While the online MBA has been around for years, it wasn’t until recently that it has gotten to a place where it’s garnered the same respect as a traditional MBA. For years, for-profit institutions like Kaplan University, University of Phoenix and the Jack Welch Management Institute have dominated this area of education.
Seeing the rise in popularity of these programs, many brick-and-mortar institutions followed suit and are now offering MBA programs, as well as Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, among others.
While women are working hard to close the wage gap, lean in, break the glass ceiling and get into the C-suite, the online MBA program has become a viable option for women, with many priorities. Why should you consider an online MBA program?
Online programs allow you to work at your own pace. You get to choose how much time you will allocate for the program based on your life. You can keep your job, your salary and spend nights and weekends working towards a degree that, once obtained, will equip you with better bargaining power within your current job.
One of the main reasons women are flocking to online programs in record numbers is because it gives them the option of continuing to raise their families while they complete or further their education. As more and more moms tap into online learning, they realize a couple of things: one, an MBA sets them up to advance their career and, two, once their child-rearing days are over, their options and possibilities are quite endless.
One serious consideration in obtaining an MBA is the cash (or loans) required. Many of the for-profit institutions are significantly cheaper than the brick-and-mortar MBA programs that are adding online instruction to their offerings. Some employers subsidize the cost, while others may pay 100 percent of the costs. The return on investment (ROI) oftentimes outweighs the upfront cost.
An online MBA can change your life. In addition to the previously mentioned considerations, an online MBA can position you to be more marketable. Possibilities will begin to surface. Things will happen to you and for you. This level of education sets you apart and exposes you to people and opportunities.
The first step is to decide what you want out of life. Next, consider what it may take to get it and create a plan. Finally, consider the role an online MBA could play in helping you to accomplish your goals without sacrificing your career or family. It’s a non-traditional approach that works.
Virginia Ware Myers, Executive Director, The National Association of Women MBAs, [email protected]