Recently, a friend of mine was asking me about doing MBA in US. He was asking questions like
- Should I do Online MBA in USA ? Is it easy to get degree online ?
- What is the cheapest MBA ? Can I get MBA in $6,000 dollars ?
I would like to share my thoughts on this topic with some logical reasoning.
Online MBA on H1B or L1 Visa in USA Cost :
Before we look into anything, lets just look cost of a sample program. I have randomly picked University of Phoenix as I see all the commercials all over and the buildings too. Anyways, it costs $24,840 without books and other stuff ( I just did a ball park calculation) Per credit they are charging $655. There may be cheaper schools out there or even more expensive schools out there. Just keep this in mind as you read the article. Obviously it does not meet the $6000 limit of my friend.
Why do you want to do MBA online?
One of the things that is very tempting for anyone working full time is to think of option of doing MBA online. Some of them do not have time to attend classes because they are in a travel related job and their schedules do not work out. It is understandable for these kind of situations, but other than these people why do regular students even want to do MBA online? Just for the sake of degree ? or just you like to spend time in front of computer or just because you can easily get into online program ? I had an MBA pre-requisite class that was both online and on site. We had to do both. I got a feel of how online classes work. I can tell you one thing, I just hated it and did not learn much online. There may be few who like it too (they do not like to talk to people). I can bet you will learn more if not same if you do the same interaction on business related blogs or forums. Unless you have a strong reason like travel job, you should not even consider online MBA. Let me explain you what you will miss if you do online MBA and some disadvantages.
Why NOT to do MBA online ? Disadvantages of Online MBA in US
There are quite a few disadvantages of online MBA, let me try to list a few what I think are key.
- You do not get any real experience of interaction with students or professor. You are just posting some questions online in forums and responding online. It is like learning on your own and posting questions in Forum.
- It is LOT more work to do online and worst part is you do not really get an experience…you just do homework or post in forums…that’s all. Imagine you just buying a book and just learning it and doing some work and asking questions in Forum. Where is your money going ?
- There is no good way to build a network. MBA is all about professional networking. You will not build any good professional network because of lack of face to face interaction.
- There is not much scope for students to exchange their work related experiences. Articulating a business scenario in writing is very hard. You cannot really explain very well online in writing. This is probably the biggest drawbacks. In MBA you learn from other students, their experiences at work and interactions. You are totally missing this in online MBA.
- No social life with other students. You never meet anyone other than online. How can you even build a social life. College life is about being social…
- Group work issues. You may have group work and it will be online. It will be very hard to collaborate online and do group project work. You may use teleconference and other tools. Still interacting in person is the best.
- This maybe trivial, but it is worth keeping in mind. It is NOT good for your Eyes as you will be spending most of you time in front of computer trying to do work or reading online.
- It may be expensive to get degree from accredited institutions that offer good program. You have to be careful in choosing schools, what if they are not accredited.
Is it really worth doing MBA online ? Decision ?
As you can see in the above list what you can miss if you do MBA online. Honestly, for the above question the answer depends on your circumstances. There are some people doing MBA just for the sake of degree and they do not care anything else. They are doing MBA because their company is paying. They do not care about learning. For them degree is more important for getting a hike or promotion. For some it is travel related issues. If these are your constraints, then doing online MBA may be worth for you because it is not your money or you do not have a choice. Especially for internationals on H1B or L1 visa, as the money they spend in US for online MBA may be a lot in their home country. If you are looking for just an MBA degree, then do it from your home country online, it will be cheaper. But, if you plan to do in US, try to do it in class. You will miss so many thing if you do online. It is not just getting a degree, it is more than that. Read this : Is studying MBA in USA really worth it? What if I do not make more money in Job? Anyways, you have to carefully decide based on your circumstances. Do not just do MBA online because it is convenient for you and you will get a degree easily. If you are working on H1B or L1 visa, you can do evening MBA or weekend MBA programs. You get the interaction with students and professors. My personal opinion, do NOT do online MBA unless you do not have a choice because of travel. It is not worth to spend around $25,000 tor more o get a degree online. Take a wise decision.