Illinois Hybrid MBA Programs
Hybrid MBA programs offer a blended learning format of online and on-campus courses. Often designed for the working professional, these programs offer a flexible approach to earning an MBA. While structure and formats vary, students take a combination of on campus and online courses.
Why Consider Hybrid MBA Programs?
Hybrid MBA programs may appeal to those who value peer interaction as well as their time. Many students today want to pursue an MBA degree but have a day job or a family. At the same time, they may wonder if a fully online program would make them feel isolated. Or, whether they would be motivated to stay on track to complete their degree. Certainly, if you are on the fence between a 100 percent online MBA and an on-campus program, this is middle ground. Hybrid Masters in Business Administration are both low residency and flexible.
DID YOU KNOW? In 2015, per DATA USA, 20% of the working population in Business held Masters degrees. i
Online vs. Hybrid MBA Programs
While some universities refer to their Hybrid MBA programs as ‘hybrid online’ or ‘blended online’, the hybrid and online programs may be quite distinct. In fact, some online MBA programs do not have any in person requirements at all. In blended programs, some form of face-to-face sessions are scheduled. These may be at set intervals (e.g. every seven weeks). Or, they may be in-person conferences or intensives that are less frequent. One example of this is weekends held every few months.
Cultivate A Competitive Edge
Why not work on your competitive edge without forgoing a current career? Choose a convenient alternative to a daily commute to campus. In many Hybrid MBA programs, most the courses are asynchronous. Students don’t have to log in at a specific time to access lectures, and can view them at their convenience. This allows students to plan study time and engage with course material at their own pace. Lecture videos and audio files can be rewound, paused, or fast-forwarded. In the end, the web-based courses and readings may be leveraged to foster great in-depth debates in the live meetings.
Are you someone who benefits from experiential learning? Students in Hybrid MBA Programs enhance their classroom learning through several unique methods.
- Real world case studies analysis
- Team dynamics skill building
- Student teams often collaborate with a partner organization and faculty advisor to analyze a real-time issue and bring a value-added solution
In Person: The Interaction Factor
Do you value a handshake? Do you have the confidence to lead a team of people? While most of the learning is done through a course management system, students in hybrid MBA programs get to interact. Instead of everything being done through a virtual setting and distance learning tools, students meet fellow participants. They participate in live discussions, team-based projects and exercises. Plus, students do get a chance to expand their professional networks, especially in cohort-based programs. This may have unique take-aways.
- Career insight from faculty and other participants
- Build your networking skills
- Cultivate good interviewing techniques
- Forge personal relationships
Build Communication Skills
Do you have your eye on middle management? Are you hoping to develop your ability to lead? In person MBA requirements may help students develop some key communication skills.ii For students who are currently working, this may add value. Take what you are learning back into your business setting.
- Learn to convey your message
- Adjust to others’ responses
- Understand why people react
- Engage in active listening
- Develop your ability to negotiate
- Give and receive feedback
- Learn about leading, motivating and directing others
Meet the Teacher
In hybrid Masters in Business Administration programs, students interact face-to-face with professors. This could foster personal, mentoring relationships. Many schools boast a teaching faculty of experienced industry leaders. They may be entrepreneurs, scholars, executives and researchers.
- Students may get involved in cutting edge research projects
- Gain practical insights that help your own success
- Faculty may collaborate on students’ business plans and ventures
Access to Services
Hybrid MBA students may have the best of two worlds – online and on campus student services. Often this means career services or tutoring. It could also involve access to online and on site libraries, clubs and alumni networks.
Types of Hybrid MBA Programs
There are various types of Hybrid MBAs available. These vary in length and have different admissions requirements. Course topics are often similar. However, schools do not all have the same concentration areas. When selecting a hybrid program, students should keep in mind some key questions.
- What is your current level of education?
- How much time can you devote to academics?
- What are your career goals and interests?
Full-time Hybrid MBA Programs
Sometimes called the ‘two-year track’, a full-time Hybrid MBA program could take two academic years to complete. It is often suited to students who have a non-business Bachelors degree. This format usually moves students through basic business courses first.
- Finance and accounting
Some full-time Hybrid MBA programs require students to complete a summer internship between the first and second year. The final year of a full-time MBA program is often devoted to elective courses or concentration options.
About MBA Concentrations
MBA concentrations are intended to prepare students to work in any aspect of business. They are offered in addition to course work that covers topics in general business. This gives students the chance to tailor their degree to personal interests. It may add value to career planning. These areas vary between MBA schools. A sample of some choices is listed below.
- Business analytics
- Global Management
Part-time Hybrid MBA Programs
Part-time Hybrid MBA programs may be referred to as ‘flexible MBAs’. Students have more time allotted to complete their degree (up to six years in some cases).
One-Year Hybrid MBA Programs
An accelerated one year Hybrid MBA program is designed for students who have work and educational experience in the business field. This is not an easier version of an MBA, rather, more condensed.
Hybrid EMBA Programs
Executive Masters in Business Administration programs are designed for working students with experience in business. Some Hybrid programs like this deliver courses online as well as on Saturdays. Of course, program format is set by each business school.
Other Hybrid Management Graduate Programs
Students who want to focus their studies on management may look at other options. Some business schools offer Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) in Management. These programs tend to cover the singular theme of leadership.
Other program options might include hybrid business administration certificates and doctoral degree programs.
Find Accredited Hybrid MBA Programs
Many of the universities with Hybrid MBA programs are regionally accredited. The Department of Education recognizes six such agencies. Accreditation is one way to check the quality of a business school. It is a stamp of approval for things like faculty, teaching, and services.
Some regionally and nationally accredited universities may have an extra level of ‘approval’. This is done via a specialized business program accreditor. A few of these agencies are listed below.
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - AACSB international
- Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs –ACBSP
- International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education- IACBE
Take the Next Step
Whether you are pursuing a promotion, changing careers, or starting your own business, a blended format may suit your needs. Search paid listings to find options. Then submit a request form for more information. Take a step towards finding a Hybrid MBA today!
[i] datausa.io/profile/cip/5202/ | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1011.00
- Evanston, ILEvanston, IL
University of Northwestern-St. Paul
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) will help you achieve greater levels of responsibility within your chosen profession...