What should I look for in an online accredited MBA?
When looking into online MBA programs, you want to make sure the program is accredited by a national or regional organization. Some online programs are accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. While this organization is slowly gaining respect in the education community, it is not among the top accreditation sources. Ask a school advisor about the program’s accreditation. Remember just because a school is accredited in one program does not mean all of the programs are accredited. It is best to double check with an advisor before committing to courses or handing over a check.
You can check a school’s accreditation by visiting this site of the U.S. Department of Education and entering the appropriate information. Most of these programs will be done through traditional colleges and universities, though your courses will be conducted online.
How expensive is an average online MBA?
Just because an online MBA offers you convenience and flexibility doesn’t mean the cost of the degree is cheaper than going the conventional route. However, an online school can help you save money on housing and supplies, because you won’t be forced to live on campus and rent a student apartment or dorm room. Transportation and other costs can also be reduced by taking courses online, which can be accessed from anywhere with a solid internet connection.
Most universities calculate total program costs on a per-credit-hour basis. A typical bachelor’s degree has 120 credit-hours of course requirements. At a cost of anywhere between $300 and $1,000 per credit hour, these programs vary widely in price, but most students can expect to pay $30,000 or more for a full four-year degree.
Fortunately, there are plenty of scholarships and grants available to take the edge off that daunting sticker price. The U.S. government should be the first place most students look for financial aid, as there are billions of government dollars allocated to educational spending each year. The three biggest government vehicles for providing student aid are:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): This straightforward form is the gateway to all forms of government student funding. Any student who is looking at colleges should fill out the FAFSA.
- Pell Grants: These grants can earn students who show financial need up to $5,000 per year as long as they meet relatively minimal requirements like maintaining good grades and taking courses more than half-time.
- Stafford and Perkins Loans: This isn’t quite free money the way a Pell Grant is, but the loans the government issues are a much better deal than private loans. Low interest rates and long, flexible repayment plans make Stafford and Perkins loans the ideal if you absolutely must go into debt, though avoiding debt altogether is usually a better option.
- Parent PLUS Loans: This is a government loan that the parents of a prospective student can apply for. The parameters are similar to those of Stafford and Perkins loans, but the funds are disbursed to the parent, rather than the student.
All of the above are good options for securing financial aid, and we haven’t even talked about the private sector yet. The financial aid office at any college or university should be able to help you find private scholarships and other forms of financial aid to lessen the impact of a high-priced education.
Is an MBA obtained online respected by employers?
Online degrees of every type are becoming more and more common. Many employers realize that after undergrad school, it is difficult to continue a full-time education. Most people have to start working and also may have a family to tend to.
On your resume, you should state the name of the school you attended and the MBA program. You do not have to bring immediate attention to the fact that it was an online program. However, if you are asked about it, do not lie. Tell your employer about managing your time and attending courses online, promoting the fact that you’re a self-starter and disciplined when it comes to learning. If you do choose to state on your resume that it was an online MBA program you attended, be prepared for questions the potential employer may have. They will likely want to know how you learned the material and what the experience was like for completing an MBA program online.
Answer all questions honestly. Remember to play up your time management and multi-tasking skills. Do not refrain from explaining that in order to complete your MBA, you had to hold down a full-time job and deal with family life, which may be the reason you went the online route.
Do credits I Earn in an Online MBA Program Transfer?
Whether or not your MBA credits transfer depends on the accreditation of your school or program. Not all MBA credits will transfer and many schools put a limit on how many incoming transferred credits they will accept from others. In order to grant your incoming credits, some schools require you to be enrolled in their own MBA program for a semester or even a year before they will apply transferred credits.
Online programs are designed to help the student succeed, wherever they may be. Most are accessible from any computer with an Internet connection anywhere in the world, so there’s no reason you’ll have to stop studying. If life throws you something that prevents you from continuing courses in your program, it is best to take a term off from school, rather than transferring, since in most cases a prospective school won’t grant you enough credits to make it worth the move.
What is class like when you earn your MBA completely online?
An MBA program conducted online covers the same principles as a traditional MBA. Upon registering, students are given access to a wealth of online resources. Courses are taught via video-lecture or text based forums and chat rooms, and specialized software for turning in assignments, having class discussions, and giving presentations are all available.
A syllabus issued at the beginning of the course will outline the pace of learning the material. Many classes are accompanied by a message board, where students can discuss topics going on in class. Some professors have a participation grade for being active on the message board, while others just see it as a resource for students to use if they choose to. Your professor will let you know within the syllabus the breakdown of grades throughout the course and this should tell you if there’s a participation grade linked to the online forum. You will also be able to see your grades upon logging in, giving you an idea of your progress in the class.
Moving Forward with an Online MBA
The Master of Business Administration was once considered the golden ticket into a high-powered business career. So much has changed with the advent of the internet and rapid global communication that an MBA alone is no longer enough to be competitive in the workforce. Rather than climbing the ladder at a monolithic megacorporation, businesspeople are expected to have experience in a wide variety of fields, and need to be able to adapt quickly to new technologies and business models as they are developed.
Earning an online MBA can kickstart a career, but only for a truly dedicated student. If you have what it takes, then the time has come for you to contact some schools and learn more about the programs they offer. This site only features accredited schools, so you don’t have to worry about that, but finding the right school for you is the first step toward getting a degree that can help you move forward in your career.