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3 Reasons Why Employers Respect Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs enable students to fit studying around their busy lives—here are 3 reasons why employers respect these programs


Tue Jan 24 2023

As the world advances further into digitalization, the interest in online MBA programs continues to rise.

Notably, 43% of online MBA programs saw applications rise in 2021, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

MBA programs that can be studied online allow students to join a business school while continuing on a chosen career path. For students who would otherwise be unable to study an intensive full-time MBA program, this is a highly valuable offering.

For those who may still be worried about how such a program is perceived by employers, here are three reasons why online MBA programs are just as respected as the full-time, in-person option:

1. Employers will see how well you can juggle a career alongside an online MBA

Your future employer will want to know that you can handle multiple, conflicting responsibilities—especially if you’re looking to take on a senior leadership role.

Joining an online MBA program can be a great way to prove your time-management skills as many students split their time between classes and a career. 

Plus, students can often see the benefits of their MBA classes first-hand, reflecting on the skills learned from classes in core business areas such as marketing, strategy, finance, and leadership.

Solon Magrizos, program director of the Online MBA at the University of Birmingham Business School, says: “Students can apply their learning to their roles in real-time, helping them to accelerate their career from nearly anywhere in the world.”

The Online MBA at Birmingham is the first 100% online MBA to be awarded accreditation by the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

At Birmingham, students can also study electives in cutting-edge business areas such as Entrepreneurship and Innovation or Management of Change.

Readily applying these teachings in your career will stand you in good stead when applying for promotions and rising the ranks in your company.

2. The curriculum for an online MBA program is the same as traditional MBA programs

Many would-be MBA students might be confused about how online MBA programs work, yet the answer is usually relatively simple.

Solon says that there is no difference between campus-based and online MBA programs at Birmingham. 

“The learning objectives and outcomes are the same. The subject matter is nearly indistinguishable and many of our full-time MBA faculty also teach on the online program,” he says.

When students graduate from the Birmingham Online MBA, even the certificate they receive is the same.

“From an employability perspective, there is no distinction,” he says.

Illustrating this, 60% of global recruiters agree they view online MBA grads and in-person degrees equally, according to the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey 2022.

3. You can leverage your online MBA network to grow your career

Attending business school will mean gaining access to a broadened network of potential business partners, expert faculty, and lifelong friends.

Many online MBA programs attract an international class, as people can join from across the globe.

In the Birmingham Online MBA, for example, there are more than 70 countries represented in a typical cohort.

“We aim to provide a unique community of like-minded learners across the globe,” says Solon.

This means there’s plenty of opportunity to get to know people from all corners of the world in a virtual setting.

“It’s not just about the core educational experience,” he says, “it’s also about the extra-curricular side too; the networks that students build and the experiences they gain.”

Joining an online MBA program doesn’t mean that you will only attend your virtual classes—just like in-person programs, you can access the career services to fine-tune your career goals. 

“It’s not a campus-based course that we’ve just put online; we’ve built this from the ground up, taking on board the current online environment and latest technology that we have available,” says Solon.