How to Choose an Online MBA Program: 6 Top Considerations One cheesy online MBA commercial after another screams “PICK ME!” to students who often have no idea what to look for when picking an online university. The checklist most of you have is usually simple and to the point: Can I afford it? Does it fit my schedule? Yea, those are great, but there’s more to it than that! So check out what the experts are saying when it comes to choosing an online MBA program.
1. How legitimate is the program?
GMAT is a standardized test that is used to measure if a student is qualified to enter a particular graduate business program. If GMAT is not one of the qualifications for admittance, you should look somewhere else according to Philip Powell, Chairperson of Kelley Direct at Indiana University, who thinks if they waive the GMAT, then it’s a low quality program.
2. Can they help you land a job?
Find out if there’s career support and then find out its effectiveness. Most of us go back to school for better job opportunities, so it’s important to know that you’ll have access to interviews with recruiters, career placement and career coaching. Ashok Soni is the Executive Associate Dean of Academic Program at Indiana University. He believes it’s important to know if the university is willing to provide help with placement and help with career services in general.
3. What additional services do they provide?
Although you’re going to school online, you should have the option to make your college experience as realistic as possible. Online education means you have 999 things to do that don’t leave much time for classrooms. It does NOT mean that all you want to do is read chapters, write papers and answer discussion questions. Social interaction is vital. Find out if there are trips, study abroad opportunities available or get-togethers with other students. According to Soni, earning an online degree is not worth it if you just get a piece of paper.
4. Is the University accredited?
Regional accreditation is important to ensure the school can participate in a financial program just in case you need assistance paying for tuition. However, Cheryl Oliver, assistant Dean at Washington State University thinks students should go a step further. She recommends an AACSB accredited MBA program for students who really want to leverage getting their MBA.
5. Does the University respect their online program?
All the experts agreed! Great online MBA programs treat their online students just like their on-campus students, and it all starts with the instructors. All online MBA students should receive the same caliber education as residential students.
6. Can you get in touch with your professor?
Students have questions or concerns about homework and need help understanding the lesson, which is why access to teachers should be a top consideration. The faculty should be readily available to the students so when problems arise they can be resolved quickly. Students need to remember that this is a major investment and should be treated as such. Students need to do their due diligence when it comes to picking an online university to make sure the ROI is worth it.