With the burgeoning job opportunities for MBAs, there is a rush for acquiring this coveted degree. The days are past when the usual means of earning an MBA degree was to enroll in a business school and attend on-campus classes for the full duration of the course.
With technological advancements and the prevalence of the internet, you can now easily get your MBA online. This has made it possible for you to undertake the program wherever it suits you. The advent of online MBA programs has fundamentally reshaped the way business schools deliver education, making it possible to deliver it either in its entirety or in parts, online.
Although earning an MBA degree as a day scholar continues to be popular, there is a growing attraction for online MBA programs. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the application volumes of online MBA programs rose to 57% in 2016, as compared to 50% in 2015. What’s more, an MBA degree earned online is no less than the one earned as a day scholar.
Online MBA courses
The prime reason for the growing student interest in online MBA programs is because of a broad array of options it offers. Over the years online programs have become more credible and have started attracting MBA aspirants in droves. What’s more, online programs help to replicate the nature of management today better, since you get to know the trends across the globe, due to the global reach of online programs. This is limited in face-to-face teaching.
Another factor is the paucity of time. If you are in a job, you will always be hard-pressed for time, and a traditional, campus-based MBA may force you to sacrifice your progressive career. Also, you may need to balance your regular job and perhaps a family with the rigors of an MBA program. An online course obviates all this and helps you in maintaining your career momentum.
Although an online MBA program is as rigorous, it can be easily tailor-made to suit your requirements. For example, if you are running your own company and finding it challenging to match the speed of other students, you can choose the ‘half speed’ option that allows completing the course in four years, instead of the usual two years.
Although online MBA programs lack the opportunity of interacting with other students and teachers, this is overcome with technological advancements. For example, Spain’s IE Business School provides 48 high-definition TV screens, allowing up to 60 MBA students to interact with each other and their professors.
Specialized MBA courses
With companies requiring area specific roles, the demand for specialized MBA courses has grown manifold. Today, specialized management graduates are being sought after, spurring a host of management schools to offer specialized courses in areas, such as logistics, oil and gas management, supply chain management and the like.
Specialized MBA programs make perfect sense for those who already possess some specific expertise and desire to bring their skillsets and competencies at par with others in their chosen area. For example, enrolling in a niche program like consultant management will arm the students in how to deal with clients, make reports and acquire various associated skills.
Another reason why specialized programs are gaining traction is the fact that the MBA segment is getting a wee bit overcrowded at several levels, and there is a need to find differentiators. This is making students go in for sector specializations at an early stage.
Many companies are now looking for MBA graduates with specialization. A case in point is the Chinese multinational Lenovo that is seeking specialized MBAs with degrees in analytics, communications and marketing. Business schools are vying with each other in offering specialized MBA degrees in areas, such as retail management, sports management, rural management, healthcare management and many more.
Despite this rush for a specialized course, some experts feel that this will lose steam, and in the long run, students will opt only for generic MBA programs.
There is a spurt in the growth of both online and specialized MBA courses. Online courses have made the MBA more accessible to students across the globe. With the advances in technology, the few kinks in the system are set to be ironed out in time. Specialized MBA courses open newer job avenues for people who are already experts in their chosen fields.
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