Both traditional universities and online business schools offer working students the opportunity to earn a MBA degree online. Many of these schools offer rolling admissions and interactive learning.
The online Masters of Business Administration is a professional practice business degree. It is usually designed by schools to meet the needs of on-the-go adults and professionals. Most frequently referred to by its initials, the MBA degree teaches students how to lead and manage. Many programs teach business analytics, problem solving, and critical thinking. Graduates tend to have business savvy that spans finance, marketing and operations.
Some online Masters of Business Administration programs entail about 48 credits. This includes core credits and concentration course work. However, credit requirements vary. Programs with fewer credits may be designed for students with managerial experience or a Bachelor of Business degree.
Earning an MBA degree online can take about two years for a full-time, traditional program. These are usually geared to students with a Bachelors degree in a non-business field. However, many online business schools offer other formats. Students with a Bachelors degree in business may require fewer courses.
There are several different types of MBA degrees online that you can earn and various ways to tailor a program of study.
Online MBA No GMAT: Often the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) score has been a criterion of master of business administration programs. However, some business graduate schools are opting to admit students without the GMAT. Instead, they may tend to
use recommendation letters, undergraduate transcripts, internships and work history when considering candidates.
Part-time MBA degree online programs are not only flexible. Some schools allow students up to six years to complete their MBA requirements.
One-Year MBA degree online programs are also called ‘Accelerated MBAs’. These more intensive programs are designed for recent graduates and those with working experience. Students who have an undergraduate degree or minor in business are usually able to complete the program in as little as 12 months.
An online Executive MBA program, or EMBA, is for applicants who have a great deal of work experience as a manager or executive.Often an online EMBA program appeals to those who want to learn new practices in management.
We asked CEO of Badger Maps, Steve Benson, how earning an MBA helped him start his business:
I think an MBA is a solid background for starting a business. An MBA is a broad degree and you need to be at least capable in most areas of business like finance, accounting, sales, marketing, and HR.
A recognized professional credential, the MBA degree, whether earned online or in-person, may be a valuable one. Earning an online Masters in Business Administration may develop systems thinking. And aside from quantitative analysis (finance, accounting, economics), students may fine tune leadership skills, make industry connections and prepare for Doctorate Business Administration (DBA) degrees.
In addition to a practical business skill set, some students are looking for a career boost. They might have an eye on middle management or wish to start their own venture. In the case of the EMBA, many of the students have long since graduated. However, learning current theory that can be applied on the job may be incentive enough.
FACT: The BLS has reported that MBA graduates had a higher wage premium over workers with a Bachelors degree.
Earning an MBA degree online may, above all, provide minimal disruption to an ongoing work life. Formats do vary though, so make sure to research what ‘online’ means at any future university. Some online MBA degree programs are 100% web-based with no group projects. Others may deliver all the courses online but may have an in-person requirement for group projects.
Asynchronous: Most often, courses are pre-recorded and students have access 24/7. Assignments and readings must be handed in on time. However, students have scheduling flexibility.
Synchronous: In other schools, an online MBA program could mean participating in live lectures via your home computer.
Online with residency: Brief residency or intensive workshops allows students to meet instructors, network with peers, and take team performance class.
Often, on-campus and online MBA degrees have the same courses. Curricula span all the functional areas of business, and strategy. Students are exposed to principles and practices that are vital to modern management. Courses vary by school but may include some of the following.
Online MBA Concentrations
Aside from core courses, many MBA degree online schools offer specializations and electives. These are referred to as ‘concentrations’. Students typically select an area of interest so they can develop a specialized skill set. Popular concentrations are listed below.
A Master of Science with a major in Management (MSM) program is one alternative to an MBA degree. Often it is a 36-hour graduate program. The objective is to develop or enrich technical management skills. Courses are often designed around the theme of leading in private and public business settings.
Wondering if you might earn an MBA degree online from an accredited university? Many of the online business schools and traditional universities with online MBA programs are regionally or nationally accredited. Some many also be accredited through the DEAC. The Distance Education Commission and six regional accrediting agencies are recognized by the Department of Education. This level of accreditation is a stamp of approval. It means Federal Financial Aid may be available, and that the institution meets a level of quality standards.
On top of this, individual online MBA programs may be accredited by specialized accrediting agencies. These agencies look at the types of courses offered, relevance and other professional business standards. Three of these agencies are listed below.