How to Choose the Best Online MBA Degree Program and Improve Your Career Path
Obtaining a graduate degree is one of the best ways to improve a person’s job prospects, and salary prospects, and become an expert in their future career. With so many graduate degree programs to choose from, which one is the best one for incoming students? Is an MBA worth it for people that want to work in business and finance, or even become entrepreneurs? Below are some things to consider for students that want to pursue an online MBA and want to find the best online MBA degree program.
Choose an MBA Program that Fits your Career Goals
Master of Business Administration programs can help a wide range of career professionals improve their job prospects. However, students need to understand the specific skills they want to learn and choose a program that fits those goals.
Many schools offer concentrations within their MBA degree programs, so students can gain in-depth knowledge on this specific topic. For instance, the FGCU Online Masters of Business Administration program allows students to choose concentrations in management leadership or even data analytics. Other concentrations for MBA Programs include:
- International business
- Information technology
- Cyber security
- Law enforcement and security
Consider the Cost of your MBA Program
The average cost to attend and complete an MBA program ranges from almost $55,000 to over $162,000. Fortunately, online MBA programs save students money since:
- There is less money to spend on travel expenses
- Less money is spent on parking fees
- Less money is to pay for a babysitter or daycare (for working parents)
- Students can work full-time or part-time while enrolled in their program
- Tuition can be lower for online programs
- There is no money spent on fees to sleep in a dormitory
Although students do save money on these expenses, it’s important to research other costs of an MBA program and determine if it’s within a budget. Some programs offer students the option of paying for their coursework as they go, while others require payment upfront.
In addition, other MBA programs offer financial assistance such as scholarships, financial aid, and acceptance of the GI Bill for veterans.
Consider the Admission Requirements
Different MBA programs will have different admission requirements for their programs. Below are some admission requirements that are typical for an online MBA.
Specific Bachelor’s Degree
Some colleges might require students to hold a Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, economics, or another related field. Other programs might not require a degree in any specific field but will need students to complete other courses, known as pre-requisites, before enrolling in their MBA program. Such courses can include:
- Financial accounting
- Corporate finance
- Managerial accounting
GMAT or GRE Scores
In addition, other MBA programs might require scores from tests known as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These test scores will be used to determine your eligibility to enter a program. Fortunately, many online programs for MBA degrees waive these test scores. Not all programs waive the GMAT, so look carefully at the program requirements before you opt out of taking the GMAT or GRE.
Some online MBA programs will require students have relevant work experience before applying. Work experience can vary, ranging from only two to three years experience to over 10 years of working experience or more. If you have little work experience, consider programs that offer online MBA opportunities to students with little to no work experience.
Choose an Online MBA Program with Flexible Scheduling
The beauty of online MBA programs is they are incredibly flexible in terms of scheduling. Some programs offer hybrid courses, meaning part of the teaching will be online and the other part will be online.
Other courses are synchronous, meaning you will need to attend virtual meetings, while others are asynchronous and will allow you to complete coursework at your own pace. Evening and day programs, as well as full-time and part-time programs, are also available. Speak with the program director or counselor to determine if the program fits your busy schedule. Chances are, an online MBA program is the best choice for busy parents or working students.