What Percentage of Students Earn their MBA through Online vs Traditional Programs?

The number of students earning an MBA degree online increased dramatically in recent years. A large portion of those students attending online programs are those currently enlisted in the military. They find that their classes move with them and that they can take classes even if they’re thousands of miles away from a traditional campus. Online MBA programs now offer a number of benefits for students of all ages and backgrounds.

Benefits of Online MBA Programs

MBA programs usually offer little in the way of flexibility. While some graduate schools do offer weekend and night classes, many students find that they cannot work those classes in around their schedules. Online programs let students know the deadlines and due dates of assignments right upfront, which helps them find time to work on their schoolwork. Online MBA programs are usually more affordable than traditional classes as well. A traditional MBA program may charge tuition costs of $20,000 or more each year, with students spending at least two years in the program. An online program might cost $10,000 or less each year.

How Employers View Online Students

The way that employers view students earning an MBA degree online changed in recent years. As more students learned about the hazards and dangers associated with for-profit schools, they looked at nonprofit institutions of higher learn. Nonprofit schools generally offer more in the way of education for students. These schools have accreditation from regional organizations and national bodies that ensure students learn the same things and develop the same skills that they would in a traditional program. Harvard, Yale, the University of California and dozens of other recognized schools across the country now offer accredited online MBA programs.

What to Look For

There are two things you want to look for when enrolling in an online MBA program: the accreditation of that program and whether it’s a nonprofit or for-profit college. For-profit colleges often give students course credit for the work they do or the jobs they had in the past, and these schools may also charge one flat rate for everything you need to finish the program. Accreditation is just as important too. You generally want to look for a school accredited by one of the top regional or national organizations. Those organizations check back with the school every year and look at a number of factors to ensure the colleges better prepare students for the future.

Percentage of Online MBA Students

According to Erin Zlomek, approximately 25 percent of online MBA students enrolled at the University of North Carolina and 20 percent of students taking online MBA classes from Indiana University are military students. Zlomek also believes that the number of military students enrolled in those programs will only grow in the coming years. Many schools report that the number of online students is between 500 and 1,000, while the number of traditional students is less than half those figures. Graduate schools have limited space for traditional students and remain selective about applicants, but those same schools have unlimited room for online students.

The number of online students in some schools is double the number of students taking classes on campus. With more and more students earning an MBA degree online, the views of employers have changed and more students have benefited from taking those classes online.