Illinois Masters in Business Administration (MBA) Online
Online MBA programs are offered by online universities and traditional business schools alike. Students can expect to spend some time researching which program best meets their needs. This is because schools offer different courses and areas of emphasis to fit many different people's needs. Plus, there are usually distinct methods of content delivery, focus, and target audience.
What Are Online MBA Programs?
Online MBA programs offer students an alternative to going to a campus for their Masters degree in Business Administration. Known for developing business management skills, the MBA is a professional degree. It provides graduate-level courses in vital business practices. Aside from taking courses in finance, marketing and management, students often learn through case study analysis.
How Long are Online MBA Programs?
Full-time online MBA programs take the average student about 18 months to 2 years to complete. Students who opt for a full-time program may be enrolled in 3 to 4 courses per semester. However, this is not the only type.
Some schools offer part-time online MBA programs which may take 3 years or more. Additionally, there are schools who offer Accelerated MBA programs online. These may take about one year to complete, and are full-time. In fact, be prepared for an intensive curriculum as more courses are packed into the shorter time frame.
How Many Credits are Online MBA Programs?
Online MBA programs may require the completion of 30, 36, 42 or more credits. A few factors may affect the number of credits students take.
- Do you have transfer credits?
- Is your previous degree a Bachelor of Business Administration or other business degree?
In each school, MBA credits are earned through core courses and electives. Usually, the required courses are taken in a specific sequence. Electives or concentration areas tailor a Masters in Business Administration to match an area of interest.
Online MBA Courses and Concentrations
Online MBA programs often have challenging courses. These are intended to equip students with ‘best practices' for solving problems in real-world business settings. Since courses vary from school to school, looking at syllabi is one way to select a program. The topics should match your interests and goals. The following is a sample of online MBA courses.
- Accounting: How to interpret financial statements, taxation, profit analysis
- Finance: Corporate financial reporting, managing risk
- Management: Leading people, networking, coaching, strategic planning
- Marketing: Pricing, promotions, market research
- International Business: Global marketplace, exchange rate
- Business Technology: Database management, information security
- Business Law: Legal risks for businesses
- Human Resource Management: Hiring and supporting teams
- Business Ethics: Creating a mission statement
MBA concentrations give students the chance to pursue coursework that is relevant to them. A sample of focus areas is listed below.
- General Business
- Management (organizational leadership)
- Healthcare Administration
- Project Management
Why Consider Online MBA Programs?
Looking for a possible career boost but can’t commute to class? Flexible scheduling is one of the reasons working students, executives and entrepreneurs turn to online MBA programs. Most schools offer an asynchronous course delivery. This means students have access to their professor’s lectures 24/7. Also, this convenience allows students to self-pace, hit pause or rewind. An added plus for understanding the material.
Aside from ‘easy access’, a course management system is a portal for other parts of an online MBA program. The platform usually includes a way to upload assignments and take exams. It also serves as a means of contact with fellow classmates and teachers.
FACT: When asked about their education level, 26% of Executive Directors, including Chief Nursing Officers, responded they had earned a graduate degree. i
How Do I Earn an Online Masters in Business Administration?
To apply into an online Masters in Business Administration, most schools require a Bachelors degree or higher from an accredited college. This does not have to be an undergraduate business degree. Aside from that, expect that each business school has its own admission checklist. Examples are below.
- Letter of intent
- Professional resume
- Official transcripts
- GMAT / GRE scores
- Admission interview
- Letters of recommendation
- Community service
- List of professional skills
Types of Online MBA Programs
Full-time, part-time and accelerated online Masters in Business Administration programs are not the only types of Online MBA programs available. In fact, there are programs to suit varying levels of education and work experience.
- Online Pre-MBA: Interested in preparing for an MBA? Take courses through online Business Prep programs, also called Pre-MBA.
- Online Executive Masters in Business Administration: Are you an experienced professional? Online EMBA programs are often targeted to those with several years business or supervisory experience.
- Online MBA Flex: Looking for a very flexible program? The Online MBA Flex is a 42-month, part-time program.
Beyond the MBA: Other Options in Business Administration
Want to explore business administration through other online programs?
Online Business Administration Certificates
Online business certificates are shorter and target a few courses in business administration. Some business schools allow the course credits to be transferred to their online MBA program.
Online Master of Science in Management
Masters level programs include the Master of Science in Management. This is an option for masters students who want to focus exclusively on management and apply scientific research to leadership.
Online DBA | Online PhD Business Administration
The Online DBA degree (Doctor of Business Administration)is a professional practice doctorate degree that provides advanced courses and research in professional management, human resources, marketing, and other business-related fields. Like the MBA, students often tailor their program with an area of emphasis.
Find Accredited Online MBA Programs
As with on campus programs, online Business Schools should be accredited nationally or regionally. This ensures the quality of curriculum, faculty and other norms. There are six regional accreditors that have the stamp of approval from the Department of Education.
You can also look for accredited online MBA programs. This is another layer of ‘quality control’. It means that a school curriculum meets standards set forth by the specialized accrediting agency. Also, to keep its status, the program is continually reviewed to include relevant course material. One such accrediting agency is the AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Two others are the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Future students can always check an association’s website database to make sure their choice graduate school has continued to maintain its accreditation.
Take the Next Step
In 2015, over 2 million people in the workforce had a Masters degree in Business Administration. ii Some of them reached their academic goals through distance education. Take the time now to review our directory of paid listings. Use the on-page navigation to filter by program level and use the ‘request info’ to contact the online business schools on your list. Consider earning your MBA online!
Sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1011.00 | [ii} datausa.io/profile/cip/5202/
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