Online M.B.A. – is it Worth it?

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Typically, the more education you get, the larger salary you command. A masters degree in business, (M.B.A.) is highly respected throughout Corporate America. One Graduate Management Admissions Council survey concluded the average Chicago based, M.B.A. holder earns $7,500 more annually than was earned three years ago. While an M.B.A. can boost your earning power, finding time to attend school can be difficult. If scheduling or distance conflicts get in the way of pursuing your M.B.A., you might consider an online degree program. Online M.B.A.’s  have become more popular in recent years. Unless you want to work on Wall Street, where the name of the school is as important as the degree itself, an online M.B.A. can help you achieve your career goals.

In determining whether an online M.B.A. is worth attaining, compare the cost to the potential. Currently, the cost of a typical M.B.A. program is approximately $100,000, which is less than one year’s salary for most M.B.A. achievers. If, however, your plan is to open your own small business, or work in the family’s cafe, the cost of attaining such a high degree may not be worth it for you.

What online school you attend also makes a difference in the degree’s value. For example, schools that are solely designed for profit and accept any applicant willing to pay tuition, will not carry as much clout as a school that is selective in its acceptance process. While any M.B.A. is going to be better than not having one at all, the earning potential for an online M.B.A. holder will be increased if the degree comes from a recognized school or respected program.



Cost factor may make an online M.B.A. worth it to you as opposed to attending classes. Many state universities offer online M.B.A.’s without charging out-of-state tuition for those students. Other universities require at least one on campus class meeting per semester. Determining whether it is worth it to pursue such an online program depends on your ability to travel to the campus and comply.

For example, Duke University offers an online M.B.A. program, which is considered to be a top tier option for online M.B.A. seekers. The program is 19 months long, requiring five different two-week in class sessions  at a campus location. Cost of the program is $115,000 not counting travel costs, or lost wages from work if you must take time off for the in class requirements.

A recent survey of hiring managers and professional recruiters determined that many still view online M.B.A.’s as substandard to traditionally received degrees, due to the fact that most online programs are not through top tier schools. To boost the power of your online M.B.A., choose a school accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Whether you want to start a career or advance an already established career, an M.B.A. certainly can’t hurt. Online M.B.A.’s, while sometimes viewed as substandard still stands out more than not having the M.B.A. at all, therefore, depending on what your career goals are, just may be worth pursuing.

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