Ways A Distance Online MBA Will Benefit Your Career have largely moved past the perception that they are second-rate degrees, with the best business schools reporting strong employment figures for their digital cohorts.
But some prejudice against online MBA programs still remains with some employers, so having the brand of a well-regarded business school can help you prove the credibility of your qualification.
Why should you consider a distance online MBA program? Here are some of the benefits from an employment perspective.
You’ll demonstrate your ability to multi-task
When it comes to getting hired as an online MBA student, employers may value a candidate’s ability to juggle multiple priorities.
“An online MBA is not an easy or more convenient mode of study – the program offered at Durham University Business School requires 15 hours a week of study, therefore a hard-working mindset and strong organizational skills are essential,” says Sue Boyd, director of UK-based school’s online MBA.
“Students must be able to balance their work and study priorities along with their personal lives and often juggle all three at once.”
You can study while you work
Yet a key advantage of an online MBA is that students who work in relatively senior roles can complete their studies without taking a year-long career break in order to pursue a traditional, campus-based course.
“Because of this, they’re also typically not the sort of people who coast along in their roles,” says Boyd. “They tend to be more active, motivated, and engaged learners. They strive to get to know their classmates and benefit from learning from them.” These are known traits that employers value.
You’ll learn essential skills for today’s workplace
With the world of work becoming more digital and mobile, an online MBA also can be great preparation for a modern management job. Boyd says: “As businesses conduct more of their practices digitally and with dispersed colleagues, it’s no longer far-fetched to think of students engaging with education in the same way. In delivering MBA programs online, business schools are keeping pace with how modern businesses function.”
In many organizations, teams are truly international, spreading all around the world. To manage this successfully, business professionals must become better at working effectively together.
“An additional benefit to the online MBA is that, along with gaining a valuable qualification, the students also learn how to navigate different time zones and adapt to different perspectives and culture,” says Boyd.
“By studying and working simultaneously, students can redirect these skills back into their work, and even support colleagues in becoming more effective when working with team members based in different locations.”
What you learn will have an immediate impact
Also, when studying part-time, as many online MBA students do, students can apply what they learn directly into the workplace. “That’s one benefit that we hear often from students: they are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it almost immediately at work. By the time the full-time students get to apply it, it’s at least a few months or a year or two before they get back to work,” says Ramesh Venkataraman, who is chair of Kelley School of Business’s online MBA in the US.
Employers, some of whom pay the tuition fees, may therefore feel there is an immediate return on investment (ROI) of online MBA programs. “A large portion of our students are seeking a promotion within their employer, and the insight they get from our curriculum can help them step up to the next level in their job,” Venkataraman says.
At Warwick Business School in the UK, virtually everybody enrolled in their Distance Learning MBA will already have a job. The most recent data available shows that 19 percent changed jobs in their present firm, 40 percent changed jobs and employer, and 41 percent changed job, employer, and sector. “We have MBAs moving into every sector and major companies like IBM, Amazon, JP Morgan, Deloitte, and setting up their own business,” says John Colley, associate dean.
He believes a further advantage to the online format is that students learn to network effectively online, a growing medium for recruiters. When it comes to networking, Colley says, “today, online is just as effective.
“Students can use their modules as a way of networking and exploring new industries and companies by approaching firms through LinkedIn or by email to work on assignments. This makes initial contact and shows their passion for the subject, helping them fast-track their way to an interview.”