Online MBAs are gaining in popularity because they give students the flexibility to take classes on their terms—while still pursuing their careers and building their families. A student could watch a live virtual lecture while eating breakfast, participate in discussion posts on their lunch break or buckle down to write an assignment at home in the evening. In addition, students can pause or accelerate their coursework based on upcoming work or family obligations.
Some people worry that an online MBA doesn’t provide the same opportunities for networking or connecting with classmates as a traditional program. But that’s not necessarily the case, especially if the right program is chosen. For instance, the University of Alabama Birmingham MBA offers interactive online discussions and a chance for students to meet their peers and instructors in-person at short on-campus residencies. And some programs offer professional advising, which helps students identify and reach their goals.
A quality online MBA will also have a core curriculum that covers critical business skills, such as decision making, data analytics and communication. In some programs, students can choose to specialize in a particular area of business through the use of elective courses, called concentrations, that cover topics such as human resources and finance. And some programs, such as the University of North Carolina MBA@UNC online program, have global immersions that allow students to get a hands-on, face-to-face learning experience in cities around the world. This kind of experiential learning is essential to ensuring that an online MBA will be relevant and valuable for students in the long run. mba online