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Learning Revolution: Interest In Online And Distance MBAs Grows

Interest in online and distance learning programs has risen for the second consecutive year - adding weight to the online MBA revolution.

The online learning revolution continues to gather steam, as the number of MBA applicants seeking online and distance study has increased for the second consecutive year, while interest in full-time MBA programs has remained roughly flat.

Widening pools of MBA candidates are seeking more flexible study options, spurring business schools to roll out more online programs and distance learning options.

Interest in online learning has risen to a high of 18.3%, according to new data from QS, up from 16.2% last year. Interest in distance learning has also risen to 8.7%, an increase on 2013.

Comparatively, interest in full-time study has fallen for the previous three consecutive years, and this year remained roughly flat as 82% of candidates expressed it as their preference.

Similarly, interest in part-time study has risen for the second consecutive year to 28.4% of MBA candidates, while interest in the executive MBA which is often taught at a distance, has risen to nearly 15% of applicants.

This reflects an ageing MBA population, many of whom cannot afford to take significant time out of work to begin their degrees. The biggest rise in average age is seen in the United States and Canada, where the average MBA is now nearly 30 years old, a jump from 27 in 2009.

In Western Europe, the average MBA is about 28. In Eastern Europe, the figure has jumped from 27 to 29 between 2013 and 2014.

Many of the world’s leading business schools now offer online MBA programs. Most of these programs are developed with technology from companies such as FutureLearn or Coursea, but some use technology developed in-house with software companies including Microsoft.

European online MBA programs are ranked more highly than those in the United States.

European candidates are also more interested in shorter MBA programs. About 60% of MBA applicants in Western Europe and 52% of candidates in Eastern Europe seek programs which are 10-18 months long, according to QS.

In the US and Canada, the largest portion of candidates seek MBA programs which are 19-24 months in length – 58%. 




Thursday 24th July 2014, 20.30 (UTC)

Miles Weaver

This is very interesting and pleasing.

Exactly why we at Edinburgh Napier University have designed a Global Online Programme for working professionals - totally flexible. Students even only need to pay per module as they earn.

We have put what we do in the classroom on an online platform. All our MBA candidates are part of one big family and get treated as such. Online students are invited to attend the same graduations and obtain the same certificates as campus-based students.

There is certainly much more you can do online. For instance, we have practitioner clips with leading industry experts in every unit of learning. I cannot invite a practitioner to every lecture to give us all a little nugget from practice!

A lot of pride and passion has gone into designing Edinburgh Napier Global Online programme and receiving applications from all over the world. As an academic it means I supervise projects in Israel, US, Hong Kong .... all over .... Really refreshing.

Wednesday 30th July 2014, 14.11 (UTC)

Philip Cullen Mba

I agree with Miles that making the Online MBA of the same quality and calibre as the taught programmes is very important.

The Henley MBA was one of the first to have its Online MBA accredited by the AMBA over 20 years ago.

Recent versions of the Online MBA have included talking heads from Faculty and also video from sources such as 50Lessons.

Reflective Practice is a key element of the MBA Programme in all of its versions and this supports the embedding of learning.

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