Jul 29, 2010

Online MBA acceptance rising in the US

Interesting article by PayScale on the growing acceptance of online learning compared to traditional MBA learning programs.

However this is US specific, and I really don't see this reality being replicated in India soon. That's because the credits offered in online or "satellite" courses results not in a Post-Graduate Diploma (like IIMs and XLRI offer) but in a PG Certificate. Employers simply don't equate both these together - leading to salary differences between the two.

In fact - in one of my roles - I was looking after the Continuing Education Policy of an organization - and was amazed how even a course of full time employees who would visit the MBA college every few weeks or on weekends also ensured that the education given was a certificate!

Check more from the article PayScale - Online MBA Programs, Online Degrees Accepted
A Sloan Consortium study cites barriers to the widespread adoption of online distance learning. Topping the list is the concern that "students need more discipline to succeed in online courses"-64 percent of all institutions see it as a significant hurdle. The number-two concern is the extra time and effort that online faculty spend; 32 percent of schools think this is a problem.

Other disadvantages include lack of face-to-face feedback and in-person activities with peers, and loneliness, according to DETC's Lambert, who also said, "The few drawbacks are more than offset by the convenience features."

Experts say benefits of online distance learning include savings on time and money-no commuting, gas money or parking fees are required. And some students just function better online.

"Online there's anonymity, you can interact and participate, and you can be whoever you want to be. For some people it's a more comfortable environment for them to study in," said Walden's Sidler.

Another plus is the increased earning power an MBA brings. According to 2007 statistics from the Graduate Management Admission Council, a nonprofit group that owns the GMAT, MBA graduates who have gotten job offers typically earn 58 percent more than before they got their degrees.