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Are Online MBA Programs Worth It: Examples from One Man's Experience

By Edited Jan 25, 2016 0 0

In Most Cases They Are With Only A Few Exceptions

I enrolled on in an online MBA Program through Ashford University in the Spring of 2008. At the time I held a bachelors in Business Administration and I had aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder.

I had been with my employer for 5 years or so and at the time I felt that an MBA would be an excellent way to springboard my way from grunt to management. The timing of my decision to enroll with Ashford was coincidentally perfectly in-tune with the major economic crash that was occurring in the US, of course I didn’t know that at the time.

Low Cost MBAs Are Practical & Convenient

Something The Average Student Needs And Employer Respects

Ashford University Offers Affordable Online MBA Programs
Like all MBA candidates my decision to go for an online degree at Ashford boiled down to two main factors: cost and convenience. Like most people who are working full time, going to a traditional school means dropping work to part-time or dropping it completely. Both of those options are major inconveniences and a huge barrier to anyone supporting a family and it’s a primary reason why online degrees are so appealing. Employers understand this and in most cases they don’t look for this as a red flag.

We really do live in a far different world than that with which existed even a decade ago. The internet provides all people with access to it the ability to learn new skills at any moment of the day with no lead time required. To me it made sense to do the online degree program route. My employer had a continuing education program which subsidized the cost for me and I was able to keep working through the whole process. Not once did I get the impression from my work that the program I was following was substandard or unappreciated.

Just Having An MBA Provides More Job Stability

We Are Not Hiring
It’s no secret that individuals with degrees are more gainfully employed and on the whole the average MBA graduate earns more money in their career than the typical business school graduate. At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when I was finishing up my degree the economy was seeing major declines in the job market on a monthly basis of 700k plus. When I finished up my degree in mid-2009 I had the pleasure of keeping my job and taking on a bit more responsibility in the management process. Was the whole process worth it? For me it was, but then again I was working.

The beautiful thing about a Masters in Business is that it’s applicable to just about every function of government, industry, and non-profit organization. Sure, you could study at an expensive business school and you would likely benefit from the expertise of some of the best minds in business teaching you but the concepts taught in an online environment are the same concepts taught by famous economists and business personalities. Most of those famous and prestigious people have books; in my opinion if you care to hear the nuance they put on business concepts just pick them up at your local library.

It's Up To You To Define Your Goals

If my experience serves as an example to anyone it should be emphasized with this point. A student will make something great out of something small if he or she really wants too. If going to a prestigious school is important to you then by all means make it happen, but if functional experience and education is more important to you then online MBA programs are more than worthwhile. Most employers are not looking for people holding MBAs that come from certain schools; they are looking for viable candidates that hold the degree in the first place. In many cases they are looking for individuals who are practical and it’s hard to argue against the practicality of going the online route.

You can emphasize your MBA if you like. I emphasized mine in Organizational Leadership. I could have chosen finance, marketing, communications, or any number of additional paths. These areas of emphasis can help dramatically in landing the position you really want for your career and in most cases these areas of emphasis are far more important than the school you attended. Simply taking the optional step to attend post-graduate school and emphasizing in a particular area of business is enough to show potential employers that you take your career seriously and that you follow through on your commitments. These are the things employers look for first and foremost.

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