How Employers Perceive Online MBAs

by Sandy Kahn on

job interview

THE VALUE OF AN ONLINE MBA FOR STUDENTS IS CLEAR

If you are looking to advance your career but don’t have the time or money for classroom study, then an online MBA might be the right choice. There’s increasing sophistication and variety among online and distance-learning options (e.g. blended MBA programs, MOOCs, SPOCs, etc.), which means a growing number of candidates are now pursuing online MBAs. The benefits are attractive…

  1. Get the same curriculum as a classroom program and usually the same faculty. Basically you’re receiving the same quality business education at an accredited and reputable B-school.
  2. You don’t have to relocate, so there’s less disruption to your life and less cost.
  3. Freedom to travel or relocate for work or personal reasons.
  4. You can keep your current job and your current salary.
  5. You can APPLY the learning to your current job. Applied learning gives you an opportunity to make a business impact today and to share real-world learning with classrooms peers versus post MBA or during a short internship.
  6. There’s no urgency to find another job. You’re working, you’ve got a pay packet so all’s good. You can focus and enjoy the MBA learning experience.
  7. Resources at your fingertips. Many of the services you’d get on-campus (e.g. career counseling, library access) are available online. If you have a blended program, a combination of on-campus and online learning, as they do at IE B-school, you can have meetings with career counselors and participate in employer networking events on campus.
  8. The virtual campus is very real. Online MBA classes and workgroups emulate the way real global business projects are undertaken. New, fast-paced, global businesses are moving to virtual team work, hot-desks, flexible work, and online communities to bridge departments/functions across global offices.

Sandy-KhanMost of my team at Google and Microsoft, for example, were based in Europe or the U.S., and I worked with global recruiters. More than 90% of my engagement with my team and internal stakeholders was virtual.

The business world and online MBAs are about effective asynchronous working (self-paced)  and synchronous (real-time) engagement. Employers need people who are comfortable with technology and know how to make an impact (e.g. facilitate decision-making, buy-in, and knowledge sharing), enable capabilities (e.g. helping others to do their jobs more effectively), and get business done fast using collaborative online tools and platforms.

  1. Online MBAs are usually cheaper than on-campus ones. In most cases, B-schools overheads are lower for virtual degrees.
  2. Flexible duration.  Online MBAs can be completed in as few as 2.5 years but can also be extended by several years.

DO EMPLOYERS WANT TO ‘BUY’ ONLINE MBA TALENT FROM B-SCHOOLS?

Ok, I’ve shared 10 reasons as to why there’s increasing demand for online MBAs among students, but if you’re doing an MBA to advance or switch careers with a new employer, then you need to understand the needs and preferences of employers and how recruiters operate with your B-school when it comes to hiring MBA talent.

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