Category: MBA Programs
Gone are the days when a degree earned online was perceived to be less meritorious than that earned on-campus. More and more companies are recognizing the worth of an MBA acquired through a distance-learning program; some are even sponsoring their employees to take such courses from accredited institutions.
General Motors pays for its employees to earn an MBA through an online curriculum framed by the New York Institute of Technology and the Cardean University. Employees of Ingersoll-Rand are offered a customized online MBA program by the Indiana University while Capella University offers tuition discounts to employees of Fortune 500 companies like Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, and Wells Fargo for putting the school on "preferred provider" lists.
Enrollments at online MBA programs have soared to an all-time high, from almost nil 10 years ago to 125,000 today, while applications to traditional business schools have dropped considerably. This is because most people have reached a point in their career where they feel that an additional degree will come in handy, but cannot afford to take time off exclusively for study.
An online degree is manna from the heavens for such a crowd. They can spend a few hours a week "at school", and use free time between work and family commitments to access course readings, video clips and class discussion boards through websites. They can participate in online discussions and return tests within certain deadlines. More than 150 accredited business schools now offer online versions of their curricula, says the Get Educated website, which tracks online education.
While critics may harp that online programs do not grant access to powerful alumni networks or to the most prestigious consultancies and investment banks, respect for these degrees has increased. "Our perception is that an online education from a reputable college or university is as valuable as the degree offered on-ground," says Alan Fisher, manager of corporate extended education at Intel, which pays for employees to earn MBAs through various Web-based programs. "We don't differentiate between the two. Anybody who says online MBAs don't work is just fooling themselves."