Students in online MBA programs often have full-time jobs and significant life obligations. They rely on university resources for career services and mentorship programs.
Online MBA students also rely on virtual learning technologies, including video conferencing, to connect with professors and peers. Some programs also offer synchronous courses that take place in real-time.
What to Expect
When you enroll in an MBA program, it will likely take up to two years to complete. Unlike residential programs, online MBAs allow you to study from anywhere worldwide and keep working as you progress through the program.
While there are advantages to pursuing an online MBA, many prospective students need more time to quit their jobs and relocate to graduate school. Fortunately, many online MBA programs have adjusted their course schedules and curriculums to promote interaction with professors and peers.
Look for programs that offer synchronous sessions or a virtual classroom where classmates and instructors can meet in real-time to discuss coursework. Some of these programs also host networking events to connect students and alumni. Also, consider whether the school offers field study or international immersion residency opportunities. This experience can bolster your resume and allow you to build relationships with potential employers in a different city.
Students in Virginia MBA programs online have the opportunity to build their business knowledge and networks through coursework, but they also have the flexibility to study on their own time. This allows working professionals to keep their jobs and pursue an MBA without taking time off from their careers.
Some programs offer a hybrid curriculum incorporating face-to-face sessions, internships, and networking weekends into the coursework.
It would help if you first considered your goals and motivation to find the right online program. Also, look for the coursework offered, including marketing (which teaches how to develop product policy, pricing, and branding), accounting (which helps students analyze financial statements), and leadership.
Online MBA students have several career options, including starting their businesses. They can also seek advancement within their current company. Many MBA programs partner with companies and may host job fairs or other networking events to help students connect.
While online MBAs offer flexibility, they can still be rigorous. Students must dedicate much time to classwork and be self-disciplined to manage work, family, social life, and study.
The admissions requirements for an MBA program typically include a bachelor’s degree, professional work experience, and letters of recommendation, though those vary by school. Some programs require orientation sessions or residency periods; others offer synchronous classes on set days and times. Admissions committees will also review your GMAT or GRE scores, though waivers are common for older students with more work experience. In some cases, applicants can take courses part-time and earn an online MBA in less than two years.
When choosing an online MBA program, look for one with a strong faculty presence. Ask each school whether faculty design the curriculum and deliver classes, and ask about their professional experiences and research interests. Top programs offer synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, and students can choose which option best suits their schedules.
Many online MBA students are older than their residential counterparts and have significant career experience. That’s why acceptance requirements may be less strict, focusing on an applicant’s work history and professional goals rather than their GMAT score.