flexible access to on-campus career services. This gives you a significant competitive advantage in terms of finding a job.
- You also gain an upper edge over those pursuing an online course due to the regular events, workshops, and communication opportunities schools provide.
- In an online MBA program, the onus of brightening your career advancement lies solely on you. If you are a working professional, though, online programs enable you to apply the day-to-day learning, your working experience, and vice versa.
Thus, both these modes have their own pros and cons. You have to weigh them and check which one meets your requirement. Keep in mind that the online format requires a high degree of self-motivation and excellent time management on your part and is best suited for those who are intent on sticking to or moving ahead with their current job.
To succeed in your career, it is important to invest in the right program. We hope this discussion helps you decide your career goals.
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