From OUR EDITORIAL STAFF we wanted to know what are the determining factors to take into consideration when choosing an online MBA. It is not as simple as it seems, if you want to do things well, starting from the base of the effort that it means, both from an economic and an intellectual point of view, even more so, knowing that you are going to have to reconcile your time dedication with your current hours dedicated to work, or as not rarely, women who have small children and who are forced to do wonders to harmonize household chores, some hours of online work and MBA studies.
Therefore, a first question that we ask ourselves from the AEEN portal, which is the one that all candidates for an MBA can ask, is: is an online MBA right for me?
We are going to see some questions that catch the candidates
This is not an issue inherent only to one country. From what we have been analyzing, those issues that engage to take an MBA are almost the same in terms of capturing the attention of candidates, whether in Australia, France, the United Kingdom or Spain.
1º) When a statement is made such as “what attracted me to an online MBA was the immediate applicability to my real-world work challenges”, this is mainly for people who have chosen an MBA in order to improve their position in the job, because they know that they will promote their personal and professional development in the organization.
2º) The feasibility of taking classes at night opens up a double possibility: on the one hand, the accommodation to the schedules; not least, in the case of students who are working, being able to apply the same day after having received training on different aspects, for example, market segmentation and how to proceed, coinciding that in their job they are also part of a planning team from the marketing department. It is evident that this dynamic is beneficial for the student and the company. In other words, it is not at all strange that the MBAs of any school that has been concerned with its online MBA programs, allow students to really internalize the content of the class as they apply it to their organization. It is a double learning.
3º) Flexibility is a decisive factor for choosing an online MBA
People who can’t take night or evening classes, or who can’t leave work half a day a week to attend conferences as a part-time MBA student, are looking for ways to fit study into their work life and in their case, to their situation at home (young children), so the online format becomes almost the only option for improvement in professional training.
4º) The possibility of creating networks with other students is an interesting asset of the online MBA
In principle, the profile of online students is different from that of face-to-face and full-time students.
There are not a few business schools that have among their ranks online MBA students with an average age of 35 years, but also a large majority of them are experienced and mature professionals, which makes it an environment rich in networks.
5º) Connect and have experiences of interrelation with the rest of the classmates
Live classes and in-person experiences are vital as if you are spending a lot of time and money on an MBA, then connecting with the school and engaging in discussions with classmates is key as being completely online can be a major limitation, although certain well-timed activities will enhance online classes and build a stronger network and support system.
6º) Cutting-edge learning platforms
No school can be left behind in terms of the technological innovation necessary for the online methodology to work. This is the case of learning platforms. Many Business Schools develop their own platforms, for example when they make digital learning agreements with Microsoft, which has the advantage of permanent updating. But that also seeks the possibility of connecting from anywhere and with any device.
7th) Learning methodology
Prospective students should also pay attention to learning design. There is a difference between programs designed to be delivered in person that are delivered remotely (we saw a lot of this during the pandemic) and programs that are online by design.
What additional features are worth considering?
The recommendation of the heads and academic directors of Business Schools agree that candidates for an MBA should check if the online MBA offers opportunities to carry out consulting or off-site projects.
The advice is similar from different schools in different countries, so the common factor in terms of suggestions to candidates is that they also have to know if there are opportunities to personalize the program through elective courses, international exchanges or specializations, and whether face-to-face training on soft skills and networking is offered. There are online MBAs that offer optional specializations in technology, social impact, change, law and finance.
The time factor in the choice
As we have explained above, flexibility is a key consideration to take into account, but there is something else:
– If the program allows breaks to study, that is, that the school makes it easy for students to extend their MBA online by skipping a course and taking it a year later. Also do the opposite, taking two courses at the same time, to finish before the standard two years.
– Generally speaking, those who are in the process of choosing an online MBA appreciate this variant of flexibility.
– In some cases, the school allows students to take up to five years to complete the program.
What gives one Business School an advantage over another?
– The size and strength of a school’s alumni network are important.
– Candidates should also consider what professional services are available.
– What tools and resources are offered on demand, plus online access to coaches and industry experts.
– Although the reputation of a school is extremely important, so is the values that it advocates as an institution, such as the case of some that focus their message on innovative training (creative thinking) or those that insist on applicability to the real world of the knowledge acquired.
Therefore, the candidate must take into account these principles and values, to see from the beginning of his relationship with the school, that such policies are aligned with his personal values and motivations.
How can I approve my application?
Admissions processes vary widely and may include a combination of interviews with admissions teams or alumni, and tests of analytical ability and, if applicable, language. But being able to demonstrate a sense of purpose seems to be universally important.
Therefore it is recommended:
– Prepare in advance to ensure that the candidate’s professional goals can be clearly and concisely articulated with the school’s educational goals.
– Convey that you are a good candidate for that online MBA.
– Clearly demonstrate that you have a clear purpose for deciding to study an online MBA, which is what admissions teams value.
– It is convenient for the candidate to do an exhaustive investigation, in order to know the school and that both the candidate and the school share the same values, hence the convenience of speaking with the admissions team in advance.
– The best way to maximize your chances of being accepted is to not only submit your application, but also schedule a call to discuss any specific questions you may still have, or share a draft application.
When we think of an online classroom, we think of no interaction, studying alone, and the like. But online education has evolved and classrooms are much more interactive than you imagine.
With projects that require you to work in groups and class discussions, you are certainly not studying alone.
Additionally, most classes are organized around student profiles to maximize experience and diversity.
This is the most important decision you have to make, it is an investment in your future, so you must plan carefully. Also, it’s a great idea to let your job or manager know about your decision to study online. There are loan options, and also in many cases, employers want to support and finance the development of their employees.
The benefits of an online MBA
1º) Maximize your employability
The world around us has changed, and it’s time to hone your set of transformational tools to keep up.
2º) The search for a program that combines face-to-face and virtual formats, when you can do it, but the choice of the 100% online option.
3rd) The specialized approach of some online MBAs are generally designed to develop two complementary dimensions of your mindset: not only increase technical, practical and conceptual understanding of business management, but also develop a sharp and agile approach to initiatives.
4º) The online MBA programs at the end of it facilitate the student to have maximized her employability and acquired the necessary skills to be able to take the functions of her job and responsibilities to the next level.
5º) Participation in international networks opens the doors to innumerable professional opportunities. Throughout the duration of the course, you will have the opportunity to network with professionals from leading organisations, creating strong connections for your future professional career.
6º) Virtual networking events will further strengthen your communication skills in today’s highly digitized world.
7º) At the end of the program, you will become part of the community of ex-students, which is a very important asset, especially in the first years of your professional career.
New leaders for new organizations
Undoubtedly, the online MBAs with the innovation and constant development of their programs, allow attractive and interactive courses, offering students an educational experience not only updated in terms of techniques (content) and learning methodology, but also in terms of its philosophy, that is to say, when a training arises from the program itself that is concerned that students have a clear vision of the future, acquiring the skills to adapt to a changing world, to a technological acceleration that requires a great capacity to continuously reprogram actions, learn making quick decisions, and especially not fearing factors of instability and uncertainty, since all MBAs prepare for change management.
All the programs have a common objective, which is to prepare professionals to be able to exercise leadership positions in their respective organizations, or to be prepared to change to another company, since technological disruption is not a problem for them, because they have been prepared to it. The online MBAs are a reflection of a different nature of the economic and business reality, which has allowed its students to prepare themselves in all the managerial skills they need for these new scenarios.
A market reality both nationally and internationally in which professionals have to be perfectly interrelated via virtual, because it depends more than ever on communications and has replaced hundreds of physical meetings in the same city in which they reside and work, by meetings via zoom, meet, etc. Therefore, the practice acquired in the online MBA has been of great help to these professionals and the ability to adapt to this new post-Covid paradigm.
It is evident that the meeting of diverse, multifunctional groups with very diverse degrees of specialization is facilitated, but that they are complementary in the current decision-making processes. This is not new for an online MBA student, because they have acquired the knowledge and, most importantly, its application, in classes with the interrelation with other students and professors, networking, etc.
Online MBAs that facilitate the development of your career
There are school programs that allow you to customize this learning journey to get the most out of your education. In other words, taking into account your professional career, you can adapt the duration of your course and choose up diverse dynamic optional subjects in its final stage. This is an important advantage because it gives the candidate the multi-disciplinary competitive edge they need to thrive in today’s increasingly competitive job market. Know and learn every day what it is to promote transformational leadership and what role it plays in the sustainability of organizations.
This information has been prepared by OUR EDITORIAL STAFF