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Is Online MBA worth it?

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Online MBA, Masters, GMAT, GRE, Management, Post graduation, College

The current advances in technology have impacted every area of our lives and education is not left out. In recent years, the number of online MBA programs has greatly soared. The current COVID-19 outbreak can also be considered as a factor in the flourishing of distant studies.

So is an online MBA is worth it? In comparison with regular on-campus MBA study, does online MBA have the same relevance? Is it well accepted as a regular MBA? Is the certificate taken seriously by employers?

Here is all you need to know about online MBA and its worth.

What is an online MBA really

Online MBA is a distance learning package that is usually self-paced and taken over the internet. Many online MBA programs have affiliations with known business schools while several others are purely digital degrees. In the US, there are over 300 online MBA programs.

Top Schools with Online MBA

According to the U.S. News ranking, here are the top 10 online MBA programs in the United States of America. All these programs are accredited by the Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The courses are self-paced with most recorded in the institution's academic studio.

1. Carnegie Mellon University

2. Kenan-Flagler, University of North-Carolina

3. Indiana University, Bloomington

4. University of South Carolina

5. University of Florida

6. Arizona State University

7. Pennsylvania State University

8. University of Texas-Dallas

9. Rice University

10. Lehigh University

Is an online MBA the same as a regular MBA?

There is a considerable amount of differences between a regular MBA and an online one. The first and most obvious difference is the medium of learning in both cases. An online MBA is technology-driven as lectures are attended over the internet. Another dissimilarity is the duration of the programs. Online MBA takes within a year and 2 years for completion with regular MBA taking up to 2 years or even more depending on the program. Some part-time programs can take up to 4 years to complete, while some accelerated ones can be done in a year or 18 months.

Below is a table to summarise the major difference between an online MBA and a regular on-site MBA:

Online MBA

Regular MBA

Medium of Learning

Over the Internet

In Campus


1-3 years

1-5 years depending on the program.

Pace of Learning


Strict Curriculum


Limited over the Internet.

Face to face interaction with peers, alumni, faculty, industry leaders.

GMAT/GRE Requirement

Lower score or exempted in 50% of cases.

Over 90% of programs require competitive scores.

Advantages of Online MBA

There are several pros to taking an MBA program in the comfort of your room over the internet. One such advantage is that it gives so much flexibility. An online MBA program offers the chance for a student to take the class at his pace. This allows many people to keep working while studying. It is well suited for people that seek career advancement where they are currently working. The chance to work and study is particularly good for students that may not be able to afford the financial burden of full-time study. Another comparative advantage of an online MBA is that many do not require a GMAT/GRE score. Whereas, many that do require seek averagely lower scores than the normal on-campus programs. Due to increased years of working experience by many prospective online MBA students, they can easily get a GMAT/GRE waiver.

Is the Online MBA taken seriously by employers?

One of the most important factors in considering an online MBA is the employability of the certificate holders. MBA taken from a recognized business school either online or on-site is regarded by employers. It is very important to take an online MBA from an accredited school. This is because employers look out for the accreditation of the school.

Asides from the accreditation, how known is the school or the online MBA program? Employers will not reckon with a degree from an alien institution. There are well-known institutions that offer online MBA programs. Employers do take online MBA seriously when it is from a known and accredited institution.

Should you pursue an Online MBA?

What you wish to gain from an MBA should be your decision criteria whether to take an online MBA or not. If you desire to gain networks and increased connection with an MBA, you do not need to consider an online MBA. You sure need to be on campus to connect with other students and build your network. If there is a sure channel for career advancement at your current workplace and an MBA certificate is the only missing link. It is good to go for an online MBA to ascend the career stairs. It is expedient to ensure that any online MBA program you will do is accredited and well recognized.


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