MBA stands for Master of Business Administration, and is a popular option for grad students because it can be applied in many different industries.
There are MBA program options for nearly every lifestyle and preference. Consider your own home and work situations, and choose the option that best suits you from the list below.
Admission requirements for an MBA program can vary greatly by school, but usually include:
A traditional MBA offers a broad business education, with no focus on a specific sub-field. If you choose an MBA specialization, you’ll focus more on that sub-category. In some situations, employers may show preference for candidates with more focused backgrounds.
Among the most popular specialized MBA programs are:
When choosing a specialized MBA program, consider your experience and your career goals. Talk with managers and executives in your company in various roles, and decide which direction you'd like to head. A specialized MBA is usually the start of a long and increasingly successful career in your field of choice, so make sure your experience is substantial enough for you to be sure that your specialty is where you see yourself staying for a while. Regardless of your choice, your specialized MBA positions you for longstanding career success.
Accreditation is important when pursuing an MBA. It ensures that an institution or program meets the quality standards of an accrediting body. There are three major agencies that specialize in accrediting business schools:
When selecting an online MBA program, it is essential to attend an accredited school as it will allow you to learn from top instructors and collaborate with high-quality students in a virtual environment as well as make you more marketable to potential employers.
Business schools may offer online distance learning MBA programs to accommodate students who already work professionally or live far away from the school they want to attend. An online MBA program incorporates similar material as that offered through campus-based programs. The difference in the experience is that assignments, lectures and interaction with professors take place online rather than in person.
Students will find both advantages and disadvantages to distance learning. Some advantages include:
Disadvantages surface with online programs as well. Online students occasionally encounter computer fatigue in online studies, distractions and lack of self-discipline in studying, lack of social interaction with other students in classroom settings, and missed professional networking opportunities.
If you are employed, want to advance your career and have family obligations, part-time MBA programs can help keep a flexible schedule. The immediate benefits in enrolling in campus or online part-time MBA programs vary.
For those who need financial assistance in pursuing their part-time MBA, many schools offer Federal grants, loans and scholarships, and students may also qualify for aid from business associations or organizations in their field.
Because of the flexibility of accredited online MBA programs, coursework can be completed in two to five years. Financial aid in the form of government grants and loans are available for some online programs, but tend to be more limited. Scholarships are usually restricted to those awarded by private donors or the institutions themselves. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if your online program makes you eligible for need-based student aid. Private loans, such as those offered through Sallie Mae, are also available for some online programs.