MBA Formats

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3 Things You May Not Know About Online MBAs

Online MBA programs continue to expand in the graduate management education marketplace. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s Application Trends Survey Report, 47 percent of online MBA programs reported application growth in 2017. But some stereotypes persist regarding the kind of experience you’ll receive compared with a traditional MBA format. Many wonder about the faculty for online programs, whether the instruction really rivals that of students learning on campus and whether such programs offer the types of scholarships or financial assistance found at full-time MBA programs. The good news for prospective online MBA applicants – particularly women, whose interest in this format option has outpaced men in recent years – is that a number of these programs deliver an evermore competitive educational experience. Here are three aspects many online MBA programs offer that you may not be aware of; keep these in mind as you consider where to enroll. • 1. They offer top-notch faculty and instruction. The mark of a high-quality online MBA program lies in who is providing the instruction. “Students take the same classes from the same faculty as they would in our on-campus programs,” Amy Hillman, dean of Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, said via email. “We began offering online degrees in the early 2000s, long before it was as widely accepted as it is now. So, we know from experience how to deliver great content to students and offer a flexible degree that will ultimately help them take that next step in their careers.” At Temple University’s Fox School of Business, on-campus faculty create and deliver all course content. The part-time online MBA at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business offers flexibility to working students as well as...

Data error bumps Temple’s Online MBA program from No. 1 to unranked...

Just a few weeks ago U.S. News & World Report crowned Temple University’s Fox School of Business as the school with the best online MBA program in the country. The same day the news came out, a hiccup was discovered: the university had misreported the number of new entrants for 2016–17 who provided their GMAT scores. The data error, per a statement from Temple University President Richard Englert, was caught by Temple’s own team and reported to the publication shortly after the scores went live. On Wednesday, it was announced that, as a result of the error, the North Philly university’s program would be moved to an “unranked” position for the rest of the year and removed from a second, separate ranking. “U.S. News has moved Temple to the ‘Unranked’ category in the Best Online MBA Programs rankings and removed the school from the Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans rankings,” said Robert Morse and Erik Brooks, part of the data team at U.S. News & World Report. “The Fox School of Business originally reported that all 255 new entrants, or 100 percent of the class, submitted GMAT scores,” Morse and Brooks wrote. “The school later informed U.S. News the count of new entrants submitting GMAT scores was actually 50 students, or 19.6 percent.” The next move from Temple? Ordering an independent review of the data reporting process. “The integrity of our data and reporting are paramount,” said Englert in a statement. “After consultation with Provost JoAnne Epps and Fox School of Business Dean Moshe Porat, I have decided to bring in an outside independent analyst to review our data reporting processes, including what occurred in this instance.”… Read full story: Technical.ly...

Consider a US Online MBAs as an International Student...

Through online education, international students can earn a U.S. graduate degree even while overseas. With few, if any, on-campus travel or residency expenses, online students can continue working full-time jobs in their home countries. But before deciding to enroll in a U.S. online MBA program, prospective students should consider three factors. 1. Find out if a school attracts a diverse student body. As an international student, you will have a different cultural background from many of your online MBA classmates. This diversity can be desirable for schools, since it brings fresh ideas, sparks healthy debate and helps all students learn more about business in other countries. During my own search, I looked for an almost entirely online program with faculty and students of various cultures. The school’s website or a student coordinator can tell you more about the demographics of the online MBA student body. If school administrators and professors have previous experience working with international students, they may be familiar with your specific needs and learning styles. In my online program, some professors assigned students to self-reflect on their cultural identities and differences – what they believe regarding how the learning process should work and how different cultural backgrounds affected the way students interacted in- and outside the classroom. At a minimum, I received a much better understanding of differences between my home country and U.S. business culture. 2. Research a program’s ties and opportunities with overseas universities. If you plan to conduct business in countries other than the U.S., you may want to learn more about various markets in different countries. To gain exposure to other business practices, look for an online MBA that offers immersion classes, or courses in other countries, and has international faculty. Immersion...

You can get an MBA without ever putting on pants...

Mashable readers are very into online learning. You’re smart, motivated, and lead very busy lives, so the convenience of a course you can complete at your own pace is appealing. Sites like Udemy and Coursera offer classes in everything from programming to party tricks and are generally designed to be completed within a few hours to a few weeks. They’re quick and relatively inexpensive, and a fun way to stay productive in your free time. If you’re looking for something a little more in depth, however, you can get the same convenience and cost-effectiveness in an online degree from Coursera. They’ve partnered with the University of Illinois to create flexible, interactive, online Master’s degree programs. Coursera is unique in the online learning space for their “specializations,” bundles of courses in areas of study like Deep Learning and Graphic Design. These university courses go a step further by bundling specializations into a full degree program that can be completed at your own pace. There are currently three degrees offered on Coursera from the University of Illinois — an MCS in Data Science, an MS in Accounting and an MBA. Coursera also partnered with HEC Paris, one of Europe’s top business schools, for a Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Each of these programs consists of between 20 and 32 courses and can be completed in two to three years (with the exception of the HEC degree, which takes an average of 10-16 months.) Best of all, tuition for each of the programs is estimated to be $30,000 or less. To put that in perspective, the estimated tuition for a University of Illinois MBA student is $58,868 in-state, $83,276 out of state. Graduates of the online degree programs are issued the same...

What Employers Think of Your Online MBA Degree...

When Michael Urtiaga goes on job interviews, he regularly gets asked the question, “How were you able to balance an MBA education at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with your previous full-time job near Cincinnati?” The answer: The 36-year-old, who’s now in between jobs, pursued his MBA online through the Kelley Direct program – not by traveling to the school on the weekends, as some interviewers initially assume given that he lives about a two-hour drive away from the campus. Urtiaga says interviewers generally seem accepting of his online degree given the strong reputation of the school. Still, he sometimes needs to answer questions about the pros and cons of online learning and the real-world benefits the online program offers. “Oftentimes, you can see their faces change as you go through the conversation,” says Urtiaga, who completed his MBA last year and is now pursuing an online master’s in strategic management as part of a dual degree program at Kelley. There’s still a bit of a stigma, he says, but people usually come around when they hear some of the format’s virtues. Recruiters say most employers accept job candidates’ online MBAs from respected schools, especially now that the quality of an online MBA education at many institutions is equivalent to one on a physical campus. But in some cases, experts say, there’s still the need to educate companies about the legitimacy of many online programs. A significant portion of employers won’t even ask about the format in which the degree was earned, says Adam J. Samples, regional president of Atrium Staffing in New Jersey. Others will only dig deeper if they have a specific reason to – as in Urtiaga’s case, where they see he worked while pursuing...

Cheap MBAs: Costly for some

THERE’S no such thing as a free lunch. That maxim should be ingrained in the minds of business-school students, attuned to the notion of opportunity cost or Milton Friedman’s economic theories. Yet to believe the American non-profit University of the People (UoPeople), run by Shai Reshef, an Israeli entrepreneur, something close to a free lunch could soon be available to prospective MBA students. On March 15th the university opened applications for an MBA without tuition fees that it plans to launch in September 2016. That much is admirable, and certainly should be applauded. But don’t prepare to burn Friedman’s 1975 tome yet: there’s still no such thing as a free lunch. One hundred successful applicants will be enrolled onto the 15-month distance-learning course, and will be asked to pay just $200 for each of the 12 courses they will take as part of the programme. That is still a pittance, and a minuscule fraction of the cost of an MBA at the sort of business schools ranked by The Economist. “The cost of an MBA today is so expensive that many people who are qualified to achieve it cannot afford it,” Mr Reshef said when announcing his plans. Certainly, business schools can be rarefied places. So the development of a legitimate MBA at a low cost could be beneficial. Russell Winer, professor of marketing at NYU Stern and the leader of the MBA programme at UoPeople, told The Economist that the establishment can offer a cheaper programme than most by being online-only and lean-staffed. It also has the backing of faculty members from other big business schools, including INSEAD, Wharton and Oxford, all of whom have helped develop the curriculum. And yet the devil is in the detail. Some...

What is a free MBA worth in the marketplace?

Coming soon: a tuition-free MBA. It was announced this week from University of the People, which already offers no-tuition bachelor’s degrees. The idea of its new degree is to extend advancement opportunities to people who can’t afford graduate business education. The question is whether an MBA from an untested new program will be worth their time, as many employers may be skeptical of a new degree from an online program. Tuition alone for an MBA from an elite school typically tops $120,000 over two years. A University of the People graduate will pay only about $2,400 in fees. Expenses stay low through online classes and support from foundations. University president and founder Shai Reshef is realistic when it comes to competing with other business schools. “People who can get into great universities which will cost a great amount of money, if they can do it and afford it, they should do it,” he said. The idea is to create a space where people who could never afford any MBA can pick up skills that’ll advance their careers. University of the People’s program is accredited and professors from top global business schools are supporting it. But despite its credentials, it’s still hard for managers who might hire these graduates to gauge the value of a degree from such a new and unusual program. “I’ll be curious to see how employers look at that,” said Russ Poulin, policy and analysis director at WCET, a nonprofit that tracks online higher education. “It is not a brand that is well known.” The value of the degree could increase over time if the program’s reputation grows. University of the People’s undergrad program has already attracted thousands of students from around the world. Reshef said...

World’s first smartphone-based MBA launched...

The London School of Marketing has launched the world’s first ever MBA that students can study on their smart phones. The UK based educator has invested in a unique interactive online learning platform. It allows its learners direct access to course tutors, all the essential books and learning materials they’ll need, via their mobile phone. There’s also a community forum where students can chat directly with other students studying on their course and thereby learn from each other. This innovative approach to education means its learners can study when and where they want without being tied to a time or location. Since its launch, hundreds of students have already signed up to use the technology with more expected to follow. The courses it offers via smart phone include an MBA in business studies, a Masters and two undergraduate courses in the same subject. Its professional marketing course can also be accessed via smart phones. These courses are proving popular with international business executives who prefer to study from their home country rather than live and study in the UK. CFO of London School of Marketing, Anton Dominique explains: “They can study at a time and place to suit them and we’ve adapted the technology we use to make that happen. Everyone has a smartphone now, so it makes sense to run courses which our students can access while they’re on the move… Read full story: Khaleej...

The 19 best online MBA programs

An MBA can be a shortcut for ascending the career ladder and boosting your salary. While attending one of best b-schools in the world can be an attractive option — Business Insider published its list of the world’s 50 best business schools in December — for some working professionals it’s not feasible, making online programs a great alternative. U.S. News & World Report recently released their ranking of the best online MBA programs, evaluating schools based solely on data related to their distance education MBA programs in five categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. (You can read a full breakdown of the methodology here.) Note that because of multiple ties, the ranking only goes through No. 15. Temple University’s online MBA program took the top spot, followed by Indiana University at Bloomington, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read on for the rest of the 19 best online MBA programs in the country, according to U.S. News.Read full story: Business...

How Jack Welch Is Reinventing the MBA

The former GE CEO’s online MBA program has a laser-like focus on customer service. When legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch hired a headhunter to search for new deans of curriculum and faculty for his online management institute, he had an unusual requirement. “Jack didn’t like pie-in-the-sky academic types,” says Michael Kirkman, a search consultant with Lochlin Partners. Despite that limitation, Kirkman had little trouble rounding up an impressive portfolio of higher ed candidates. “Everybody was very interested, particularly with Jack’s name attached to it,” Kirkman says. “A lot of them are just tired of the bureaucracy and garbage that goes on in traditional academic environments.” Welch ultimately hired Craig Clawson, former managing director of Duke Corporate Education, as dean of curriculum, and Mike Zeliff, a faculty member at George Washington University and a former marketing director for the U.S. Marine Corps, as the dean of faculty. Both hires go a long way in telegraphing the fact that the four-year-old Jack Welch Management Institute is one of the very few business schools that is run like a business, with a laser-like focus on customer service. The school is closely managed on student surveys that measure the impact of the education as well as the likelihood that a student would recommend the institute to a friend or colleague. At JWMI, every administrator and faculty member understands that students are customers. In fact, the incentive pay of the core leadership team—up to 25% of their annual base salaries—is based on satisfying those customers. Net Promoter Scores (NPS), the metric Welch is using to monitor student satisfaction, are widely discussed among the leadership team, even down to the scores on the 12 courses that make up the MBA curriculum. “We’re running this...

Looking for an Education Bargain? University Offers Tuition-Free MBA...

Getting a master’s degree in business administration can catapult your career. It can also saddle you with serious debt. But students entering Arizona State University’s MBA program in 2016 won’t have to worry about those pesky tuition costs: They’ll get the advanced degree for free. The W.P. Carey business school at ASU has announced a scholarship for “exceptional full-time MBA candidates who exhibit creativity, ingenuity and innate leadership” that will essentially give the entire class a free ride. The business school says it’s hoping to draw a class that’s more economically and demographically diverse. “MBA programs do not have the same type of diversity that you see in undergraduate programs,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the business school. While nearly half of her business undergraduate students are female, “the number drops off precipitously when you think about having to go out into the workforce for another five years, and then quitting and coming back after a two-year full-time MBA,” she said. Image: W.P. Carey business school at Arizona State University The W.P. Carey business school at ASU has announced a scholarship for “exceptional full-time MBA candidates who exhibit creativity, ingenuity and innate leadership” that will essentially give the entire class a free ride. W. P. Carey School of Business The free degree is courtesy of an endowment made by from businessman William Polk Carey in 2003. Until now it had been used to hire faculty, said Hillman. This year ASU’s full-time MBA enrolled 86 students, up from 70 last year, who paid $54,000 in tuition if they were Arizona residents, $87,000 if they moved to the state from elsewhere in the U.S. to go to school and $90,000 if they came from other countries. Hillman said the school is...

Want An MBA For Free? Check Out These Illinois University MOOCs...

Massive Online Open Courses, better known as MOOCs have long been known for their silly name and idealist view on democratizing the college education. This week, one Illinois university gave MOOCs a little bit more cred. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announced it would offer all its MBA courses online, for free. That means you can essentially get an MBA from UIUC, ranked in the top 50 nationwide, without paying a dime. Unless you actually want the degree– that will cost you about $20,000, the university said. Regardless, opening up their MBA program as a MOOC is a great way for you to gain a lot of knowledge, on the cheap. And UIUC is not the only Illinois university offering popular online courses for free. Whether you’ve got some extra time on your hands, or are just looking to gain a new skill, MOOCs from a top university can be the way to go. Here are the top MOOCs from universities in Illinois: iMBA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign The flagship University of Illinois school made headlines for offering its MBA program online on Coursera, and rightfully so. Starting in June, MOOC-only students get to sit in on classes such as managerial accounting, and focus on specializations such as Leadership and Management, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. What’s even better is that you can actually get a degree from the university via Coursera, but you will have to be admitted to the certificate program and pay about $1,000 per course. That’s a total of $20,000, which may seem like a lot, but the on-campus price ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. You also get special support from faculty and advisors that students who don’t pay won’t get. Right now UIUC is only...