An MBA certifies you as a master in business administration and is one of the most prestigious business degrees that you can have. Having an MBA gives you the opportunity to advance your career and increase your salary.
In 2006, MBA graduates expected an average base salary of $92,360 with an average signing bonus of $17,511. Their undergraduate counterparts who earned a bachelor’s in business administration expected to an average of $40,976 per year, according to College Journal. In terms of salary expectations, an MBA is certainly an asset.
Although the statistics don’t differentiate between starting salaries for those attending traditional brick-and-mortar college and online schools, an MBA is an MBA. If you earn an MBA online at a reputable school, it’s likely that your starting salary will be comparable to that of other MBA graduates.
Cost of Getting an Online MBA
In a March 2006 survey conducted by GetEducated.com, the cost of earning an MBA online ranged from $5,600 to $115,000. With such a wide range in the cost, you can expect online MBA prices to vary from one school to another.
When it comes to online MBAs, higher costs don’t necessarily mean a better education. However, it is some of the most reputable schools that have the highest price tags. The cost at Duke University, for example, is $115,000. As you consider schools, take note of the costs, but also the reputation of the school and the education you’ll be receiving.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are two options for earning an online MBA – taking advantage of the distance education programs of traditional colleges or attending a cyberspace-only college.
Distance education programs give you the opportunity to earn an MBA from a reputable traditional institution while affording you the flexibility to earn your degree from a remote location.
If you are already in the workforce full-time, the constraints of your job might keep you from attending a school to earn your MBA. Online MBA options allow you to continue to meet the demands of your job and earn your MBA at the same time.
Earning an online MBA takes a significant investment on your part. Not only do you have to pay the cost of attending an online school, you’ll also have to think about the time you have to invest in earning the degree. As you make a decision about earning an online MBA, consider the return you will receive on the investment. Most graduates begin to see tangible benefits of earning their online MBA three to five years after graduation.
When you earn your MBA online versus in a traditional business school, you lose the interaction with professors and other students. It becomes more difficult to build a network with your colleagues. These networks are invaluable, often lasting throughout your career. If you are able to create relationships in the cyber-classroom environment, you can make up for some of the lost interaction.
Choosing an Online MBA School
It’s important to attend a reputable online business school. Since there are so many diploma mills out there, recruiters are rightfully suspicious of MBAs that have been earned through an online school.
Business Week Online reports that there are more fake online MBA programs that there real ones, making it easy for consumers to get scammed and harder for them to land a position using the fake degree as credentials. The website also reports that recruiters are a little tougher on online MBA graduates. They tend to look for strong resumes along with an explanation for attending an online school.
Accreditation is another issue that you must take into account as you consider which online business school you want to attend. Part of your school’s reputation rests on the accreditation agency. Make sure the agency that accredits your school is one that is nationally recognized. The U.S. Department of Education has a list of nationally recognized accreditation agencies.
Do your homework about each online business school that you’re considering. Ask the admissions office for information about the success of their graduates. Do an internet search on the school to see what other people are saying about it.
In the long run, the rewards of getting an online MBA can definitely outweigh the costs. It’s up to you do to the necessary due diligence to make sure you’re choosing the best school for you.