5 Things to Look for when Choosing an Online MBA Program

5 Things to Look for when Choosing an Online MBA Program

With many adults seeking a career change or upward mobility in their current profession, online MBA programs are becoming more and more popular as a way to build on business foundations and stand out from the competition.  Here are five things to consider as you search for an online MBA program that will be the right fit for your needs.

Accreditation

Many online MBA programs claim to have the lowest tuition prices and quickest time to completion, but often, these big-box degrees may not be accredited.  Many online institutions create degree programs with little to no accountability on program quality.

In order to keep program quality a priority in your search, be sure to research an institution’s accreditation status.  Accreditations are a simple acknowledgment of the in-depth evaluation that a college or university has passed in order to be recognized as qualified to provide the programs they offer.

Accredited programs are endorsed by various governing bodies to help guarantee that you will receive an education well worth your investment and that your diploma will carry necessary weight and authority on your resume for future employers.

Flexibility

Earning your MBA online is more accessible now than it has ever been.  Professionals no longer have to choose between working or going back to school - they can do both.  Technology has made getting your degree accessible even for the most hectic schedules.

Online programs are an incredibly popular option because you can often complete the work at your own pace, and you can choose to do the work wherever it’s most convenient for you.  Contrary to many assumptions, if you enroll in a quality online program, you will also receive highly personalized instruction that is directly applicable to your professional goals.

As you research online MBA programs, search for one that has an efficient time to completion - many programs can be completed in well under two years.  It’s also a benefit to be enrolled in a program with multiple starts.  Traditionally, graduate programs would accept new enrollment once or twice a year (Fall and Spring), but in the age of online programs, start times are more easily accessible, with new classes often beginning multiple times each year.

Student Support

For many students, an online MBA can seem synonymous with an impersonal MBA. Choosing an online program doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the personal attention of taking classes in a face to face setting.  In fact, choosing an online program with personalized student support services is an important step toward ensuring that your degree will fit with your commitments, your schedule, and your life.

As you search for your online MBA program, look for colleges and universities that provide quality student support services.  These services should start at the admissions process, where you have a dedicated professional to guide you through the details of the application, financial aid, and enrollment.  

Not only should student support occur through the initial phases of enrollment, but the online MBA program you choose should provide an advisor to assist you throughout the duration of your program with class scheduling, university resources, networking, and any other need you may have.

Also, be aware of class size and format – choose a program where you will receive personalized attention from your professors and have close interaction with your peers.  Building network connections and learning in a supportive environment is crucial for success both in school and after.

Career Resources

If your ultimate goal in obtaining an MBA is career growth, it’s incredibly important to search for an online program that prioritizes career resources for MBA students. 

These career resources can include interview tips, resume reviews, networking events, and more.  It’s also important to research the program faculty.  Your professors will be key players in help you navigate a new industry or promotion opportunities.  Learning from faculty who have real-world experience in your industry is invaluable.

Affordability

Traditionally, many students believe that financial aid for graduate school is relatively nonexistent, and if you’re already experiencing debt from your undergraduate degree, the idea of accruing even more educational debt can be incredibly daunting. 

Contrary to what you may have heard about MBA financial aid, there are many opportunities that will make obtaining your graduate degree more affordable than you thought possible.

Search for an online MBA program that has corporate partnerships or tuition reimbursement relationships.  The institution you choose should also have dedicated financial aid experts available to walk you through your options for federally funded grants and loans.

Searching for an online MBA program that meets your needs may seem daunting now, but prioritizing accreditation, flexibility, student support, career resources, and affordability will give you a solid foundation to find the program that is right for you.  Ready to take the next step?  Speak with one of our enrollment experts.