Why online MBAs are so popular

businessWith so much available via your phone or computer, it’s unsurprising that Master of Business Administration (MBA) students increasingly want to study online. Why go to the trouble of getting to a lecture when you could access the same talk from home or work?

According to the Financial Times, demand for online MBA places is outpacing supply in the United States and other countries. They predict that, with the coming of age of the online MBA, it could soon become a more popular option than the traditional, on-campus version. Here are some of the reasons why online MBAs are so popular.

Fully Flexible Study

The biggest draw of online MBAs, and what’s making them so popular around the world, is that they offer fully flexible study. The best online MBAs allow you to study literally wherever and whenever you want.

Business schools know their students want flexibility. They design their online programs to allow busy people to study when it’s convenient. You may be able to login for a study session in bed at 5am, sitting in your office during your lunch-break, while catching the bus home, or late at night when your home is quiet.

How do business schools allow fully flexible study? In short, the digital environment allows everything to be done when it’s convenient for the student. A lecture or tutorial can be presented live but also recorded for on-demand consumption. Likewise, while you may have the opportunity for real-time chat with a tutor or classmate, you can also just leave a message for them at any time of day or night.

Exam-Free MBA Options

Business schools are being innovative with their online MBA programs and that extends to offering an exam-free experience. For example, some of the top online MBA programs in Australia are proudly exam-free.

Exam-free study is seen as a blessing by many experienced professionals who hoped their days spent cramming “academic” knowledge were long gone. Besides, most professionals have learned that skills, and not theory, are what matters for getting ahead in your career.

Assessment can instead be based major projects, which may be in groups, as well as individual assignments. Often, project-work can be draw on activities students are doing in their current workplace. Short quizzes are employed as well, helping students stay engaged as they work through program content. The online MBA offered by the University of Liverpool culminates with a dissertation or consultancy project.

Less Risk If It Doesn’t Work Out

Enrolling in an online degree program is relatively low-risk. You don’t have to re-arrange your lifestyle to get to classes at specific locations and times. That reduces the personal and financial costs of starting a program and later deciding to withdraw or defer.

If studying is not working out as you’d hoped, you may be able to complete just part of the program and leave with a graduate certificate or diploma. And the flexibility of online degrees means you have the option to pause studying if need be, and start again later when it’s convenient.

No Entrance Exams

When it comes to online programs, business schools generally don’t put prospective students through entrance exams such as the GMAT. There’s less of a call for it with online learning.

Most people who study for an MBA online are mature workers with plenty of experience. For someone enrolling with long-demonstrated capabilities, an entrance exam seems rather pointless – like asking an experienced actor to do a screen test.

An entrance exam can also be a turn-off for prospective online students who may not have sat an academic-style test for many years. Indeed, there’s a shift towards online MBA programs with few or no long exams.

This kind of academic screening is also less beneficial for the students themselves. To start studying online, you don’t have to, for example, move cities or take time off work. So, there’s little to lose if you find you’re struggling and want to withdraw.

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