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Is an Online MBA Worth It?

As individuals consider returning to school for their MBA and begin locating potential programs, they may ask themselves if an online MBA is worth it.

Online MBA vs. Traditional MBA
There are many differences to note when considering an online MBA vs. traditional MBA. The following are some of the major distinguishing features:

Program Delivery
The primary difference between an online MBA and a traditional MBA is the delivery and completion of course content. Individuals in an online MBA program will typically complete their coursework 100% online, whereas those enrolled in a traditional MBA program will learn in a classroom setting. Additionally, students in online MBA programs will interact with professors and classmates from around the world virtually, while traditional MBA students will do so face-to-face.

Flexibility
As a result of its delivery method, an online MBA tends to be more flexible and more conducive to a busy, working professional’s schedule and lifestyle. Students have the ability to complete assignments where and when works best for them. Students completing a traditional MBA are required to attend classes during set days and times.

Options
Opting for an online MBA will allow individuals to enroll in a program anywhere in the country, without having to relocate. With a traditional MBA, individuals are limited to programs at universities in their area.

Cost
The cost of an MBA, whether online or traditional, differs greatly from one educational institution to another. However, an online MBA can eliminate travel costs and fees typically charged to students in a campus program, often proving more affordable than a traditional MBA.

Is An Online MBA Taken Seriously?
Individuals may wonder, “Is an online MBA taken seriously?” According to a recent study conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group, over 7.1 million higher education students are learning online. Additionally, the study found 74.1% of academic leaders believe the learning outcomes in online programs are the same as or better than those in traditional programs.

Employers are becoming more accepting of applicants with online MBAs as the number of students enrolled in online programs continues to grow. For example, Ann Nowak, director of recruiting at Liberty Mutual, indicated that two employees with online MBAs were recently hired at the company. Nowak stresses the importance of an excellent academic record and impressive employment history for those with online MBAs applying for jobs, but supports hiring them for the same positions as traditional MBA graduates.

Key Elements of Online MBA Programs
While online MBA programs are similar to one another at a very basic level, all programs are not created equal. According to an article by U.S. News, individuals need to be sure to do their research on such areas as accreditation and level and promptness of support services provided by their program of interest.

So, Is an Online MBA Worth It?
Yes. An online MBA is worth it for many reasons. The potential for lower costs and greater learning flexibility than a traditional MBA program make the online alternative a viable, practical path for those looking to pursue graduate education while working full-time.

LTU’s Online MBA
Lawrence Technological University offers a flexible, ACBSP and IACBE-accredited online Master of Business Administration. Grants are available for students who enroll in the degree program, making it an affordable option for students.

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