Online MBA

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...

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...

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...

Students feel benefits of an online MBA – even before graduation...

For ambitious executives looking to make the next step in their career, an additional qualification can seem like a good move. And with an ever-growing number of courses available via distance learning, their goal is now closer than ever. Most business schools offer a range of courses online, from the classic MBA to more specialised masters’ programmes in fields including marketing, finance and HR. While some involve the option of a face-to-face segment of the course, many can be completed without the need to physically attend the university at all. But for those considering this option there are several key questions. What does distance learning involve? How do the courses differ from those taken face-to-face? Can it fit in with a busy, and sometimes unpredictable, working life? And, crucially, is it worth it? For Travis Callaway, the answer to that last question is unequivocally yes. Callaway, who graduated last year, took the global MBA at Durham University while working in sports advertising in his native Canada. And already he has seen the effects. “I’ve been given more responsibility and a pay bump, and had I not taken the course there’s no way that would have happened,” he says. And he is not alone. Research from the Forte Foundation published last year suggests that MBA students can expect an average pay increase of 35-45 per cent on graduation, rising to 55-65 per cent five years later. Callaway, 29, has been working in sports advertising since completing his first degree at 21. But although he had been promoted several times, he thought an MBA would give his career the boost he was looking for. “Career progression was the main factor for me, and it’s always good to get new skills,” he...

Harvard B-school opens the flood gates with online courses...

After a pair of highly successful pilot runs, Harvard Business School is now opening its online program in business basics to students worldwide. The school is also inviting admitted MBA students to enroll in the program as a pre-MBA boot camp experience, particularly for non-traditional admits or those who need more basic quantitative work before showing up on campus. All told, slightly more than 1,100 students have now taken the primer on the fundamentals of business called CORe (Credential of Readiness) program. In the first beta starting last June, the trio of courses—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting—were open to only undergraduate students attending colleges in Massachusetts and alumni. Some 600 students took the $1,500 two-month program. Harvard then tested the suite of courses on 500 managers at nine different companies in a B-to-B experiment. For the first time, HBS is now opening up the program—based on case studies and videos—to applicants worldwide, including adult learners who have been out of school up to 10 years, and students admitted to the school’s full-time, on-campus MBA program this fall. Initially, the program was designed largely for non-business undergraduates who needed the business basics to give them a leg up on the job market when they graduated from college. These latest changes could put the program in competition with more expensive Executive MBA programs, which demand a greater time commitment from managers with 10 or more years of work experience. EMBA programs cover a lot more ground, but Harvard’s imprimatur on this program of business basics could make it appealing to managers who otherwise would attend second-tier EMBA programs. CORe more directly competes with summer business programs for undergraduate students from schools like UC-Berkeley and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School...

10 Most Expensive Public Online MBA Programs

Students looking to earn an online MBA may have an easier time getting into some of the top programs. But that doesn’t mean they’ll have an easier time paying the bills. Tuition at many online programs isn’t necessarily a deal when compared with the costs at some on-ground MBA programs. Online students don’t have to pay commuting costs, and if they’re working while in school, they don’t lose wages, either. But when it comes to tuition, their options run the gamut. [Explore the top 20 Best Online MBA Programs.] Total program costs at public online MBA programs range from just above $2,000 at the low end to more than $95,000 at the high end in 2014-2015, according to U.S. News data collected from 69 public online MBA programs. The University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, which tied for No. 1 in the online MBA rankings, had the highest total costs. Students in that program will pay a total of $96,775, according to data reported to U.S. News. Online MBA students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University are at the other end of the spectrum. The total cost for that program is $2,066. Students at UNC and the other nine most expensive public online MBA programs pay significantly more than most of their peers. On average, students attending public online MBA programs in 2014-2015 pay $25,525 in total program costs. [Discover what to look for in online MBA faculty.] Below are the 10 public online MBA programs with the highest total program costs based on 2014-2015 rates. The list does not include schools not ranked by U.S. News. Unranked programs do not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked. U.S. News did not ask schools whether these rates...

Mooc Maker To Compete With B-Schools With Tuition-Free Online MBA...

The University of the People – a digital non-profit university – has become the latest tech upstart hoping to disrupt the business education industry. UoPeople is in the process of developing two MBA programs in management and entrepreneurship, to complement its two undergraduate business administration degrees. Not only will they be taught entirely online but they will be offered entirely tuition-free. Other online learning providers have launched a plethora of programs similar to the executive education courses offered by business schools – short customized programs sold to corporations that generate much revenue – but UoPeople is thought to be the first to reveal plans for a full MBA program online, for free. It is collaborating with academics from leading business schools. Roxie Smith, vice president, is developing the MBAs with Russell Winer, a marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business in the US, along with UoPeople’s board. As well as Russell, other board members include Stephan Chambers, former director of the MBA program at Oxford’s Saïd Business School in the UK. Founded in 2009, UoPeople is one of a cadre of technology organizations, including Coursera, FutureLearn and Udacity, which are encroaching into business schools’ territory with their free business content, often developed by top academics. Known as Moocs, or massive open online courses, these digital programs have been deployed as marketing tools by a legion of universities and their business departments, including Europe’s Henley Business School, HEC Paris and IESE Business School, while elite institutions in the US like Harvard and Wharton have pioneered the concept. UoPeople has grown to have about 2,500 students from more than 150 countries, a third of whom are from the US but many are from the African continent and Middle Eastern region....

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Best Online MBA Programs for the First Time...

Choosing a high-quality online MBA program may have just gotten easier with the addition of its own rankings category from U.S. News & World Report. For the 2015 Best Online Programs rankings, Best Online MBA Programs has become its own category for the first time. Non-MBA business programs are still covered under the Best Online Graduate Business Programs category. Online programs are becoming more common. One in four students in the fall of 2012 took at least one online course, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Since MBA students are often working professionals, online classes can be a more convenient option. A unique set of data was used to create the rankings for Best Online MBA Programs. Reputation and the selectivity of a school’s admission process are important factors for most online MBA programs, so they were important factors in the rankings for this category as well. Five categories were used to create the Best Online MBA rankings, with varying weight per category. Student engagement makes up 28% of the score, admissions selectivity makes up 25%, peer reputation makes up 25%, faculty credentials and training makes up 11% and student services and technology makes up 11%. Only 195 schools met all the credentials to be included in the 2015 Best Online MBA rankings. Indiana University, Temple University and the University of North Carolina tied for the No. 1 spot in the Best Online MBA rankings. Here are the schools that made the top ten online MBA programs for 2015: 1. Indiana University—Bloomington (Kelley) 1. Temple University (Fox) 1. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) 4. Arizona State University (Carey) 4. University of Florida (Hough) 6. University of Texas—Dallas 7. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) 7. Pennsylvania State University—World...

MOOC your way to a free MBA?

It has been suggested that, with care and dedication, you can assemble a Masters of Business Administration for free. Perhaps unsurprisingly for those in the know, the idea hasn’t caught on. When leading MBA providers, including the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, started offering free MOOCs mirroring their MBA content in finance and marketing, the more entrepreneurial among MBA aspirants thought of assembling a collage of such courses to create a DIY MBA. As you might expect, blogs sprouted to update progress. The MBA has been a remarkably resilient academic beast. Most program names and arrangements fall foul of the regular reviews and restructures that sweep through all academic institutions, but the MBA – first offered more than a century ago at Harvard – continues to draw in the crowds. Why do an MBA – the credentialists Having taught MBA students for two decades, I have insights into why students choose the degree, and what they achieve. While the motivations for entering an MBA are varied – they generally coalesce around two core groups. First are the credentialists – drawn by the cache of a degree that is often cited as a gateway to promotion within organisations. For credentialists, MBA programs are still value for money. Generally, a well ranked MBA raises earnings by more than 50%. Even a modest 10% increase in earnings would repay the investment in an MBA in a few short years for most graduates. A key problem for credentialists is that the free MOOC MBA (at least currently) does not lead to any credentials. If the great and good MBA schools have been giving away their content, they have not been giving away their MBAs. Why do an MBA – the transitioners The second...

Faculty Feared Distance Learning Course Would “Cannibalize” Traditional MBA...

The executive director of a leading business school has said that his faculty thought a shorter, cheaper mini-MBA program would “cannibalize” the traditional MBA, highlighting the challenges that business schools face in adapting their content for the modern business climate. It is becoming increasingly difficult to take two years out of work to obtain a full-time MBA degree. Many students are instead turning to flexible and distance learning programs. These formats allow managers to maintain jobs, learning skills and networking in their spare time, often through virtual learning environments. Alan Middleton, executive director of Schulich Business School’s Executive Education Centre, said he faced internal opposition from his Dean and faculty in bringing a shorter program to market: “They saw it as cannibalizing the MBA,” he said. “[They thought that] surely if somebody can get the brand, and something that said ‘mini-MBA’, that would signal that once I’ve got that, why would I need to go on and get a full-time MBA?” Alan said. He said that domestic demand for MBA programs has been flat in North America and Canada, and there was “nervousness” about the “flat market”. Demand from international students has been strong but US business schools rely more on domestic candidates to fill their MBA programs than schools in Europe, which have a higher percentage of foreign students. Alan’s comments come at a time when professionals are turning to distance learning programs, which are often cheaper or free, in huge numbers. Business schools have been forced to come up with more flexible programs to keep their numbers up, but many remain fearful of investing resources in shorter programs which typically charge participants less in tuition than full-time MBA courses. Schulich has since introduced a Mini-MBA program. At...

Stanford Bets Big on Virtual Education

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business took its relationship with online education to the next level on Wednesday, when it announced that a new program for company executives will be delivered entirely by way of the Internet. “I don’t know of anything else like this,” says Audrey Witters, managing director of online executive education at Stanford GSB. “We’ve put together something for a very targeted audience, people who are trying to be corporate innovators, with courses where they all work together. That’s a lot different from taking a MOOC [massive open online course].” Stanford said it will admit up to 100 people to the LEAD Certificate program, which will begin in May 2015 and deliver the “intimate and academically rigorous on-campus Stanford experience” to students from the comfort of their computer screens. In an effort to make students “really feel connected to each other, to Stanford, and to the faculty,” the eight-course program will encourage students to interact through message boards, online chats, Google Hangouts, and phone calls over the course of its yearlong duration, Witters says. “We really want to create the high-engagement, community aspect that everyone who comes to Stanford’s campus feels,” she says. STORY: Steve Ballmer Goes to College: On Campus With Stanford’s New Professor The classes will be offered on a platform supplied by Novoed, a virtual education company started by former Stanford professor Amin Saberi and Stanford Ph.D. student Farnaz Ronaghi. The B-school has invested a significant chunk of its resources in launching the program: About 10 to 15 faculty members are slated to teach the courses. In addition to building a studio where it will film course videos, the school has hired a growing pool of educational technology experts and motion graphic designers to...

Can MOOCs Compete With Traditional MBA Programs?...

Companies want employees with the best credentials, which is why professionals in all fields use continuing education to improve their expertise – and their salaries. For senior managers, an MBA has traditionally been a credential that gives them an edge in the jobs market. However, getting an MBA can take time and money, and fewer companies are willing to help fund employees’ education; too often managers get an advanced degree only to leave for a better job elsewhere. Enter the Mooc. Massive open online courses are a relatively new phenomenon, providing distance learning to people interested in specific subjects. Some institutions believe that Moocs are going to change the way we think about business education. This is because they are generally free and open to anyone who is interested in a subject, without pre-qualification. There are currently more than 1,200 Moocs available with an estimated 10 million registered participants. While Moocs are available in diverse subjects, from advanced calculus to opera, they don’t help students earn college credits, at least not yet. Courses are starting to be recognized by educational institutions. The American Council on Education has already approved five Moocs for university credit, although it’s still up to each institution to decide whether or not to accept them. Moocs are being offered by major universities and business schools, and do give students an opportunity to learn from some of the finest educational institutions in the world. Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, and HEC Paris are among the latest institutions to offer Moocs in business, law, and corporate finance. The advocates for free online learning say that Moocs provide an opportunity to those who can’t afford college to get a better education. However, a 2013 study indicates that...