Everything you need to know about studying for your MBA online

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Having an MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a dream of many aspiring businesspeople and entrepreneurs, and it’s easy to see why. This prestigious degree is widely respected all around the world, and opens doors to a wealth of exciting opportunities and high-level job prospects. However, it’s also a huge commitment in terms of time, effort, and of course money. So what options do you have if you want to study for an MBA but can’t afford to take the time off work or away from family?

Thankfully these days there are plenty of chances to learn in a more flexible manner, whether it’s part-time study on campus or distance learning in a digital classroom. Therefore, if you’re hoping to combine your MBA with your current job and other commitments, online study might be the perfect choice for you. Here’s what you need to know.

How does studying for an MBA online work?

Studying for a postgraduate degree online might seem like a strange concept, but it’s actually becoming a lot more common as technology improves and demand increases. This is true now more than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many colleges to close their doors and make the switch to online teaching. The good news, therefore, is that distance learning is no longer a second-rate choice, or considered substandard by employers.

The exact study experience you have will of course vary from program to program and institution to institution, but you will utilize a wide range of methods and technologies during an online MBA course. For example, you can expect to learn from at least some of the following:

  • Live online lectures and seminars
  • Prerecorded video lectures
  • Podcasts and other downloadable audio materials
  • Interactive quizzes
  • Online reading materials such as articles and academic papers
  • Discussion boards and forums
  • An interactive online learning environment containing case studies and other activities
  • Online group discussions via video chat
  • Written assignments
  • Group projects

You will always have access to tutors via email, messaging or phone, and they will be able to answer questions you have as well as teach lectures and tutorials, plus provide feedback on the work that you produce. You’ll also have access to the same careers support and other services that you would expect from a program taught on campus – the only difference is that it will be digital rather than in person.

Likewise, when studying online you’ll also have the same choice of taking a standard or executive MBA, and a general MBA or one with a specialism – click here for more information on MBA concentrations to help you decide!

What are the advantages to studying for an MBA online?

There are a whole wealth of advantages to studying for your MBA online, and chief among those is flexibility. With online learning, you can study at a time and location that suits you, at a pace that best fits your learning style. So, whether you like to work in a coffee shop first thing in the morning or at home alone late at night, you have the freedom to do so (with the exception of live lectures and other activities that take place at a specific time). This makes online MBAs ideal for those who are hoping to juggle study with their existing work commitments and family life. In fact an MBA is particularly well-suited for this, as the program is aimed at working professionals, and in many instances you’ll find classes scheduled in the evenings and weekends to accommodate that.

Another benefit of studying for your MBA online is that you are no longer restricted to choosing a college near where you live. You can earn your degree at any institution, anywhere in the country – or even the world – without having to worry about moving near campus. Due to the fact that all the students you study alongside will have the same choice, you’ll have a good chance of meeting people from different countries and backgrounds, which is extremely valuable when studying for a qualification like this because there’s so much group work involved.

In addition, studying online means that in addition to all the business skills and knowledge you’ll learn through the course, you’ll also pick up some valuable technical skills. Given that the world is becoming increasingly digitalized, learning how to use a variety of different online study tools will definitely help you in your future career. Plus online degrees can even be cheaper thanks to the lower tuition fees, no commuting, and no requirement for term-time accommodation on or near campus.

Are there any disadvantages to studying for an MBA online?

Studying for your MBA online doesn’t have to involve any disadvantages per se, however, it’s important to recognize certain key differences to campus programs. For example, if you are hoping to have the full college experience with in-person social activities, long nights spent in the library, and extracurricular clubs, then online study might be a little disappointing. Similarly, the way that you interact with your cohort will be slightly different, and you might have to put in a bit more effort to make friends – but that’s not to say you won’t still be able to make extremely valuable connections and expand your professional network online during your course.

Finally, you may find that online learning requires you to be a little more self-motivated and disciplined compared to on-campus programs. Your studies will be entirely in your hands, and it will be up to you to ensure that you attend everything you need to, work through all the available materials in your online learning environment, and complete all your assignments on time. Of course you will have tutors and peers on hand to help, but they won’t be there with you physically. However, if you have the motivation and dedication to do an MBA alongside your day job, this shouldn’t phase you at all!

Plus, they are useful skills and attitudes to build up for your future career, too.