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Pros and Cons of Online MBA Programs

written by: Heather Marie Kosur•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 1/11/2011

There are more and more individuals seeking out online MBA programs today. There are some great programs out there, but, in order to find those, it is necessary to ask certain questions. It is also important to understand the pros and cons of online MBA programs. Read further for more information.

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    What to Look For in an Online MBA Program

    Online learning programs come with the flexibility and convenient pace for professionals who desire to earn an online degree without affecting their existing job schedule. The increase in the number of applicants for online MBA programs shows its rising popularity.

    Many online MBA programs boast of comprehensive syllabus and reliable accreditation. The first step of the aspirant should be to inquire about the prominent schools with proper accreditation. Before rounding off on a particular program, one must check the following:

    • Does the school have proper accreditation?
    • Is the course curriculum flexible?
    • Are the deadlines for assignments and project submissions stringent?
    • Are there any orientation classes to attend?
    • Is the fee structure affordable?
    • Are there provisions for scholarships or grants?
    • What are the general reviews of previous students regarding the program?
    • Does the program offer any kind of internship or placement assistance?
    • Is the profile of the school impressive?
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    What Are the Pros?

    A lot of benefits can be garnered while earning an MBA degree online. The foremost advantage is the flexibility in timing. Most of the schools allow the students to complete the course at their own pace. For a professional who has a busy schedule at work, such programs are a blessing. Following are some of the other advantages:

    • The employer may provide financial aid to an employee who wants to enroll for an online MBA program.
    • If the student is employed, he/she will have the convenience of retaining the job and earning a degree simultaneously, which would further help in promotion and added monetary benefits.
    • Increasing one’s knowledge regarding different concepts in business, which may further help at workplace.
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    What Are the Cons?

    There are several hidden dangers with an online MBA program. First, before taking over the online course, one should inquire regarding the accreditation of the school. Many times, degrees from schools that are do not have proper accreditation lead to loss of time and money but offer zero benefits at workplace.

    Therefore, it is necessary from the student’s part to inquire in online discussion groups and forums that can help him/her regarding the credibility of the course. For this, it is necessary to read reviews, contact some previous students and to have proper networking with peers. Apart from the above mentioned danger, following are some other cons related to online MBA programs:

    • Tendency to lag in the course: One should be self-motivated and self-disciplined in order to complete the online MBA program on time. As in conventional schools, no one is forcing the student to submit assignments or to take examinations on time. There are schools that offer intensive programs that can be completed within nine months, and at times, the course can be extended up to four years. However, one should strive to complete the course on time according to the proposed schedule in order to avoid waste of time and money.
    • Inefficient networking with peers: Introducing oneself to his/her peers and professors is very important because such contacts can go a long way in helping the student professionally. Many times, online MBA programs hardly lead to any such opportunities for peer networking. However, if given an opportunity, any of the following opportunities must be effectively utilized: orientation seminars, online forums, or online group discussions.
    • Few opportunities for internship or for gaining work experience: Most of the online MBA programs do not offer any internships or work experience. The only option is to inquire with the school regarding any such opportunities if available.
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    Things to Keep in Mind

    Online MBA programs help an aspiring graduate to enhance his/her knowledge on business and management, thereby honing his/her “corporate skill set." This further enables the employee in climbing the corporate ladder, many times with added monetary benefits. However, one should be aware of the loopholes before enrolling in any online MBA program so that it does not end up in personal, professional and financial losses.