Not only do online MBA programs match the rigor of their on-campus counterparts, but—depending on your situation—an online degree might even be the smarter choice. Here are the top benefits to earning your MBA online.

Getting your MBA online

1. Flexibility

If you're considering an online MBA, chances are you're balancing work and family responsibilities, while still keeping an eye on your future. Because most online MBA programs offer a combination of synchronous (during an appointed class or project time) and asynchronous learning (work that you can complete at any time that's best for you), online MBA schedules tend to be highly adaptable to complex schedules.

At Northeastern University's  D'Amore-McKim School of Business, online MBA students may take their courses “exclusively online,” or they also have the option to complete a campus-based residency (an intensive one-week course) or an international field study residency. If you need to work full-time, care for a family, or transition from the military into the workforce, the flexibility of online learning may help you juggle adding a degree program to your balls in the air.

2. Affordability

For the many ambitious students concerned about tuition costs, MBAs can offer great value in terms of both base cost and timeline flexibility. Speaking broadly, it's very possible to find accredited online MBA programs for as little as $5,000 to $10,000 a year, just as it's possible to spend upwards of $50,000 a year. At many programs, it's also possible to adjust how many credits you take per semester, or how long it takes you to complete the program, based on how much you can afford to pay over time. And, of course, continuing to work while you're in school is an undeniable financial upside.

3. Access to Innovative Technologies

Because they deliver a quality curriculum straight to their students' computers, online MBA programs sit at the cutting edge of business technology. Online learning provides two key advantages to MBA students: You'll build your mastery of business technology while making your educational experience compatible with your needs and schedule. Online platforms like ANGEL and Adobe are making online learning more dynamic and interactive than ever, and individual online MBA programs usually offer comprehensive tech support to troubleshoot any problems that arise.

The Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University has its own eLearing Portal called GLEAN (Graziadio Learning Environment and Network) where students can access all the interactive tools at their disposal:

  • Google Docs/Drive to share and simultaneously edit files
  • Join.Me and Voicethread for realtime online meetings, presentations and feedback sessions
  • Yammer to make connections with other students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • Sakai to get course materials, turn in assignments, and see grades and feedback from professors.

Technological fluency is essential to business success today, and an online MBA will immerse you in its language.

4. Diversity

Online MBA programs, by their very design, are adaptable to a wide range of backgrounds and needs, so if it's important to you to learn from a variety of other viewpoints, going online may be a great choice.

At the  W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University managers at Fortune 500 companies (such as Apple, Boeing, and Cisco) join Air Force pilots and Law School dual degree students in the online classroom. Business is a broad umbrella, and connecting with students of all different ages and stages, career paths, and national origins will make you consider new ideas and reconsider old ones.

5. Global Opportunities

As online MBA programs have flourished and gained prestige, many programs make a priority out of attracting international students, offering international business immersion opportunities, and even establishing satellite universities in other countries. Especially since online MBA students don't typically see their classmates every day, the opportunity to connect with other students, faculty, and professionals in immersive international settings can make a big educational impact even if the experience lasts just a few days.

MBA@UNC offer four global immersions a year which give online students in the Kegan-Flagler Business School the opportunity to travel to major business centers around the world. In the last year, students have traveled to Mumbai, Johannesburg, and Istanbul. If you want to expand your professional contacts abroad, it may be smart to go online.

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