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Online MBA Programs vs. Traditional MBA Programs

Students who have made the decision to earn an MBA Master’s in Business Administration must determine which program is appropriate for them. The right program will give the student the necessary knowledge and training to move forward in his or her business career. Today, a student has a few options when it comes to earning an MBA degree. A student can earn an accredited online MBA or take courses to earn the degree in a traditional classroom environment. The decision depends in part on the student’s work and family obligations. The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks connected with both accredited online MBA programs and MBA courses taught in a traditional way.

Online MBA programs, accredited especially, hold a lot of appeal for many 21st century students. It’s extremely likely that most MBA students are already working in the business world. Therefore, many don’t have the time to regularly attend traditional MBA programs. Online accredited MBA programs can help an ambitious business person fulfill his or her dream of earning an advanced degree. These accredited online MBA courses can be taken on a schedule that suits the busy work life of a student. Many online MBA programs, accredited by the AACSB, allow students the option of tailoring a schedule of courses to fit their needs. Alternatively, an MBA student taking traditional courses to earn the degree would have to attend class at a specified time in a classroom or miss the important class material. Another benefit to online MBA programs accredited by the AACSB is the lack of travel time. An MBA student can simply sit down in a place where there is Internet access and learn the lessons of the course. Quiet places such as the library or a student’s home are both ideal environments for partaking in accredited online MBA courses. In addition, a student who takes an accredited online MBA program is learning from a highly qualified educational institution. Employers will look favorably on a person who graduates from an AACSB accredited online MBA program.

Some of the students who consider online accredited MBA programs decide that they want to pursue the degree in a traditional learning environment due to various drawbacks. For instance, online accredited MBA programs require a student to do a lot of work independently. Many MBA students feel that they learn better while in the company of other students. Another drawback of MBA online accredited programs is that some students aren’t able to maintain the discipline required for online study. The learning style of a student must match up with the nature of online learning in order for the student to be successful.

Many students prefer traditional MBA courses taken in a classroom to accredited online MBA courses. One of the benefits of traditional MBA courses is the atmosphere of a classroom full of students who are excited about the subject matter. Many traditional learners are invigorated and inspired by their fellow students. Other students choose traditional MBA courses over accredited online MBA courses because of the one-on-one interaction with an instructor. A person in a traditional class can stay afterward to talk to the professor about a topic in class while a person studying in an online MBA accredited course must contact the professor via email or telephone. A student who learns best amongst other students would likely choose traditional MBA courses over an accredited online MBA program.

Traditional courses have their drawbacks as well. For example, a student attending an MBA program in a traditional school needs to drive to the school and attend a class at a particular time every week. A student needs to buy gas for a car or arrange for alternate transportation to attend a traditional MBA course. Alternatively, if a student signs up for an AACSB accredited online MBA program, he or she can avoid traveling to and from a school. Also, the courses necessary to earn an AACSB accredited online MBA can be arranged to meet the scheduling needs of most students. Some students who are easily distracted by the activities/habits of other students may not benefit from taking a traditional MBA program. The independent nature of an MBA online accredited program removes the distractions of other students and allows a learner to focus on the lesson material. In fact, when students participate in MBA online accredited courses they have a great deal of control over their learning environment. Of course, a student in an online MBA accredited program must ask family members not to disturb them during class time. Also, a student in a traditional MBA program may not be able to complete the program as fast as a student who is taking online MBA accredited courses. There are a certain number of traditional MBA courses per semester whereas online accredited MBA courses can be more flexible.

When settling on the right MBA program, a student should envision him or herself in traditional MBA courses as well as in online accredited MBA courses. This can be helpful in determining the chances for success in each mode of learning. A person must also be honest about his or her study habits. Does the person have the discipline to devote the necessary study time to an accredited MBA online program? The independence involved in an online accredited MBA may tempt some students to neglect their studies. Other students love the independence of an accredited MBA online program. A person must be honest about whether he or she will be able to maintain a high level of enthusiasm while participating in an accredited MBA online program. Some students may falter in their enthusiasm while others would be able to maintain a high level of enthusiasm for an accredited online MBA program. Enthusiasm and energy are certainly advantages for someone who is pursuing an advanced level of business education.

Finally, once a student has made the decision between traditional MBA courses and an accredited online MBA program he or she can go about researching a variety of reputable educational institutions. Regardless of whether a student chooses a traditional or accredited online MBA program, he or she has certainly taken a step toward success in his or her business specialty.