What’s the Difference Between an Online and Traditional Business Degree Program?

online MBA vs traditional MBAMany students considering a business degree are now thinking about pursuing one through an online program.

As you might expect, an online business degree program offers many benefits for students. Specifically, it offers a lot of flexibility and convenience that matches up the busy life many people lead.

This can allow people to obtain their degree on a schedule that makes sense to them and without having to coordinate travel to campus. But are there any big drawbacks or differences between obtaining your online MBA vs traditional MBA?

In this article, we’ll look at an online MBA vs traditional MBA, the differences that exist and how you, as a student, can deal with them.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA: The curriculum is basically the same

Probably the most important thing to know about obtaining a BBA online versus attending a traditional program is that the curriculum–what you’ll actually learn–is essentially the same. Business degrees, in particular, tend to be well-suited for transformation into online courses. Most of the subjects covered–accounting, finance, marketing, management, etc–can be studied independently with relative ease.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a BBA is really just a bedrock for most graduates. It provides a base level of knowledge about business workings. Some specific training in a certain area of focus. Ultimately, most students will need to do coop programs or internships to get real-life work experience.

Most BBA programs are about helping you speak the language. It’s still up to you to learn how to apply that in a meaningful way.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA: Students need to be more accountable for their time

One drawback of pursuing your BBA online–or any online degree, really–is that it will be up to you to learn how to manage and budget your time to stay on top of your coursework.

While the coursework tends to be more flexible in online courses, there are still often deadlines and hard dates for certain assignments, quizzes, or exams. But you don’t have the benefit of a set weekly class time to keep you in a rhythm–it’s up to you to budget time each week to work on your classes and make sure that you stay on track.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA: Interaction with groups may take more coordination

In a traditional college program, you’re in class with peers every day. You can make friends and form groups. You can schedule time before or after class to meet up and work on group projects.

In an online program, you’ll need to take some initiative to find and pair with your classmates. Group projects are often a big part of any BBA program, so prepare to work side by side with other students–and be willing to set time aside to work together!

Don’t be shy. Other students are looking for a partner, too.

Students need to work harder to make connections

For many students, the biggest reward for obtaining a business degree is the list of contacts that you make along the way.

Who knows if the woman in your Intro to Marketing class might go on to become the CEO of Visa. Networking is important–and it can help you in your career for decades to come.

In an online course, there are usually ways to interact with other students. But it might require a little extra effort, like taking the initiative to reach out to someone or posting frequently on a course discussion board.

You can get much of the same networking benefit from an online program, but you might need to work a bit to make sure you’re making meaningful connections.

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