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Article: Online MBA Degrees: What You Need to Know

By Marianne Salina
January 31, 2006
Online Education Degrees Contributor

You've heard the chatter about online MBA degrees, but are they worth all the hype? Going to school and achieving your business degree is now easier than ever, and by following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that your degree is worth every penny.

Many people are seriously considering pursuing their MBAs. Many are full-time professionals, college graduates who are already gainfully employed but crave the competitive edge an MBA will offer. Who can blame them? According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, an MBA degree can boost an employee's annual salary by 50%, enhancing the work environment and improving the quality of life at home too. But how do busy professionals many of whom are mothers or fathers, make time to pursue their Master's degrees? Online school makes the time for them. Getting an online MBA degree is now more popular than ever, as the ability to create your own learning schedule and work from home increases their attainability. But are all online MBA degrees created equal? Will you be able to improve your salary and credentials with an online degree? There are definitely a few things you need to know first.

Research Before Enrolling

There are many reasons for pursuing an online MBA degree. Besides the convenience of setting your own schedule and pace, learning online also affords you the opportunity to utilize one of the most critical tools in the world of business: the Internet. It's true: as more local and international businesses rely on the Internet for fast communication, strong online skills are tremendous assets in the work force. Receiving an online education carries a few valuable traits, including proof that you know how to use a computer, but learn about your school before you enroll. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Accreditation: While many recognized, accredited schools offer MBA programs online, there are also colleges you may not have heard of. Do your research; call the schools and make sure they carry the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) seal of approval.
  • Understand the Program: Online MBA programs differ from school to school. It's important to familiarize yourself with the way the course is facilitated. Ask these questions: How much interaction is there between students and the professors and between students themselves? How available is the professor to answer questions and offer advice?
  • Networking: Many schools offer career placement resources. These resources assist you with interview preparation and can help you understand the business market. Learn about the resources that are available to you as an online student, even after you hold your MBA.
Will You Be A Competitive Candidate?

So you've done your research, found a top-notch school, and guess what? You got in! But will an online MBA degree carry the same weight in the competitive market as a traditional degree? Much of your success as a professional depends upon your academic achievements and resume strength. Companies are becoming more accepting of online degrees, but they'll still want to understand why chose this option. Ensuring your success in business will certainly be aided by an MBA degree but you'll also need to market yourself appropriately and carry your achievements with confidence. These skills, just like an online degree, are only built with initiative and an independent will.

  • "Do Online MBAs Make the Grade?" Business Week, By Jeffery Gangemi, August 18th, 2005 bschools/content/aug2005/bs20050818_4192_bs001.htm? campaign_id=nws_indr_aug26&link_position=link17
  • "What Are the Advantages to Receiving an MBA Degree Online?" January, 30th, 2006 career-education/themes/edu_theme_007-online-mba.html
About the Author:

Marianne Salina is a freelance writer in Spokane, Washington. She writes about pursuits in education and degree opportunities.