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Are you interested in an Online MBA?

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Would you consider attending an online MBA from a Top 20 School?

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Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2011, 23:34
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Recently UNC Kenan Flagler Business School has started an online MBA program MBA@UNC - one of the first Online MBA programs from a high ranking Top 20 school. (Co-incidentally, we are running their banners on the site) I am curious about your feelings related to Online MBA programs. Would you consider it?

This is not a loaded question or anything anyone asked me to post - my natural curiosity and I am interested in your most "naked" opinion. Is it for you or not?

UNC tapped Beth Flye to be the new admissions director for the online program from Kellogg
They also have the first class of 19 students ready to this fall. Their stats are pretty impressive:
  • Average GMAT score of 700
  • GPA 3.3
  • Tuition cost: $89K (a slight discount from $98K for the full time program)

What do you think? Would you consider attending an online MBA from a top 20 School?


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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 04:43
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I'm attracted to the MBA programs I'm applying to for so many reasons besides academics. Such as the networking opportunities, collaborative environment, access to top recruiters, location, and extracurriculars.

To me, it seems like an online MBA program would lack most, if not all, of those aspects. And there's no way I could justify to myself spending $90K on an MBA that is lacking so much!

So my answer is no, never.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 09:59
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I am definitely considering it. I came into the GMAT preparation process with an online MBA program as my sole option because of irregular work hours (rotating shift, 50-80 hours/weekly).

Is there a way to find other top online MBA programs? I attempted to google a few rankings, but the searched returned rather "biased" hits.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 10:17
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I answered "yes, any". I would consider online because my goal is to complete the MBA part-time anyhow. My career trajectory doesn't necessarily benefit from a full time MBA but the knowledge is a definite plus. Obviously the higher ranked school the better. Currently targeting NYU pt, Cornell pt, Drexel pt, Thunderbird online, IE online.

With this info, I will definitely give UNC a look.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 10:29
restore wrote:
I am definitely considering it. I came into the GMAT preparation process with an online MBA program as my sole option because of irregular work hours (rotating shift, 50-80 hours/weekly).

Is there a way to find other top online MBA programs? I attempted to google a few rankings, but the searched returned rather "biased" hits.


Just based on the information I've gathered, there's no one source. If you are looking for an online program, the following schools have a positive image: IU Kelly, Thunderbird, IE (in Spain), Manchester BS (England).

Poets and Quants has some good info.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 11:09
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Honestly, I feel like the best value online MBAs would be from Non-Top schools. Here's my reasoning:

An online MBA is good for skill acquisition only, it doesn't offer the ancillary MBA experience benefits (read: networking). For this reason, it will be the ultimate "make of it what you will" kind of thing: you can acquire just as many hard skills from a lower-ranked program as from a higher-ranked one if you just put in the effort.

Therefore, you should shop online MBAs primarily on price. At a prestigious school's web-based MBA, you'll likely pay more, but not for a better education. You'll be paying exclusively for the name, without the networking access that usually comes with that name. Sure, you'll be put in a cohort of people you'll know through the internet, and sure you'll have access to the school's career services office and alum community, but nothing will replace the peer-group bonding, intellectual cross-pollinating, etc that happens in an on campus program.

As for the signalling function of a prestigious school on your resume ("wow, this candidate went to X, he must be more competent than others"), I think it is too early in the Online MBA era to tell how they are regarded by hiring committees. Is the signal discounted by not being full-time?
How much of an asterisk does it put next to the fancy name? University of Phoenix is the first name in online degrees, and the first thing most people think of in online education, so I wonder if they aren't tarnishing the whole category.

Basically, a lower-ranked program can offer you everything a higher-ranked program can online, and that which a higher-ranked program offers that a lower-ranked program doesn't can't be gotten online anyway.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 11:59
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I am sure a diploma for an MBA does not specify whether or not it was acquired through attending classes in person or via an online program.

While you do lose out on networking benefits, it is not as necessary if you are currently employed in a corporation with great connections. Personally, the one restriction for career advancement in the next several years will be not having higher education from a well-known school.

Meeting new like-minded people is always an advantage, but not doing so will not put a roadblock on my future. Having an MBA from a school that does not require a GMAT, such as Phoenix, may do exactly that.

Last edited by restore on 04 Aug 2011, 12:10, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 12:00
Expert's post
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Honestly, I feel like the best value online MBAs would be from Non-Top schools. Here's my reasoning:

An online MBA is good for skill acquisition only, it doesn't offer the ancillary MBA experience benefits (read: networking). For this reason, it will be the ultimate "make of it what you will" kind of thing: you can acquire just as many hard skills from a lower-ranked program as from a higher-ranked one if you just put in the effort.

Therefore, you should shop online MBAs primarily on price. At a prestigious school's web-based MBA, you'll likely pay more, but not for a better education. You'll be paying exclusively for the name, without the networking access that usually comes with that name. Sure, you'll be put in a cohort of people you'll know through the internet, and sure you'll have access to the school's career services office and alum community, but nothing will replace the peer-group bonding, intellectual cross-pollinating, etc that happens in an on campus program.

As for the signalling function of a prestigious school on your resume ("wow, this candidate went to X, he must be more competent than others"), I think it is too early in the Online MBA era to tell how they are regarded by hiring committees. Is the signal discounted by not being full-time?
How much of an asterisk does it put next to the fancy name? University of Phoenix is the first name in online degrees, and the first thing most people think of in online education, so I wonder if they aren't tarnishing the whole category.

Basically, a lower-ranked program can offer you everything a higher-ranked program can online, and that which a higher-ranked program offers that a lower-ranked program doesn't can't be gotten online anyway.



Very interesting perspective!
I guess the question I have is how much face to face interaction do you get with the online MBA. I would guess there is probably at least one or two meetings every semester to kick it off in person and then continue online..... or maybe not.

I am also wondering how much in-class interaction is happening between students. I learned quite a bit from my classmates - perhaps much more than from the professors in my program, so I wonder if this aspect comes in to play.

Finally, many decisions, things, projects are born at the water cooler or at the snack table - that's another item that online programs can't offer... at least in the traditional format.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2011, 23:39
Whether to do a full time MBA or Online MBA depends on the priorities, age, reach and value of an individual. Consider two scenarios where each case may apply.

Online MBA
The person is extremely busy or unable to afford the high fees of a full time MBA.
He/She needs an MBA degree either for updating skillset or for the brand.

Full Time MBA
The person can invest time and money into the process.
He/She is a career changer or looking for a promotion.
Interested in updating management concepts in diverse fields or a career changer.

I would leave networking out of this because an MBA isnt going to magically get you tweeting to influential people.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2011, 04:10
restore wrote:
I am sure a diploma for an MBA does not specify whether or not it was acquired through attending classes in person or via an online program.


If you're diploma is the same, I would be that your transcript would show that it was an online course.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 17:04
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I would leave networking out of this because an MBA isnt going to magically get you tweeting to influential people.


It doesn't, but a full time MBA will at least have career events, alumni events, etc. that will make it considerably easier for you to build your network. The people in your class will also be part of your future network as your careers progress and grow.

I think the challenge of networking is a major disadvantage of an online program.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 02:08
I can see how an online MBA would be appropriate for some people. I'm thinking of people who are already in the industry that they want to work in and who simply need the qualification to advance to the next level. I think that for these people, particularly if they're not based in the US, an online MBA would offer a good value proposition. For me personally an online course simply wouldn't have helped me to achieve my goals.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 03:53
MDF wrote:
restore wrote:
I am sure a diploma for an MBA does not specify whether or not it was acquired through attending classes in person or via an online program.


If you're diploma is the same, I would be that your transcript would show that it was an online course.


Is it better to have no MBA then?

According to BusinessWeek, UNC has a top 20 MBA program. Whether it says "online" or not, it's better than having nothing there at all.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 20:22
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MDF wrote:
restore wrote:
I am sure a diploma for an MBA does not specify whether or not it was acquired through attending classes in person or via an online program.


If you're diploma is the same, I would be that your transcript would show that it was an online course.


Is it better to have no MBA then?

According to BusinessWeek, UNC has a top 20 MBA program. Whether it says "online" or not, it's better than having nothing there at all.



Nobody ever looked at my transcript. Perhaps I had employers who did not care but nobody did.
I guess what makes me a bit less eager on it is the price tag. Why does the online MBA cost almost the same as the real one where classes are occupied? I would probably want to clarify that aspect a bit more before enrolling. I assume there has to be a reason but it is not outlined well on the UNC's website.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 23:18
Do online MBA programs require a GMAT? Anyone knows such programs which do not require GMAT/GRE?
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 04:12
wayne26 wrote:
Do online MBA programs require a GMAT? Anyone knows such programs which do not require GMAT/GRE?

There are quite a few that do not require one, most notably University of Phoenix. If you google it, you can find a pretty extensive list.

Whether or not an MBA from such a program is considered "legitimate" is up for debate.
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 20:58
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Unfortunately most of them are pretty easy on application process and structured as businesses more than academic institutions (why create barriers for customers with silly things such as GMAT or Essays?).

On the other hand, UNC seems to be making inroads in this space with the first class having an average GMAT of 700 (that's definitely top 10-20 range), which I salute them for not falling into the quantity over quality but it is an uphill battle since the reputation of online MBA is quite tainted. I think they will need to do quite a bit of education...
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 12:05
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Interesting enough, there is an online info session for anyone interested:

http://onlinemba.unc.edu/admissions/onl ... -sessions/
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2011, 07:26
Hi all,

My name is Harrison and I’m the MBA@UNC community manager. I wanted to introduce myself on this thread and respond to a few of your sentiments.

I recognize that with any new endeavor comes a degree of skepticism. However, a lot of thought and deliberation went into the launch of MBA@UNC. We believed there were people who wanted to study at UNC but couldn’t get to campus because of work, geographic or family reasons, so we took the same MBA program and made it available online. We truly elieve that other top schools will take their programs online and are proud to set that bar high.

MDF wrote:
I'm attracted to the MBA programs I'm applying to for so many reasons besides academics. Such as the networking opportunities, collaborative environment, access to top recruiters, location, and extracurriculars.

To me, it seems like an online MBA program would lack most, if not all, of those aspects.


To date, while many online MBA programs lack most if not all of these aspects, that’s not the case with MBA@UNC. The program is selective, rigorous, and uses the same curriculum and professors as the on-campus program.

Students meet "face to face" with peers and professors during live class sessions via web-cam (think Brady Bunch). During these sessions, professors lead discussions and interact with students like they do in a traditional classroom environment (professors also offer 1:1 office hours as well). Given this level of interaction, natural friendships with peers can form much in the way they do offline. Also, all MBA@UNC students will attend at least 2 immersion sessions where they’ll meet classmates and professors in person.

“One degree doesn’t fit all” and so MBA@UNC program might not be right for everyone. However, for individuals who want to keep their jobs and go to school, or attend a top 20 business school without relocating, MBA@UNC is a new option.

Please feel free to keep the questions coming or send me a private message through the forum. I am more than happy to help answer any questions or steer anyone who is interested, in the right direction. If you’re considering the program, I’d highly recommend attending one of our webinars, or calling our Admissions office at 1.888.9UNC.MBA.

All of our information can be found on our website, onlinemba [dot] unc [dot] edu or through articles shared on our Facebook page.


Cheers,

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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA? [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2011, 23:04
I would consider but only restriction is such a high fees!!
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Re: Are you interested in an Online MBA?   [#permalink] 11 Aug 2011, 23:04
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