MBA in person vs MBA online

online mba

After 15 years in my professional career, I have reached a crossroads. Since I was a young man, I have always been a strong type A personality who has always sought to improve myself. I have always wanted to seek excellence in all I do and never want to accept average or mediocrity as acceptable. Like a quartermaster equipping soldiers in battle with the right weapons of war, the “weapons of war” for my professional career need to be strengthened. As the job market is getting tighter and tighter, I need a degree which would give me an advantage over other applicants. I desire to be more employable and marketable. My wife and I decided the most practical degree to sharpen my present skills is a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

I started my MBA journey by taking an in person Professional MBA program at another university. We met every other Friday for 4 hours and every other Saturday all day for 8 hours. I took one semester and decided to transfer to the 100% online program at Kennesaw State University. 100% online program at Kennesaw State is $12-15K less than the Professional MBA and KSU Coles College of Business is a much better business school.

Why I LOVE the 100% online better than the in person Professional MBA.

  1. The online program is concise and to the point. I don’t care about fancy graphics or even HD videos from the professor. I would rather read their lectures. I simply want the information and send me on my way. Things which matter to me is the opportunity to email and call the professor on his/her cell phone and having a point of contact in the Business School I can call directly at KSU. I don’t care about retreats, sitting for lectures, field trips or fancy snacks at meetings. I want to learn the information, work as a team with my classmates (preferably by conference call or Skype), get to know the professors, and earn my MBA. I care far more about the reputation of the university.
  2. I don’t have to sit in class. Number one reason by far. I read the professors’ PowerPoints’ online, read the articles he/she recommends, and I do it all on MY own timeline! Sitting in class for the Professional MBA those long periods of time was exhausting for me. It felt like I was drinking water from a fire hydrant and was not sure if I really fully learned the subject matter. Of course I miss out on networking and building close relationships with the whole class. Weighing the two, I would rather have the flexibility to take my classes at home. I am able to expand my network with my four teammates.
  3. I am not paying for “perks” I don’t want. The Professional MBA was divided into 4 semesters and each semester had a weekend retreat at a fancy hotel. One semester we were going to NYC to the NY Stock Exchange for a week. All great and admirable perks but I was paying for it all at a top rate and did not really care about the extras (field trips, fancy hotel weekend retreats, trip to NYC for a week, etc.). Other classmates had their company pay for the program and it was not a big deal to them. Extra perks did not really mean much to me at all. I would much rather be at home with my family than away at a fancy hotel or in NYC alone.
  4. My course schedule is based on my schedule and life, not theirs. I am given a track of which classes I am to take but I get to choose WHEN I study, and when I take the online discussion boards, online exams, read PowerPoints, etc. It is incredibly freeing and I do not have to plan my life schedule around a late afternoon (right after lunch . . .tired) class. Nor do I have to ever take off work because of my classes.
  5. I am able to work with a team but we can connect via Skype, conference call, or Google hangout instead meeting right after class! I have really enjoyed getting to know the four other guys on my team but I am able to stay home and be with my family. I simply escape to a back room in our home, talk and have a discussion with our team.
  6. No weather delays or make ups if the professor is out of town. We are not held to a university schedule (other than the parameters of beginning & end of semester) of when I take my online course requirements No extra classes, no make ups, and no having a TA fill in for our full-time professor.
  7. Access to the best professors in each field. I am in the University System of GA WebMBA program and they cherry pick the best professors in each of the respective MBA disciplines (managerial accounting, Information Systems, financial accounting, management, organizational leadership, etc.) from across the University System of GA. I am in the Kennesaw State University Coles College of Business WebMBA program. We do not have any field trips scheduled as a class and we do not have to meet for weekend seminars. It works great for me!

To many, the in person Professional/Executive MBA may be the best way to go. I applaud their desire to further their education, build their network, have hands on experience, and personally interact with their professors. Their company is paying for their continued education and it is a win/win opportunity for them. For me at 40 years old, married with a family, I would much rather be studying at home and have the flexibility of studying the course material on my schedule. This is my preference and a decision I am glad I made.

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