Making the decision to go back to school can be daunting. Is it the right time? Can you afford it? Will you be able to keep up? There are a million questions to ask yourself. Once you finally find the answers and decide it’s time, you have to decide on a program. Thankfully, you’ve come to us. Here are 4 strategies for choosing the perfect online MBA programs.
1. Do a background check on the program
The first thing you should do when considering any program is looking into their accreditation. This is your way of doing a background check of sorts. A private accrediting body grants a stamp of approval to signify each school’s accreditation. Be sure that the accrediting body that granted your program’s accreditation is recognized by either the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It should be very easy to figure out a school’s accreditation and if you don’t see it listed in an obvious place, ask.
For more information on accreditation, check out our complete guide!
2. Be conscious of name recognition
It stands to reason that a better school would be better known. But, that doesn’t always hold true when it comes to higher education programs. Some big-name online-only schools–like the University of Phoenixes of the world–aren’t always as rigorous as schools that have both online and on-campus programs.
Choosing a school that has a good reputation for its on-campus programming is a good way to gauge what their reputation will be for online learning.
3. Use the fact that you’re not tied to a location to your advantage
If you have the grades and ability, attending a more-rigorous school that you’re nowhere near isn’t a bad choice. For example, Harvard recently launched HBX, its online business school option.
If Harvard isn’t your dream, that doesn’t mean you should stick to colleges or universities that are located near you. The simple fact that you’re going to school online means that you have the ability to take classes from literally anywhere in the world. Look into the colleges you’ve heard good things about or always considered to be “good schools” and pick from them.
4. Consider the amount of “hands-on” experience you’ll get
This sounds like a strange one when it comes to choosing online MBA programs. But, hands-on experience is incredibly important to learning. Although you may never set foot on campus or meet your classmates, you can bet that you’ll be working on a multitude of group projects during your tenure as an MBA student. You can also bet on the fact that future employers will take into consideration the amount of experience you have in leadership roles and in a work environment when making hiring decisions.
Check into what opportunities you will have to complete internships or receive credit for the work that you are probably doing alongside your studies. The more experience you can show alongside your degree, the better you will be set up to enter the job market after you graduate.