Myth: Online MBA classes aren’t as challenging as those for traditional MBA programs.
Reality: There are several online MBA programs that have the same rigorous curriculum as their online counterparts. In addition, an online MBA requires you to have more discipline. The reality of online MBA programs is that no one is there to make sure that you participate in class and turn in assignments on time. That means that you need to be more of a self-starter than you would if you took an on-campus MBA program.
Myth: You need to be tech savvy in order to get an online MBA.
Reality: While this may have been true when the first online MBA programs were offered, technology has improved so that most online classrooms are easy to navigate. If you do have difficulties, you can usually contact technical support. Most programs have technical support staff that can be contacted 24/7 via phone, email, or instant messaging. Some online MBA programs even offer students the opportunity to take computing classes before they start the program.
Myth: There’s no one-on-one interaction with professors.
Reality: Whether or not you interact with your professor really depends on what program you choose. Programs with higher faculty to student ratios and higher numbers of full-time faculty members (as opposed to adjunct faculty) were given higher rankings. Higher faculty to student ratios suggests a higher level of faculty availability. By involving higher numbers of full-time faculty, an online MBA program shows that they are fully utilizing their faculty resources in order to deliver an online program.
Myth: There are no participation requirements for online MBA programs.
Reality: Several of the programs included in the QS Distance Online Ranking require in-person residencies, regular attendance of online classes, and/or group projects. Residencies allow you to interact with the classmates, professors, and support staff. Regularly scheduled online classes allow you to interact with your classmates on a consistent basis. Group projects allow for close teamwork, collaboration, as well as opportunities to learn from your fellow classmates.
Myth: Reputable business schools don’t offer online MBA programs.
Reality: Some of the world’s top business schools, such as IE and UNC, offer online MBA programs. Many of the schools listed in the online ranking are also included in the QS Global 200 Business School Report, a comprehensive rating that looks at how MBA programs are perceived by employers.
Myth: Online MBA programs don’t offer any networking opportunities.
Reality: Several schools require at least one on-campus residency as part of their online MBA program. Residencies allow you to build stronger relationships with your classmates, and provide you with better networking opportunities.