Hardware and Software You’ll Need for an Online MBA

The world of online learning is an evolving one and is open to much interpretation. Many students who are new to the concept feel an overwhelming need to purchase the latest hardware and most up to date software to complete their studies. However, in many cases, this isn’t necessary! Students with moderate levels of computer hardware and software are often able to fully utilize their course. Even more ancient specifications can be made useful in an online learning setting!

What Hardware Do I Need for my Online MBA Program?

Students are often quick to purchase a new computer when starting their college studies. "Antiquated" hardware is usually the reason cited for this purchase, but in many cases it is not necessary. This is because much of what students will experience in an online environment is presented in either HTML or Plain Text format. This means that even some of the oldest hardware platforms will be able to fully access online learning courses. However, students should note any multimedia requirements that core components may impose. Streaming audio or video playback may rigorously stress an older computer system, which might result in poor playback quality or "lag" strutter. This instance might require the student to purchase a new computer, but students in an online program should consult their University’s student services to find out exactly what is required throughout an online MBA program.

What Software Do I Need for my Online MBA Program?

An office software suite is at the heart of all online programs, so is a required application to acquire prior to beginning a program of study. However, students are often enticed into purchasing "student licensed programs" or other comparable forms of software in order to access a full office suite. This is often unnecessary! Students will find themselves able to freely download components that make up an office suite, such as AbiWord for word processing and Gnumeric for spreadsheets. Students will fortunately find that these applications are easy to find. Simple search terms such as "Spreadsheet Freeware" will guide the student towards a free to use spreadsheet program.

When using free-to-use software, it is important for students to ensure that the free applications are compatible to more widely circulated file format standards, such as Microsoft’s .doc and .xls for word documents and spreadsheets respectively. This is often included with many freely available applications and students will not have to consider this aspect. However, it is important to ensure that compatibility is available as professors may not be able to open a student’s work if it is written in a format that he does not have access to. This tardiness can incur late penalties may reduce points from the final mark!

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