Coronavirus has impacted higher education as strongly as it has the global economy. Students have been consigned to their homes, and social distancing has meant we’ve waved goodbye to traditional campus education, albeit temporarily—now could be time to look at studying an online MBA.
The pandemic has forced higher education to innovate and adapt to the pressures of delivering online. Schools moving their campus education online could serve as a blueprint for the future of distance learning. When coronavirus subsides it’s not out of the question to suggest online education will be the new normal.
Distance learning MBAs are serious business in 2020. The recent QS ranking of the best online MBA programs in the world shows that there are an array of programs out there that are competing with their on campus counterparts.
Birmingham Business School’s 100% Online MBA was the first of its kind to receive accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA), and was this year ranked 17th in the world by QS—the school was ranked 12th for the standard of faculty and teaching. Students graduating from the program receive a degree that is identical in value to the full-time MBA.
With coronavirus hitting business school campuses hard, here are five reasons you should study an online MBA this year.
1. The distance learning MBA network
A key reason some students study an MBA is for the network. Alongside the accelerated career and the knowledge gained, an MBA network is inherited for life. It grants students access to a cohort of high performing professionals on whom they can draw throughout their studies and their careers.
Daniel Chicksand, the director of the distance learning MBA at Birmingham Business School, says that conversations with students on the program have revealed vast WhatsApp networks where students and graduates continuously talk and discuss their careers and business problems, as well as generally keep in touch.
Since inception, the Online MBA at Birmingham Business School has been made up of 67% international students from more than 70 countries. They come from a range of industries covering IT, education, automotive, healthcare, as well as an array of functions like marketing, sales, and research. There have been CEOs, CTOs, and directors of companies too.
“When groups work together in the online environment they’re forming bonds. It’s the bonds that in the future will open up doors for new business opportunities,” Dan explains.
2. Online MBA cost
An online MBA is typically more affordable than its on campus variant. Birmingham Business School’s Online MBA comes in at approximately $25,000. Students who opt for the online degree are getting the same education on their graduate certificate as those who graduate from the campus MBA, in a diverse environment, with the added flexibility of distance learning education.
3. Intercultural management
As is identified by the diversity of the cohort, students have the opportunity to work with peers from over 70 countries on the online MBA at Birmingham.
They are also learning online, and developing the ability to work in diverse groups digitally, which mirrors the situation many global business professionals work with in reality, with teams all around the world.
“During the COVID pandemic, I’ve been talking to people from Nigeria to Cameroon to Canada, and you just don’t quite get that level of diversity in other programs,” Dan explains. “You have really talented candidates who might not be able to take time out of their job or afford to relocate to the UK for the MBA.”
4. Job prospects
The post-coronavirus job market might become more competitive, thinks Dan, so upskilling could give you the edge when it comes to the post-pandemic career opportunities.
“People realize maybe having the degree will give them the competitive edge,” he adds. “People who will also be having career breaks or looking for the opportunity to develop new businesses, I think they’ll be looking for online programs to support their learning.”
The learning environment on the Online MBA also mimics working in the digital sphere, as students learn to collaborate and lead across digital barriers.
That mirrors the situation of many global business professionals today who collaborate with teams around the world—after the pandemic, those who are able to move seamlessly into the digital sphere will stand out.
READ MORE: The Pros & Cons Of Online Learning
5. MBA skills
The skillset you develop as part of the program is a key reason you should study an online MBA this year. As mentioned above, the post-coronavirus jobs market will be competitive.
With remote working highly likely to increase after the pandemic, the degree equips students with a strong set of digital communication skills, which will remain a highly sought-after skill in the workplace.
The Online MBA at Birmingham Business School also equips students with the language of marketing, sales, accounting, operations, and the tools with which to communicate with the entire business ecosystem.
“With the flood of data and information today, what we want to do through teaching and tools and techniques is to give them those analytical tools so they can cut through all of that noise and get through to making difficult decisions with lots of information,” Dan explains.
The MBA gives students a critical mindset, he adds, a way to make sense of a complex and uncertain world—the online degree also hones students’ time management skills in a way an on-campus degree might not, due to the nature of balancing work, study, and social life.
“It provides a helicopter view of business. As [professionals] move up through their organizations they become generalists, and you need to understand the language of operations, supply chain, HR. I look at an MBA as a jigsaw puzzle, and all of these parts fit together.”
Birmingham Business School - University of Birmingham
An amazing experience
Great, knowledgeable faculty with a beautiful campus. Lots of societies and clubs to choose from in accordance with your interest. One can also discover scholarship opportunities here. The course is perfectly designed and the career services at the uni are very helpful
The beautiful campus and teaching expertise.
Overall the University of birmingham is just an incredible institution. From the array of expertise teachings and how phenomenal the campus is definitely enhances its beauty and is enriched with the amazing resources and incredible people that are always willing to help and make you feel welcomed everywhere you go. I would 100% recommend the University of Birmingham to be one of the best universities out there and through not only the various courses that they offer but all the social societies definitely adds to the fun and great opportunities that it provides
Exceptional Support for international Students
Exceptional Support for International Students As an international student, my experience at the University of Birmingham has been nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to the outstanding support provided for international students. I would like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the exceptional support I've received during my time here. From the moment I arrived on campus, it was evident that UoB prioritizes the well-being and success of its international students. Here are some key aspects of the support I've received: 1. Orientation Programs: The university's comprehensive orientation programs helped me acclimate to campus life, navigate administrative processes, and understand the academic system. I never felt lost or overwhelmed, thanks to the informative sessions and friendly staff. 2. Academic Advising: The academic advisors for international students are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. They assisted me in creating a personalized academic plan, selecting courses, and understanding degree requirements. Their guidance ensured that I stayed on the right track academically. 3. Language Support: UoB offers exceptional language support services, including English language courses and conversation partners. These resources were invaluable in improving my language skills and building confidence in my communication abilities. 4. Cultural Integration: The university fosters a diverse and inclusive environment, making it easy for international students to feel like part of the community. There are numerous cultural clubs, events, and workshops that allow us to connect with fellow students and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. 5. Mental Health and Counseling Services: Recognizing the challenges that international students may face, the university provides excellent mental health and counseling services. It's comforting to know that support is available when needed, and these services are respectful of cultural differences. 6. Career Services: UoB offers exceptional career services tailored to international students. From resume workshops to job fairs, they've been instrumental in helping me prepare for my career post-graduation. The university's strong network of alumni has also been a valuable resource. 7. Visa and Immigration Assistance: Navigating the complexities of visa and immigration regulations can be daunting, but the university's dedicated staff provided guidance and assistance throughout the process. Their expertise made the experience seamless. 8. Housing Support: Securing suitable housing can be a challenge for international students, but the university offers assistance in finding on-campus housing options with flexible payments. This support ensured that I had a safe and comfortable place to live. 9. Financial Aid and Scholarships: UoB offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Their commitment to making education accessible is commendable, they also provide financial support for graduation through the guild of students.
I highly recommend the University of Birmingham. I think the school environment is very friendly to international students. I was able to get guidance and help from students in the school. I was also able to get support and guidance from the professional team on my career path. I would recommend the University of Birmingham to first-time international students and Masters students.
There is always somebody to help!
The university respects the culture and background of their highly diverse student. It carters to everybody's need and puts its student first. It tries to the make the student feel at home and helps them deal with the university life.
I love studying Pharmacy at Birmingham and would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the variety in every aspect of the course. Firstly, the variety of people you meet from all areas around the country, and even countless others from outside the country. Each person has a different background and experiences creating a melting pot of personalities to interact with. Next, the lessons - there are numerous types of lessons we encounter on a weekly basis from lectures to dissections to a computer workshops. Additionally, specific to medical degrees, I have 7 placements annually in hospital, community, and GP pharmacies. The only lack of variety in the pharmacy course is the classrooms since there are limited number we can use and the medical school is separate from the main campus. The only part I don't enjoy about pharmacy is the distances and unreliability of public transport in Birmingham. Living in the vale, the university is a long 25-minute walk away and my closest shop is over 10-20 minutes to walk. Although there are closer accommodations, I really love my flat with its modern decor, large room, and social aspect of the shared kitchen.
Experience at University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham has been an outstanding university. They have provided complete support during COVID-19. The university is incredible when accessing support with mental health. I currently study criminology at the university of Birmingham. The course has been brilliant, with constant support from lectures and tutors to ensure that you achieve the best grade possible. I could not recommend University of Birmingham more!
Great campus for studying with kind and professional staff and the campus is very well connected to the city center. There were so many people who wanted to enroll in the course that they had to queue for a new course for six months in advance. The classes were always crowded, but the professors never let anyone through. I love this uni