Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a smart move for ambitious professionals. You’ll learn the skills and knowledge needed to get ahead and gain access to new career and growth opportunities. Many professionals pursue an MBA in the hopes of a more senior position or promotion, and earning a graduate degree may indicate that they are dedicated and have a good work ethic.
But why get an MBA online? In this article, we take a closer look at the distinct advantages of earning this respected degree online.
1. You Have Increased Flexibility
An online MBA program offers unparalleled flexibility for busy professionals. With the ability to attend classes and complete coursework on your schedule, you have the freedom to balance your studies with other commitments, such as full-time work or personal responsibilities.
Dilip Chhajed, PhD, associate dean of Online Programs and Strategic Innovations at Purdue University’s Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, believes online learning is the least disruptive way to pursue a graduate degree.
“You can stay in your job and continue to work, so your income is not disrupted,” Chhajed says. “This flexibility means you don't have to miss out on the chance of promotions and career advancement for the sake of education.”
Online programs allow you to engage with course material at a time that suits you best, which is good for early risers and night owls alike.
“Students have the flexibility to pace their program and work any time, night or day, on their coursework,” Chhajed says. “This is a significant advantage of earning an MBA online as opposed to a residential program.”
2. There Are No Geographical Restrictions
Online learning enables you to access high-quality education from reputable institutions without the need to relocate or commute. Chhajed says that while earning an MBA online is a lot of work, the ability to earn it from anywhere creates opportunities that previously did not exist for many people.
“You don't have to relocate to be near campus. Your children don't have to change schools, and your partner doesn't have to change jobs. And if you get transferred, it doesn't impact your ability to complete your MBA program.”
3. You Can Develop a Global Network
Earning an MBA online may seem like it limits a student's ability to network, but it often has the opposite effect.
Chhajed says that online students have the opportunity to meet a larger, more diverse group since students come from around the world. Through online discussions, group projects and collaborative assignments, students will interact with people from diverse backgrounds and locations.
Students in the Purdue Online MBA program don't go through the program as a single cohort, which means students meet new and seasoned students throughout the program. This offers even greater networking opportunities.
Additionally, students have access to affinity groups. These vary but may include students with military backgrounds, women in business or students over 40.
“These groups provide even greater networking opportunities,” Chhajed says. “So while you may not be able to go for a cup of coffee, you can join an affinity group and build relationships with others with common interests.”
How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online MBA?
While the Purdue Online MBA consists of 48 credit hours, the time to completion depends on a few factors. If you were motivated to complete the program quickly, you could take summer classes and finish in under two years. However, the program is designed to be flexible and fit into the lives of working professionals.
“Students typically take one to two courses at a time, but you can adjust your schedule to more easily fit into your life,” Chhajed says. “For example, imagine that you have a big project coming up at work and need a lighter load during a semester. In this situation, you could opt to take only one course, free up some time and remain on the path to graduation.“
Learn More About the Purdue Online MBA
Earning an MBA used to be far more restrictive. Students who already had a growing career and perhaps a family often couldn’t make it work, especially if they didn’t live near a university and/or had limited ability to commute. Fortunately, the flexibility and accessibility of online MBA programs break down these former barriers, allowing motivated students to earn a degree on a schedule that works for them.
The Purdue Online MBA program teaches you the analytical, strategic and problem-solving skills you need to lead teams and organizations. To learn how an online MBA could fit into your life and career plan, reach out to connect with a Purdue Enrollment Specialist.