What is the Value of an Online MBA?

November 21, 2011 · Leave a Comment 

The current economy has employment for MBA degree holders (as well as everyone else) very low – but it is getting better. In 2008, during the worst of the economic crash, only 84 percent of students graduated business school with a job waiting for them. However, in 2009 the figure had risen to 90 percent.

Admittedly, things are still not bright and shiny for all MBA degree holders. Employers in general have the upper hand and can be a choosy when they are being flooded with thousands of applicants competing for the same position.

So the question arises: is an online MBA worth it? When traditional MBA program applicants are competing alongside online degree holders, are online business school students at a disadvantage? Unfortunately, the question is ever more pertinent as enrollment in online MBA programs are high, and more prospective students choose the online programs for their flexibility; which allows those enrolled to remain in their current jobs.

Who will Benefit the Most from an Online MBA

The value of an online MBA lies in a number of factors. The most influential is why the prospective online MBA candidate wants the degree, and what kind of experience they already have. The prospective online MBA student interested in climbing the ladder at work and already has a good deal of relevant experience is going to profit from the online degree the most. They can get the degree’s full value by remaining in their current company while acquiring new skills that will be necessary for a promotion. However, business school students who are unemployed and are looking for high-level connections to enter a new company will probably be disappointed with their online MBA degree program (depending on the program) as their application will be up against MBA graduates with traditional degrees. Additionally, although high-level connections can be made in online programs, they are more easily made in the brick-and-mortar classroom.

A Recovering Job Market Bodes Well for the Value of an Online MBA

The rise in employment for MBA candidates is also a good sign, because as the job market improves so will the chances of MBA degrees holders in finding a job (alongside graduates of traditional institutions). With a healthier job market recruiters are not as apt to be looking for any reason to cut an applicant – such as a degree from an online, as opposed to traditional, institution.

It must be conceded that the growth in employment rates are not equally distributed for all sectors, however. Job growth for the government, for technological industries, healthcare and petroleum industries are healthy – but the financial sector is still having difficulty recovering.

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