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Distance Learning for Your MBA
In today’s job market, a bachelor’s degree often isn’t enough to give you the edge over other job applicants. However, getting your MBA at a local college or university may be just too much for a full-time breadwinner with a home and family to care for. There are still ways to advance your education, though, and one of the most popular is getting your MBA through distance learning.
Distance learning via internet is a relatively recent phenomenon. Usually, a student will enroll in an online university and take the all of the classes online. Sounds like a great deal, right? There are many pitfalls for the distance learner.
Be sure to choose the right school. As with every other category of business, there are good and there are not so good distance learning programs. Don’t waste your time and money on a school that is not accredited by a nationally recognized agency. Your diploma needs to be from an accredited university or school to help you advance, so do some homework up front and check the credentials of the school. They should be accredited by one of the nationally recognized agencies (New England, Middle States, North Central, Northwest, Western and Southern). These are the valid accreditation agencies.
Verify that the classes are all online. Don’t enroll in a distance learning program across the country, only to realize later that you’ll need to attend one or two sessions in the classroom.
Check out the technical capabilities of the classes. Are the classes available through technology that you can access, like websites, email or bulletin boards? Will you have to use complicated, proprietary software? Steer clear of programs that are not simple and easy to use. After all, isn’t that why you want an online degree program. Just in case there are problems, make sure that technical help is available when you’ll be working.
Look for programs with a proven track record. Even though the idea of internet learning is new, you should look for a program with a good success rate an satisfied graduates. Ask if you can email or talk to some of the graduates, or read recommendations. Ask about the school’s completion rate.
Does the school offer adequate financing? If the school is accredited, they should be able to participate in the federal student loan programs and offer financing to distance learners.
Finally, investigate who is teaching the classes. Do they have experience in online teaching? Managing a virtual classroom is different that teaching the typical college course, so the teachers should be experienced in this type of learning.
Of course, distance learning is not for everyone. In order to succeed at this type of coursework, you will need to be self-motivated and dedicated to getting your MBA. You will need to be organized and disciplined. Procrastinators have a difficult time working at their own pace, because they can always finish an assignment “tomorrow”. Of course, this can turn a 2-3 year program into 6-8 years.
Investigate online distance learning to pursue you MBA, but first, make sure that you are ready to commit to self-directed learning.
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