Online learning has taken the education world by storm. Gone are the days when the only option for students to earn a degree was by being physically present on campus. Academic institutions across the nation are redesigning learning spaces to provide everyone quality education access whenever and wherever they want.
According to a recent study by The Research Institute of America, electronic learning increases the participant’s knowledge retention by as much as 60%. But, understandably, people are wary about moving their classes online. Business administration, for example, is a complex field requiring specific skills and extensive corporate background to succeed, and it is fair to question whether online learning is a suitable method for such a tough field.
So, are online business administration degrees worthwhile? The short answer is yes, they are. According to a recent study, 83% of employees feel that online degree programs provide similar quality education to traditional learning. This article outlines the key advantages of studying online and how to get started.
Online programs are cheaper than traditional degree programs.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average gross annual wage of a full-time American employee is $74,738. So, it is no surprise that getting advanced education is sometimes not on the cards for the typical American worker. However, with online education, costs won’t be an issue since the tuition for an online program is cheaper than the traditional version of the same degree.
Even when this is not the case, online learning can save you money more than tuition fees. You will no longer pay miscellaneous fees for recreational centers and services you do not use. You will also not have to pay for accommodation, even if you live far away from your chosen academic institution. Sometimes, you won’t even pay for textbooks since learning materials are available online.
It is not uncommon for people to think that low cost means terrible quality. However, not everything should be analyzed regarding financial value in higher education because the more important aspect is identifying whether students can receive a valuable education. This is where electronic learning gets the upper hand since it gives students more ways to access information and learn advanced course concepts.
Online learning accommodates your schedule.
Work-life balance is difficult to achieve. When you add school into the mix, credit sometimes goes out of the window. Whether a part-time or full-time student, the online learning experience will give you the credit required to set your priorities.
Although some circumstances require you to attend live demonstrations, discussions, and lecture sessions, several online learning components are asynchronous. This means you can learn at the time of day and in an appropriate location. Time management is easier when you are more in control of your schedule. Online learning allows you to efficiently perform your work duties and maintain an active social life while earning your degree.
In circumstances wherein this is not the case, online learning can offer flexibility in unexpected ways. For example, have you ever wanted to take a business administration degree only to discover that your nearest academic institution does not provide it? This can be extremely aggravating, especially if uprooting your life to migrate to another city is not an option. Taking your business administration degree online won’t be a problem. Depending on your chosen academic institution, online business administration courses are diverse and offer multiple specializations. Studying online allows you to take the business administration course you desire and find an institution that provides a program that aligns with your professional goals.
Finding the right academic institution can be critical to a fruitful business administration career. It’s important to choose a reputable institution to ensure you are getting the best value out of your degree.
Consider whether the Association accredits the course to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Studying online ensures you can pick an academic institution with the necessary accreditations to land your dream job. Doing so increases your advancement opportunities and helps you find the most suitable jobs for your skills and abilities rather than settling for work unrelated to your degree.
Online programs promote self-paced learning.
Business administration programs cover the knowledge areas required for business, such as supply chain management, finance, accounting, sales, marketing, human resources, and organizational strategy. The challenge is mastering each of these disciplines and their cross-functional integration. What makes it even more challenging is traditional college instructors often work on a set schedule.
Traditional programs might discuss a complex business topic with the class, give an assignment, and quiz students the next day. A new issue is introduced after a week or so, and the previous one can sometimes become an afterthought. This can be a recipe for disaster since every student has a different learning style. There will always be students who understand a business concept faster, while others might require more time to digest information and use it in real-world scenarios.
A student’s learning style significantly affects their ability to maximize the delivery model. By opting for online business school, you can customize your learning environment to suit your studying requirements for more focused learning. This can include using study techniques that do you, eliminating distractions, and buying tools such as planners to enhance your learning experience.
Additionally, online programs usually have small class sizes. This allows you to gain specific and personalized teaching while benefiting from regular and comprehensive feedback and marking. You can become more involved in classes and take more out of your education by asking questions about topics you need help understanding. This added attention also benefits teachers by allowing them to meet each student’s needs. This is common for online learning, where significantly higher achievers wish to be challenged.
Moreover, online learning also allows for immediate feedback. Rather than waiting days or weeks after examinations, you can get a constant evaluation from your teachers. Receiving feedback is so important because it lets students identify their weaknesses and allocate enough time to adjust for an optimal learning experience.
Online learning allows for a broader global business perspective.
Cultivating a global business perspective is no longer optional in today’s competitive economic climate. As the global economy drives technology, communication, and travel advancements, business leaders must penetrate new customer segments and industries and generate new revenue streams beyond their local markets. Adopting a global outlook empowers business leaders to gain expansion opportunities and unlock insightful ideas from different locations to improve operational strategies.
However, understanding the nuances of other markets and deciphering the economy’s effect when there are cultural differences is not a walk in the park. This is because most business leaders do not share trade secrets with competitors, so discussions about global expansion are often brushed aside. Students in online business administration programs come from across the US and the world, meaning class discussions will feature an extensive range of perspectives.
This enhances your cross-cultural understanding and makes it easier to network with business leaders globally. In today’s constantly evolving economic climate, going global must accompany your ability to conduct sensitive and respectful business to the unique differences woven into intercultural communication. Lacking an understanding of the local culture and its impact on consumer demand and decision-making can lead to failure and significant expense.
Studying business administration online lets you initiate discussion of the different local business practices and develop strategies to penetrate your chosen market. You can explore how business leaders operate overseas and prepare yourself for a global workforce. When exposed to unique and broader perspectives, you can determine innovative ways to reduce errors and miscommunication and improve efficiency.
Online programs ensure job security.
Business leaders are needed worldwide regardless of their locations. They provide direction and vision, motivate and inspire others, and establish an environment conducive to success by promoting collaboration and communication among team members.
Organizational leaders must update their knowledge constantly to stay on top of trends and remain competitive in a cutthroat industry. Since online learning does not interfere with their busy schedules, business leaders can learn innovative business concepts required to take their organizations to the next level without undermining their duties. Doing so ensures job security and makes it easier to facilitate a seamless career change.
Although business administration is a stable profession, not everything is inevitable with the current marketing conditions. The last thing you want is to get laid off and be replaced by someone else because you don’t have the skills to spearhead more innovative projects. When you constantly learn, you demonstrate your dedication and passion for helping your organization become a global leader.
Online programs provide personalized learning.
As mentioned above, the problem with traditional learning is that it is more standardized. While standardizing education can help students, it can sometimes be a nuisance. It’s important to consider that students learn in different ways. You may have heard about the zone of proximal development, where every student has several abilities they can attain with assistance. Such skills are regarded as proximal, considering the individual needs guidance to nurture their ability to perform them.
The best way to teach these skills is through personalized learning. Unlike traditional education, online learning provides a direct pipeline to the instructor. This lets you tailor your knowledge based on your goals and objectives. For example, online learning makes it easier to ask questions to further your education without making you feel uncomfortable for fear of feeling stupid.
Since you communicate directly with your instructor, you can ask questions that would otherwise be left unanswered, enhancing your learning opportunity. Moreover, learning online enables you to access content unlimited times. Reviewing course materials at a desired pace lets you understand a concept that needs to be clarified initially.
How long does getting an online degree take?
With all these benefits in mind, you will wonder how long it takes to get an MBA online. Although business degree programs vary, getting an online MBA from an established academic institution such as St. Bonaventure University takes roughly two years since students will dig deep into core subjects such as management, marketing, accounting, and finance. This will be longer if you are a part-time MBA student taking fewer classes each semester.
However, depending on your chosen academic institution, you can opt for an accelerated MBA program, which takes as little as 12 months. Depending on the program, such an option can be the right choice if you know the career you want to specialize in. Furthermore, an accelerated MBA program can offer flexibility, making it easier for students to land a full-time job sooner than expected.
Tips to Getting an MBA Degree Online
Only some people are bold enough to return to school to earn an MBA degree; only some people are brave enough to carve a new career path for themselves. The truth is going back for an MBA is challenging. While working towards an MBA online, you must expect to take on different projects and assignments and encounter some challenges.
Online MBA courses focus on business principles, finance, and accounting, which means proctored examinations are standard. In some online academic institutions, you will be tasked with a capstone experience, such as completing a thesis, a research project, or passing several exams. Regardless, establishing a comprehensive plan for earning an MBA online is essential in overcoming barriers to success.
Set clear and measurable goals.
If you are working on an MBA, there is a good chance you want to improve your career opportunities and current living situation. Setting goals and having a comprehensive understanding of the most appropriate path to achieving them is vital in completing your degree. Start asking yourself how quickly you must finish your virtual learning to stay within budget or how long it will take to get the necessary training. Once you get these answers, you can focus more on your goals, reduce stress, and choose the right MBA course for personal and professional purposes.
Build a support network.
Going back for an MBA online comes with different challenges. So, you must have others to lean on and motivate you to succeed. Discuss the commitment required with your family and employers, and identify ways they can support your goals. Considering other people’s inputs may bring to life ideas you did not explore before.
Pick the right educational institution.
Picking the right MBA degree is as critical as choosing the right academic institution. But how do you know if you chose the right university—or how do you define the right educational institution in the first place? Like the course offered by St. Bonaventure University, the ideal course focuses on the student’s satisfaction; learning and absorbing information is the best way to prepare you for a career.
Begin by checking in with forums or students on social media who go to the university you would like to attend. Network and connect to gain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the course and what will be expected of you. You must also evaluate the practical-to-written work ratio, as this impacts the amount of the instructor’s attention; the more practical expertise you gain, the better you will understand your topics. Online degree programs typically offer access to staff knowledge, lectures, and one-to-one meetings to help you in your practical training.
Working towards becoming an effective business leader
Business leaders must learn to delegate responsibilities, deal with interpersonal conflicts, manage unexpected issues, and develop a company vision as the world undergoes digital transformation. Studying business administration will equip business leaders with the skills and abilities to overcome challenges and thrive in today’s challenging economic climate.