The (Online) B-School Advantage By Alexa Apallas
In a tight job market, job seekers need to find ways of making themselves attractive to employers. And in this “jobless economic recovery” where more and more jobs are being shipped overseas (many call center and IT jobs may be lost to India forever), an advanced degree offers some protection against being outsourced.
By earning an MBA degree, candidates can demonstrate: their willingness to learn, their entrepreneurial drive, and their commitment to a career in business — qualities that most employers are eager to find. And holders of an MBA gain skills that can help them launch a new business enterprise or move several rungs up corporate ladder.
An MBA degree offers monetary benefits, as well. According to a 2003 survey by Salary.com, those with a professional degree earn an average of $81,000 a year, compared with $43,000 for those who have only a bachelor’s degree. BusinessWeek’s 2004 survey of 30 MBA programs turned up similar figures. Starting salaries for graduates ranged from $74,000 at low end to $100,000 at high end, for an average of $84,031.
But despite many benefits that earning an MBA can bring — increased job security, a higher salary, better business skills, prestige and better job qualifications — some potential students have been reluctant to enroll in traditional B-schools. The Graduate Management Admissions Council found that 78 percent of business schools suffered a drop in applications to their traditional full-time programs for 2003-2004 school year. Tuition has been rising across board, and adult students are finding it difficult to take on additional debt while at same time giving up their full-time jobs. They may also have family obligations or other commitments that would make it difficult for them to enroll in a full-time, two-year program, especially if they would have to relocate to do so. That is why online MBA programs have been increasing in popularity.
For many prospective students, online interactive programs are an enticing option. Students learn at their own pace, so they can continue to earn income from a full-time job and maintain a family life while taking classes when it’s convenient for them. They don’t have to travel to campus or arrange for childcare. They can even receive financial aid, just as they would with a traditional program. With online MBA programs students receive all of benefits of traditional instruction, with none of drawbacks. Case in point: Regis University’s online MBA programs.
Regis University is a traditional, ground based school that offers four MBA degree programs 100 percent online. And not only is Regis University regionally accredited, but U.S. News and World Report rated them in same category as Ivy League schools: in top-tier. So as you can see, students who choose an online education instead of going on campus do not have to sacrifice quality of education for convenience.