There is no doubt that a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, is more than a feather in your proverbial hat. An MBA opens up doors to greater success and tells employers that you are serious about your career and your own value. Of course, there are usually two rather substantial hurdles to achieving your dreams of an MBA – time and money.
To complete an MBA program, you dedicate yourself to attending classes full-time, or nine to twelve semester hours, for two or three years. If you attend only part-time your program will take much longer. Naturally it would be ideal to attend classes full-time, but to do so, you will most likely have to take a leave of absence or resign your current position. This essentially eliminates your tuition funds.
University tuition is going up. It’s moving faster than inflation and some quality MBA programs cost more than a standard bachelor’s degree. There are grant programs and student loans that can help bridge the gaps and some individuals are lucky enough to have their companies foot the bill. But to take advantage of that option, you must continue working while attending classes and sign a letter of commitment for a specific period of time in order to qualify for partial or full reimbursement.
Online MBA Degrees
If you are looking to complete your MBA in as short a time as possible, but need or want to continue working, online MBA degrees are your best choice. An online MBA program offers the same or similar coursework as traditional MBA programs, and many are extensions of prominent universities that have decided to offer an online component to their business programs. You simply take most or all of your classes online.
The online MBA degree does not necessarily cost less than the traditional program, although some do, but taking classes online allows you to continue working making the costs more bearable. Your income might be enough to cover the cost of tuition, and if you are fortunate enough to be employed in a company which values higher education, your continued employment might mean your degree is free or greatly reduced thanks to your tuition being reimbursed.
MBAs are not easy. If a degree was simple to get, it would hold no value for those that do work through the requirements and earn it. When you are selecting an online MBA degree program, find one that is highly reputable and challenging. An MBA is designed to test and enhance you knowledge of the business world, accounting, and economic marketplace. If you are not challenged, you will not be learning as much as possible.
If you are planning on working full-time on a MBA, be sure to allot yourself time to study and complete various assignments. This might mean you lighten your course load each semester, but pick up the missing classes over the summer, essentially going to school year-round until you are finished. While it might be nice to have summers off, even if you’re still working, it is even nicer to have the MBA completed and working for you in terms of prestige and salary.