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Elite and Near Elite vs Non Elite Online Programs

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Elite and Near Elite vs Non Elite Online Programs [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2007, 06:35
I work in a technical field and I want to switch careers and focus on Corporate Finance.

Due to my remote location, I can only take part in is a mostly Online program. To my knowledge, the US Online MBA programs fall into four rough categories:

Elite: Duke, Indiana
Somewhat Elite: ASU, Penn State, UFlorida, Thunderbird
Non Elite but Accredited: Dallas, UMass, Colorado St.
Non Accredited

My academic background, GMAT, GPA, probably leaves all if not most of these options available. The big question is price: an online MBA from the first two groups of schools costs double that of the Non Elite schools.

If I was attending a full time program, I would have no hesitation in choosing an Elite school and paying the extra tuition. However, I am not sure how much the school name matters for an online program.

In terms of academic quality, do you think there is a major difference between Non Elite and Elite?

Also, considering that I want to change professions, do you think an online degree will help me land my first finance job?

My concern is that recruiters wouldn't take an online degree seriously even if it comes from Duke or Indiana. If so, maybe it makes sense to choose the economy option and get an affordable accredited MBA from one of the non Elite schools.
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Re: Elite and Near Elite vs Non Elite Online Programs [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2007, 13:40
Expert's post
sparky7 wrote:
I work in a technical field and I want to switch careers and focus on Corporate Finance.

Due to my remote location, I can only take part in is a mostly Online program. To my knowledge, the US Online MBA programs fall into four rough categories:

Elite: Duke, Indiana
Somewhat Elite: ASU, Penn State, UFlorida, Thunderbird
Non Elite but Accredited: Dallas, UMass, Colorado St.
Non Accredited

My academic background, GMAT, GPA, probably leaves all if not most of these options available. The big question is price: an online MBA from the first two groups of schools costs double that of the Non Elite schools.

If I was attending a full time program, I would have no hesitation in choosing an Elite school and paying the extra tuition. However, I am not sure how much the school name matters for an online program.

In terms of academic quality, do you think there is a major difference between Non Elite and Elite?

Also, considering that I want to change professions, do you think an online degree will help me land my first finance job?

My concern is that recruiters wouldn't take an online degree seriously even if it comes from Duke or Indiana. If so, maybe it makes sense to choose the economy option and get an affordable accredited MBA from one of the non Elite schools.


sparky7,

You raise some very good questions. The online MBA is gaining in credibility, but it still has some negatives, the lack of internship and networking opportunities being one of them. These opportunities are often important for people like yourself making big career transitions. Since you live in a remote location (??) recruiters are much more likely to cut you some slack for opting for the online program over full-time programs. Of course, if you earned a scholarship at a good full-time school perhaps that would make the full-time program more feasible for you? My gut sense is that given the doubts that some still harbor over online MBAs if you do do the online route you should do it at the best school you can, the one that has a strong brand and whose online program is clearly not an "MBA Lite." Failing that, I would consider full-time MBAs at good schools. The problem with earning an online MBA at a non-elite school is not the online part of it but the fact that some of these schools' brands are strictly limited to their local areas. But if Colorado or Dallas is where you want to work post-MBA then perhaps these are an option for you.

Good luck,

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 [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2007, 08:03
Sorry for interfere the discussion.

I have similar problems with sparky. I work in accounting field and want to switch careers in private equity or management consulting. At this moment I'm in South East Asia. I want to take an online MBA without leaving my current job as well as my family.

I want to try Indiana (Kelley) or ASU (WP Carey). I have mailed them and they said that the transcript/certificate won't say "online" and appears to be the same as regular full-time/part-time MBA. After getting my MBA, I want to work in Europe or in Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, or Singapore).

My main reason for doing online MBA is money. I don't have a lot of money and I don't like loan either. Being online means I still could keep my job to fund my MBA without going into debt. I also think that recruiters probably wouldn't care about my degree, as long as it doesn’t state "online" on my certificate/transcript. Or am I wrong?

Paul, considering my case, do you think is it worth it to apply to Indiana & ASU? What if in the next few years I decided to apply to the PhD program? Do they (PhD admission committee) care much about my degree?

Thanks in advance.






PS: I'm currently applying to somewhat-elite regular MBA program and also scholarship too. But I think I only have very little chance here and I should prepare my backup plan early. :)
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 19:55
Expert's post
redhead wrote:
Sorry for interfere the discussion.

I have similar problems with sparky. I work in accounting field and want to switch careers in private equity or management consulting. At this moment I'm in South East Asia. I want to take an online MBA without leaving my current job as well as my family.

I want to try Indiana (Kelley) or ASU (WP Carey). I have mailed them and they said that the transcript/certificate won't say "online" and appears to be the same as regular full-time/part-time MBA. After getting my MBA, I want to work in Europe or in Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, or Singapore).

My main reason for doing online MBA is money. I don't have a lot of money and I don't like loan either. Being online means I still could keep my job to fund my MBA without going into debt. I also think that recruiters probably wouldn't care about my degree, as long as it doesn’t state "online" on my certificate/transcript. Or am I wrong?

Paul, considering my case, do you think is it worth it to apply to Indiana & ASU? What if in the next few years I decided to apply to the PhD program? Do they (PhD admission committee) care much about my degree?

Thanks in advance.

PS: I'm currently applying to somewhat-elite regular MBA program and also scholarship too. But I think I only have very little chance here and I should prepare my backup plan early. :)


redhead,

Yes, given your situation, if you have a shot at those schools then you should apply to their online programs. You're right that it's probably not obvious to recruiters or even terribly important to them that you earned an online MBA. PhD programs will want an explanation as to why you felt you needed an MBA. If you are unclear, confused, or vague in your explanation it will hurt you. If your rationale is solid, then it probably won't hurt you.

Good luck,

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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