Enrolling in an online MBA program can help you take your career to the next level without unnecessarily disrupting your current routines. MBA courses can help you learn the skills and build the relationships that will position you to succeed in the corporate world, especially if you have some business experience but feel that you have the potential to advance beyond your current position. An online MBA course provides the opportunity to learn from expert instructors and interact with passionate professionals like yourself while retaining greater control over your schedule and defining your own goals.

What is an MBA Online?

An MBA, or Master of Business Administration degree, is a master’s-level educational degree designed to train students for the field of corporate management. In recent years, some colleges and universities have started to offer the option of earning an MBA online. Students engage with pre-recorded video or audio lectures or log in to a website for live interactive teaching sessions. Online MBA programs have a variety of methods by which the student can submit assignments, interact with classmates and receive individualized instruction and feedback from the professors.

A great advantage of online MBA programs is that they provide much greater flexibility in course schedules and in the overall program timetable than traditional MBA programs. You can also receive instruction from a prestigious MBA program online without having to make the geographical move to a different city or state in order to be present at the university campus. Enrolling in an MBA online program can also be less expensive than traditional enrollment in a business college. For this reason, many people who aspire to develop their careers and eventually break into executive management positions have opted to enroll in online MBA courses.

Benefits of MBA Online Programs

Like any further education or personal development, earning an MBA can make you more likely to get hired, increase your confidence and give you new experiences and perspectives. Setting aside time to receive expert instruction from experienced professionals is a great way to deepen your understanding of how the corporate world works. All of this can give you a significant edge in your own career, whether you work in corporate management or are an entrepreneur with a plan to start your own business. Understanding the ins and outs of your field will increase your competitive advantage, and if you approach your online MBA program with a specific career goal in mind, you can also use your MBA courses to make contact with influential professors or to get personalized advice that will help you further refine your plans.

MBA Online vs On-Site

An on-site MBA program, sometimes called a traditional MBA program, takes place on a college campus. Students enroll for a course of study and either live on-campus or commute to the university. The MBA courses take place in classrooms, with the professor lecturing in person and, in some cases, holding office hours or group study sessions at set times and places.

In online MBA programs, the curriculum and course content is the same as it is for on-site MBA programs, but the students receive instruction over the internet. As in other online or distance-learning programs, the lectures and in an MBA online program are delivered through a variety of electronic means, such as video recordings, mp3 audio lectures and live video chats. Students can interact with one another and with the professor through forums, e-mail, live chat and collaborative online platforms. Students submit assignments electronically and receive grades and comments through the online platform used by the university offering the online MBA program.

The most commonly cited benefits of getting an MBA through an online program as opposed to an on-site MBA program include the increased control over your schedule and the lack of a commute. The availability of pre-recorded lectures in some classes provides you the option of choosing a convenient time to watch or listen to them, and even live MBA lectures and interactive study sessions are often easier to attend because you can access them through your computer from any location with online access. Student forums and e-mail communication also make it easier to maintain ongoing conversations with your classmates and professor without having to schedule a meeting.

What many people do not realize is that participating in an online MBA program may actually increase your level of personal interaction and feedback from your professor. A widely held impression is that on-site courses provide a more robust opportunity for interaction, but the fact is that it is common for students in on-site classes to go through a whole course with only a few personal interactions with the professor. In online MBA courses it is common for professors to communicate more regularly with individual students, since e-mail, forums and live online interactions are the standard forms of interaction in when studying for an MBA online.

MBA Online Degree Admissions Requirements

The admissions requirements to most MBA online degree programs are comparable to or a little lower than the admissions requirements for a master’s-level degree program in a comparably prestigious and selective university. Check individual online MBA program websites for more information about the specific requirements of the online MBA programs that interest you.

MBA Online No GMAT

While most on-site MBA programs still require that you submit GMAT or GRE grades, many MBA programs online no longer require students to have taken these tests. The option of enrolling in an online MBA program without GMAT scores not only makes these MBA programs more accessible, but it also simplifies the enrollment process and reduces the application costs, since preparing for and taking these graduate entrance examinations is a time-consuming and expensive process.

MBA Programs Online Curriculum

The typical curriculum of an online MBA program is centered on a core curriculum that teaches business skills applicable to most management positions. Your MBA online program may also offer the option of specializations. The core curriculum usually includes courses in areas such as basic business strategy, corporate finance, operations management and human resources. The goal of the core MBA curriculum is to establish a baseline understanding of the legal and practical realities involved in successfully running a business.

Many MBA online programs will also allow you to choose an area of specialization, such as an accounting MBA, green MBA or healthcare MBA. This can be beneficial when you know which part of a corporation is the best match for your skills and interests. A specialized MBA will give potential employers greater confidence about your qualifications for a specific role in the company.

Accounting MBA Online

Earning an accounting MBA online will qualify you to serve in corporate accounting roles such as business accounts administration. The accounting MBA program will include training in corporate finance law and bookkeeping best practices.

Marketing MBA Online

A marketing MBA online program will train you to strategically craft and communicate a compelling message to consumers through a variety of channels, including print, television and online media.

Finance MBA Online

Studying for a finance MBA online will train you to recognize market trends and manage investments.

Executive MBA Online

Enrolling in an executive MBA online program will prepare you for high-level management. Many executive MBA programs are designed for people who are already working full-time in executive or executive-track careers.

A specialized MBA online curriculum may also focus on a particular field or approach instead of a specific role within a company.

International MBA Online

For example, international MBA online programs train students in international law and multinational business practices and can prepare you to oversee international operations, work overseas or serve as a liaison with international partners.

Green MBA Online

A green MBA online program can teach you the latest standards, methods and legal requirements for environmentally friendly business practices. There are also industry-specific online MBA programs.

Hospitality MBA Online

Hospitality MBA online programs focus on the unique needs in hotel, dining and gaming establishments.

Healthcare MBA Online

Earning a healthcare MBA online will prepare you for management in hospitals, elder care facilities and other healthcare businesses.

Sports Management MBA Online

There are even sports management MBA online programs, which will prepare you for management roles in the business and operational dimensions of professional sports.

Why Your MBA Online Must Be Accredited

One way to verify the quality and credibility of an online MBA program is to make sure that it is an accredited degree program. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) provides accreditation to online degree programs, including online MBA courses provided independently or through established universities. To maintain AACSB accreditation, a school must meet a rigorous set of standards. Accreditation evaluations take place on a regular basis to make sure that accredited institutions maintain high academic and organizational standards over time. Making sure that your selected program is AACSB accredited is a good way to keep from wasting time or money with a fraudulent or low-quality online MBA program.

MBA Online Cost

As with any graduate-level program, an online MBA program can require a significant investment of time and money. Prestigious private universities often charge tens of thousands of dollars in tuition and expenses for an MBA online program. However, if you cannot afford the online MBA program costs, it is possible to earn a cheap MBA online as well.

Cheap MBA Online

The cheapest MBA online option is usually to enroll with a public university MBA online program or a state school online MBA program. For in-state residents, state schools usually offer serious discounts on tuition and costs for earning your MBA online. In some cases an in-state resident can pay less than ten thousand dollars in tuition for a state school’s online MBA program, resulting in an incredibly cheap MBA online.

Some schools or online MBA programs also offer financial aid to help students who would not otherwise be able to afford the MBA program. State and federal governments may also provide scholarships or low-interest student loans to help you get the cheapest MBA online. The flexibility of online MBA course schedules also makes it easier to maintain full or part-time employment during your enrollment, which can make for a much more affordable online MBA program.

How Long Does it Take to Graduate From an MBA Online

Some people want to earn a quick MBA online, but are hesitant to start an online MBA program because they are not sure how much time it takes to earn your MBA online. In many cases, graduate-level programs can take years to complete, and people considering an online MBA simply do not have the time to put their lives on hold for that long.

The good news is that it some fast online MBA programs provide an accelerated curriculum that can help you earn your MBA in one year. Earning a 1 year MBA online will help you fast-track your career without having to worry about setting aside your career, family and other commitments for an extended period. The flexibility of some quick MBA online class schedules provides the opportunity to earn an accelerated MBA online.

Many online MBA programs allow you to set your own schedule and complete the work at your own pace. If you are a highly motivated student and want to get through a quick MBA online, there are many schools that provide a modular online MBA curriculum made up of online MBA courses you can mix and match in ways that fit your schedule. Earning a 1 year MBA online takes focus and commitment, but you will come out of the process with a Master’s in Business Administration and new contacts in the business world, as well as a broader understanding of the corporate world and of ways to successfully advance your business career.

How to Select the Right MBA Online School

It is wise to take time to research the many online MBA options available. One way to make your online MBA search more effective is to take some time first to write down how much money you’re able to spend on tuition and expenses, what your grades are (including undergraduate GPA, GRE scores and/or GMAT scores), which online MBA courses or emphasis you’re most interested in, and any dream schools or online MBA programs you’d especially like to apply to.

When examining the different MBA online schools that your search finds, compare their admission requirements, costs, course subjects and format to your list to help evaluate your chances of getting accepted to each online MBA program. It may also be a good idea to check the technological requirements each online MBA school to make sure you have or can acquire any necessary equipment, such as a webcam, computer microphone or fast internet connection.

Pay special attention to the curriculum and course structure of each online MBA program you consider applying to. Check to see which classes are required to earn an MBA online and whether you are willing to invest the necessary time and money to take all of the required courses. Look for electives that especially pique your interest or that are relevant to the specific area of study you want your online MBA degree to cover.

Make sure that the scheduling will be flexible enough to meet your needs. While earning your MBA online is usually quicker than earning an on-site MBA, online MBA programs vary in their formats and the techniques used to communicate course material to the enrolled students. In some cases you will be able to receive lectures in a pre-recorded format that you can listen to during a commute or whatever time you have free. Others will require your presence at the computer at set times to participate in online discussions or interactive study sessions. Make sure that you will be able to meet the requirements for your desired online MBA program before enrolling.

MBA Online Programs Rankings

One thing that can help you choose the best online MBA program for your schedule, budget and career goals is to check out the MBA online programs rankings provided by companies and media outlets like Business Week, Forbes, The Economist and US News and World Report. The US News online MBA rankings, for example, rate internet MBA programs and provide information about tuition costs, acceptance rates and average standardized test scores. Not only that, but the US News rankings also show how many graduates from each online MBA program are employed on graduation, and what the average salary and bonuses are for recent online MBA program graduates.

These professionally researched rankings can give you a qualified perspective on which online MBA programs are the best in the nation. They can also help you narrow down your pool of schools to apply to by allowing you to easily compare your own scores, budget and goals with those of the average student at a wide variety of internet MBA programs.

Many prospective students spend far more time trying to find and evaluate various MBA online programs than they need to. To save valuable time and get clearer, more accurate information than you might on your own, check the online MBA rankings provided by these organizations and compare the information they give about the top schools to the information in the list of your own qualifications that you created for comparison.

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