Improving Academic Performance

Thoughts on Online MBA Programs

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 @ 02:39 PM

Every once in a while, students who work with us on GMAT prep will ask for advice about business school options (especially if they don’t do well on the GMAT). From time to time, the topic of online MBA school options will come up. MyGuru’s founders attended the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, which is a top 10 MBA school. However, we still wonder whether the extremely large investment in an MBA will ultimately be worth it. For that reason, we encourage potential online MBA school students to be extremely careful before investing large sums of money in going to an MBA school online. Our recommended options for online MBAs are those that come from well-respected schools that also offer traditional in-person programs. One such example would be Indiana University’s online MBA program.

The problem with MBA degrees is that there are just so many programs. Regardless of the program you enter, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about business and improve your management skills. However, from an “employee screening” perspective, most employers know that it really isn’t that difficult to get an MBA, so they look for students with degrees from top notch schools.

However, for some students currently working in jobs or careers that place a high value on an MBA, regardless of the school, an online MBA can make a lot of sense. They allow you to continue working, so you don’t have to take a huge hit in the form of two years of lost salary. Plus, the online option obviously works around your schedule. So, as long as you weigh the cost/benefits carefully, and study how much the degree will cost you (both in terms of upfront cost and the opportunity cost of lost wages while you’re in school) vs. what jobs you expect to land after you have the degree, an online MBA could be a good option for you. However, just don’t fool yourself into thinking that having “MBA” next to your name will necessarily earn you a better job or higher salary.