Studying for an advanced degree such as a Masters of Business Administration requires dedication, time and money. When choosing a school to obtain your MBA, it’s a good idea to look at accredited MBA schools as the first choice. Getting a good job after college could hinge on the simple fact of where you got your education and whether or not the school was accredited by a reputable organization.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is one such accreditation organization. Its purpose is to ensure the schools who receive its accreditation meet the high standards the organization sets. Businesses that want to hire graduates often look to the college the student attended and whether or not it was accredited. Attending an AACSB online MBA program or college can help you get a higher paying job after school simply because of the school’s accreditation. Some colleges even have an online MBA school program where you can study at your pace and schedule.
The AACSB Accreditation Process
The AACSB accredits two types of school degree programs: accounting and business. Whether the program is online or not is not the criteria for deciding accreditation by the AACSB, as the organization accredits the school, not the program. To be recognized as accredited, the school must first be a member of the AACSB and apply for and receive accreditation by meeting the organization’s scholastic requirements. Scholastic requirements include a bachelor’s or master degree business management program with these degree programs supported by ongoing programs and resources.
When the school is accredited—all locations, including online programs—are reviewed for accreditation unless specifically asked to be excluded. Other criteria must be met as well, which includes the percentage of the program dedicated to undergraduate studies and graduate studies. The school receiving accreditation must display diversity in its business programs, must have an ethical standard of behavior for educators and administrators, and must have had graduates from its program for a minimum of two years.
This means the school must have been around for a while to establish its credibility and degree programs. For an AACSB online MBA, the school must offer 50 percent of its teaching programs for graduates and 25 percent for undergraduates in its business courses.
Accredited Online MBA Programs
It’s important to differentiate between MBA programs and schools. Currently the AACSB does not accredit programs—it accredits schools. Most accreditation organizations work in this same way. A school that has been accredited has undergone accreditation review by the organization, which has determined that that school meets all of its standards for accreditation.
Research the school you plan to attend to ascertain if it’s accredited by the AACSB. Don’t look for an accredited online MBA program; rather look for accredited schools. Any program, including online MBA programs, offered by an AACSB accredited school, is considered an accredited program simply because of the school’s accreditation.
Online MBA Schools
Online MBA schools may offer graduate degree programs, but without the school being accredited, you could harm your chances of getting a good job. With the advent of the Internet, many online MBA schools have sprung up overnight, but they may not meet the stringent requirements for accreditation. Going to such a school could be pouring money down the drain and your degree could be worth the paper it is printed on.
First check for a school that has an AACSB accreditation, and then look to see if the school offers an online MBA program. Create a list and compare their features, programs and pricing. Choose the one that fits with your schedule, pricing structure and goals.
One way to add to your resume when you are working on an MBA is to obtain an internship to help further your career. Many government agencies and sometimes private businesses will offer internship programs to graduate students working on finalizing their MBA. Some internship programs take place while you are going to school, some during the summer and some after school. Having a well-known government agency and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor can go a long way in furthering your career. Many AACSB accredited schools will provide you this information.