However, an Online MBA offers the same opportunity to grow your business acumen and leadership skills with the flexibility to work while you study.
In fact, 60% of global recruiters agree they view online MBA programs and full-time MBA degrees equally, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Corporate Recruiters Survey 2022.
We breakdown what you can expect from an Online MBA and the benefits of online learning, helping you to decide whether an Online MBA program is right for you.
What can you expect from an Online MBA curriculum?
The Online MBA curriculum is the same as for traditional full-time programs. You’ll gain a generalist insight into all key aspects of business across operations, marketing, finance, and leadership.
The main difference is that you’ll study the content and connect with your classmates and professors virtually, no matter where you are in the world.
The Global Online MBA program at Manchester Metropolitan University—a 100% online degree at a business school that has earned triple-accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA—offers core units that cover the fundamentals of business including Global Economic Environment, Financial Technologies, and Leading Change and Creativity in Organizations.
Debs Tyra is a current Online MBA student who decided to pursue a career change to run her own business after working as a head of faculty in education for 12 years.
“Coming from education myself I have high standards in how the learning experience is delivered, and I was surprised at how good the quality is and how easily accessible all the content is,” she says.
Debs is leveraging her learnings on the program to improve the success of her business.
During the Operations Management unit, students can choose to work on a certain area of their business that needs improvement.
“I’ve now implemented a new booking system and I can already see the benefits for my business financially and I’ve improved my time management,” she says.
Students can also tailor the degree to their career in the Professional Project in which they will deep-dive into a real business case from their own workplace.
What are the benefits of studying for an Online MBA program?
If you don’t want to take time out of your career, studying for an Online MBA program could be for you. You’ll be able to study the program part-time with the flexibility to fit your classes around your existing commitments.
The Global Online MBA program at Manchester Metropolitan University takes two years to complete part-time—the same length as many full-time MBA programs in the US.
Students can also join the program at one of six entry points throughout the year.
The program involves one live session per week, which is also recorded for students who may not be able to join on a particular week.
This works perfectly for Jeff Petersmyer, who is tuning into the program from the US where he works as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Louisville.
He can join the live sessions before he starts work and then study on the weekends.
“You get used to your routine and it just becomes habit,” he says.
Erica Ryan was also studying the online MBA from the US where she worked as a program manager for the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WALCA)—a non-profit organization in California dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in need.
She joined the program to get more acclimated on today's business world and develop her leadership skills while also being a single mum.
"It was helpful for me to have that flexibility where I wasn't taking time away from them [her children]. I could manage the workload and fit it into my schedule," she says.
If you want to cut the cost of pursuing an MBA degree, opting for an online program is typically a cheaper alternative to studying full-time.
According to the BusinessBecause Cost of MBA report 2022, the average cost of a full-time MBA in Europe is around $122k. The Global Online MBA program at Manchester Metropolitan University costs around $19k.
“Considering the reputation and accreditation of Manchester Metropolitan in relation to the price tag, it was very hard to beat,” says Jeff.
For those who are making moves in their career, the support an online MBA program can offer is invaluable.
Through group work and chat groups, you’ll be able to virtually network with your classmates from around the world who all bring experience in different industries and roles.
“When studying the program [at Manchester Metropolitan University] there was no element of being alone and everyone really supported each other,” says Debs.
Not only that, you’ll also be able to rely on professors and careers faculty for advice.
“My professors and advisors made themselves available to me whenever I needed and called to check in on me despite the time difference,” says Jeff.
Does an Online MBA align with your career goals?
Before pursuing an MBA, you should consider your career goals carefully and whether studying online is the right fit for you.
As a business owner, it was important for Debs to be able to continue to grow her business while studying, which would likely not have been possible if she was studying full-time.
The same goes for students who are looking to upskill in their current role or earn a promotion. Studying for an Online MBA will allow you to apply your new skills to your day-to-day role and develop your leadership potential as you go.
Erica did just that. As program manager for the WLCAC non-profit, she had a wealth of responsibilities to navigate.
“It's amazing how it [the program] aligned with everything I was going through in my own career. I was in the process of restructuring departments and dealing with logistics and I was able to use the things I was learning to implement a new strategy," she says.
After enhancing her leadership skills on the program, Erica is now the deputy director of the WLCAC.
Whether you’re running your own business, pursuing a career switch to a new industry, or want to gain the skills to excel in your current role, an online MBA can help give you the tools for success.
“It’s up to me now. It has given me the confidence to believe in myself and move forward,” says Erica.