What are the Advantages of Distance Learning MBA?

Guide to Distance Learning Colleges and Online Degrees

Take advantage of the programs offered by distance learning to earn your Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificates or your Doctorate degree from the comfort of your home.

  • Are you are looking to begin your degree from scratch?
  • Finish a degree that you’ve already started?
  • Advance your career?
  • Or simply earn continuing education credits?

Taking online college courses and programs will give you the flexibility to schedule your classes around other aspects of your life, including your job and family obligations and earn a college degree online.

But earning your degree from a distance learning school or university that is not accredited is, frankly, a waste of your time and money. Many employers will not recognize such a degree. You will not be able to transfer credits from one school to another. Also, reputable universities limit their enrollment in advanced degree programs to grads from accredited degree programs.

On this site, you’ll find the courage, confidence and direction to jumpstart your future. You will get that from our information about distance learning colleges and accredited online degrees. We have done our research on various distance learning programs and we share with you what you need to know and what you should expect from the online program that you choose.

We’ll also tell you about some of the colleges and universities in the United States (USA), Canada, online universities for international students and distance learning courses in other parts of the world.

The navigation bar on the left and the links above and below take you to resources on distance education, accredited online college degree programs and distance learning colleges. If you need even more basic information, we have that for you right here, on our Distance Education Resource page.

To further aid your search for an online college or a campus-based university in the United States, we have listed colleges by State from where you can request FREE information.

Note that most of the online colleges that you will find on this site accept students currently living in the United States. A small list of colleges such as University of Liverpool accept Canadians and other international students living outside USA, for online graduate programs.

Making a decision about which distance learning college to choose from is a complex process. We are talking about your money, your time and–most importantly–your education. Nothing should be left up to chance. Do your research, and use our Website to choose an accredited online college for your online study.

Why Get an MBA Online?

Are you considering enrolling in an MBA program, but find yourself wondering why should I get an MBA online?  After all, getting an MBA takes a big commitment, in both time and money. It requires a level of dedication at a time in your life that may already be busy with work or family. There are a variety of MBA programs, some focusing on a broad business base and some customized to specific industries, and each with its own culture. Choosing the right program for you, based on your experience and goals, can lead to several benefits and boost your career options.

One main advantage of pursuing an MBA is that you will gain practical experience in business administration. Whether your undergraduate background is in business or another field, quality online MBA programs prepare you to be a leader in business. You will study theories and best practices in areas such as finance, marketing, leadership and strategy, the essentials of business operations.

More importantly, though, a hands-on approach extends your education beyond the classroom and makes you a valuable asset to a company. By applying these techniques to complex, real-world problems you will develop vital skills needed in today’s competitive business environment.

The benefits of earning an MBA do not stop with the skills you develop. A key aspect of many programs is the networking opportunities available within the school communities. Students in some MBA programs move through the curriculum as a cohort, developing close working relationships with their fellow students. Students in other program formats have opportunities to confer with each other when developing solutions to business problems. These connections with classmates offer a way to demonstrate your abilities and acumen in business leadership, recognize the talents of others and broaden your group of contacts.

You may also have exposure to various companies that partner with the business school. The relationships you develop while in business school can become valuable contacts, whether they lead to job opportunities or partnerships for your own organization.

The opportunities you find through an MBA program can help position you for career advancement. This, after all, is the purpose of pursuing higher education. Earning an MBA and demonstrating your ability as a quality business leader can give you a competitive advantage in your career. Some leadership positions require applicants to currently hold an MBA degree, so you will already have access to a wider range of opportunities. With higher education requirements for a given job often comes a higher salary and benefits package, as well.

Given the benefits of completing an MBA degree and the flexibility offered by many colleges and universities through online courses, maybe the question you should be asking yourself is can I afford to not get an online MBA?

Primary Benefits Of Earning MBA Degree Online

Earning a MBA degree online has many advantages over typical classroom instruction. The convenience factor is the one advantage that working adults find the most attractive. Online learning allows adult students to study, write papers and listen to classroom lectures when it fits into their schedule. The only thing that is necessary is a computer and an Internet connection.

Weighing the Online MBA Pros and Cons

In a competitive business climate, workers need every possible advantage to get ahead. When there is one promotion available and dozens of people apply for it, the person with the most relevant education and experience gets the job. It is easy to see why many people turn to earning an OMBA degree to help them advance their careers. However, it is important not to underestimate the amount of time and money it takes to complete a MBA program.

As with any major decision, people who are considering enrolling in a MBA program should put aside their emotions and focus on the facts. By drawing up a list of pros and cons, potential MBA students gain a better understanding of whether pursuing an online MBA is the right choice at this stage of their career.

Positive Aspects of an Online MBA Program:

  • Flexibility: The online MBA appeals to working professionals because it allows them to pursue a degree while maintaining a job and other obligations. Students can study and complete assignments when it fits into their schedule. As long as the student has Internet access, coursework can be completed at home, at work or even while traveling for business.
  • Networking Opportunities: Online MBA programs do not limit students to attending college in their own geographic location. Their classmates may come from several different geographic regions or even other countries. This opens up a wide network of people for references, job leads and ongoing friendships.
  • Greater possibility of career advancement: MBA degree holders report less unemployment and higher salaries than people with a lower degree. While there is never a guarantee of a specific salary, it is common for people with a MBA to earn in excess of $100,000 a year.
  • Challenging Coursework: Online students can expect their MBA program to be just as challenging, if not more so, than one completed at a traditional college. Online schools have worked hard to overcome the diploma mill reputation. As a result, the quality of the program is at least equal to what students would complete in person.

Possible Disadvantages of an Online MBA Program:

  • Lack of human contact: Although online MBA students can build up a large network, it is unlikely that the average student will meet most of his or her cohorts. It can be difficult to understand others without the benefit of facial expression and vocal tone. Extroverted people may struggle with arrangement because they derive energy from interacting with others in person.
  • Lack of respect for the online degree: Although online learning has exploded in the last decade, some employers are still suspicious of it. They may wrongly assume that people who earn their degree online didn’t have to work as hard for it as those who attended a traditional college. One way to counter this unfortunate stereotype is to enroll in an accredited online college.
  • Internships may not be available: The internship is an important part of any advanced degree program. It allows students to work side-by-side with professionals in their chosen field. The information learned throughout the MBA program is put to practical use during an internship. Colleges that don’t have an actual brick and mortar location are the least likely to offer internships.
  • Cost: It can cost just as much to enroll in an online MBA program as it does to attend classes on a college campus. Students can expect a minimum investment of $25,000 a year for a two-year program. MBA candidates should investigate all forms of financial aid, including tuition reimbursement from their employer.

Important Considerations Before Enrolling in a MBA Program

People who are considering enrolling in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program naturally have numerous questions. Prospective students should address these questions in advance to ensure proper completion of admission requirements to the MBA program of their choice.

Do MBA Applicants Need an Undergraduate Degree Before Applying?

The majority of colleges offering MBA programs require that applicants complete a bachelor degree first. Some schools may grant an exception if the student expects to complete his or her undergraduate degree later in the year. However, the bachelor degree must still be awarded prior to starting the MBA program. Many admissions representatives prefer that MBA candidates have an undergraduate degree in finance, marketing or another business discipline. However, this is not an absolute requirement. Students with a primary liberal arts background may be required to take some pre-requisite business courses before advancing to the MBA track. People applying to a MBA program need to include an official copy of their undergraduate transcript with the application.

Most colleges require a minimum 2.5 GPA in undergraduate work to be considered for admission. In addition to the transcript, potential MBA students should be prepared to submit several sealed letters of recommendation from previous instructors. The essay or personal statement is another important part of the MBA application process. It allows colleges to evaluate the professional writing skills of applicants as well as understand their career aspirations. This can also be accomplished by including a personal resume.

What Practical Skills Should a MBA Student Have?

Students should feel comfortable working with technology before committing to a MBA program. This includes the ability to work with computers, word processing programs, databases, spreadsheets and multiple forms of electronic communication. Businesses often tote the importance of being a team player, so it’s no surprise that MBA programs do so as well. Even in an online program, MBA students are expected to work collaboratively with other people in the program. Problem-solving as a group is necessary in both academic and business settings.

It is common for people who begin a MBA program at the same time to remain together as a core group until graduation. Therefore, the ability to work well in teams is crucial. Time management and study skills are another important indicator of success in a MBA program. Students are sometimes surprised that these skills don’t come naturally, especially after being out of school for many years. It takes a firm commitment to earning a degree to choose studying over something that is perceived as more fun. Successful MBA students learn to prioritize what tasks must be completed immediately and those that aren’t as important.

Is Work Experience Required?

Most colleges offering online MBA programs prefer that the applicant has a minimum of two to five years of experience in the working world. However, this is not a universal requirement. Some schools look at factors other than work experience, such as test scores and personal characteristics. Schools that require two to five years of work experience favor applicants that have remained in the same industry the entire time. Frequently changing jobs is not necessarily frowned upon, especially when the change was due to a transfer or promotion. Admissions representatives are more concerned that the MBA applicant is focused on building a career in a specific industry.

There are several benefits to MBA students having several years of work experience before enrolling in the program. One of the primary reasons for assembling a group of people together for a business class is for them to learn from each other’s experience. That is difficult to do when some students have little work experience to discuss. Also, admissions representatives look for MBA candidates who have in-depth knowledge about their particular industry. People who have only been at their job a short amount of time won’t have much to offer their classmates other than surface knowledge about the business world. Another important thing to consider is that people who enroll in MBA programs are working adults who are attempting to advance in their career. This means they have different needs than 18 to 22-year-old college students.

Typical college students are studying to gain skills for entry-level work, whereas most MBA students are at least at the mid-point of their career. People with little work experience who want to enter a MBA program should discuss their alternatives with an enrollment representative.

Can MBA Students Keep Working Full-Time?

Most people who choose to enroll in an online MBA program are working professionals who have no desire to leave their job. Online colleges recognize this and have designed programs to make continued employment possible. The primary benefit of earning MBA degree online is the student’s ability to complete the work at their own convenience. Students should choose a college that respects the many roles adult learners have to play and gives them tools to manage all of them well. Online MBA programs broaden the student’s network to include people beyond the family and workplace.

Students in business programs come from a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds. This helps everyone improve their business knowledge as well as develop a broader worldview. MBA students are a great source of support to one another as they gain the necessary skills to reach their full potential. The coursework in a MBA program is timely and relevant to the student’s present career as well as they type of position he or she may want to pursue after graduation.

A primary benefit of continuing to work while earning a MBA degree is that most working students have the support of their employer. Managers like to see that employees are dedicated to their own professional growth. As a result, they can help the student employee set and attain realistic goals. A student’s immediate supervisor is a great resource for learning about promotions that may be available after he or she has earned a MBA degree. The manager can also coach the employee about the types of skills he or she should concentrate on developing.

What Is The Average ROI on an Online MBA?

The decision to pursue an online MBA has major implications on the student’s life. It represents a huge commitment of time and financial resources. As with any major investment, MBA students want to know what kind of return they can expect. Ultimately, MBA students want reassurance that their investment of time and money was worth it. The answer is different for everyone. From a strictly monetary standpoint, people with a MBA earn higher salaries on average than those with an undergraduate degree or no degree.

A 2012 Earnings of Wage and Salary Report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms this. It also states that people with an advanced degree are promoted more often and experience less unemployment. A MBA degree increases an employee’s earning potential throughout his or her working years. When figuring the return on investment, MBA students should factor in the potential salary they can earn after earning their degree and multiply it by their remaining working years.

MBA students can save time and money by earning their degree online. Tuition costs may be lower at colleges that only offer online programs due to not having to pay to maintain a physical building. With on-campus classes, students sometimes have to wait until a class they need is offered or it fits with their schedule. This is never a concern with an online MBA program.

What Can Online MBA Students Expect to Learn?

MBA programs are designed with the working professional in mind. Instruction is focused on targeted learning outcomes to help the working student build professional business competencies. One of the end goals of the MBA is to for the working professional to advance seamlessly to the next phase of his or her career. The following courses are typical in a business program:

  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Statistics
  • Technology
  • Professional Communication

Upon completing the MBA coursework, students should have greater business leadership skills. At work, they can use their new skills to lead project teams, offer greater input to management, mentor co-workers on a similar career track and overall increase their value to the organization. If there are no opportunities to advance within the company, the MBA graduate has the skills and experience to look for a position elsewhere. For many MBA graduates, personal goals are just as important as advancing in their career and earning a higher salary. It is deeply satisfying to set a goal to earn a MBA and then actually achieve it. This is especially true when the student has to juggle work and family obligations at the same time. Every MBA student defines success in a different way. For some, pushing their intellectual limits is all the reward they need.

leading Online MBA That Cultivating In-Demand Business Skills

Every business school wants its MBA students to be prepared for the challenges they will face as business leaders and decision makers. Too often, though, graduates are missing skills they need to drive success within their organizations. This isn’t to say that MBAs can’t be valuable in terms of professional development, but it does necessitate asking: What separates a truly meaningful MBA from one that is just another credential?

One of the secrets that we’ve learned in designing and developing our leading Online MBA (OMBA) program is that successfully cultivating in-demand business skills is often about decisions that extend beyond the curriculum, course design and accomplishments of the faculty.

What’s Missing from Most MBAs?

In its report, High Resolution Leadership (2016), Development Dimensions International compared the skill competencies of MBA graduates to undergraduate degree holders. While MBA grads performed better in hard-skill areas like financial acumen, there were three skills that undergraduates performed better than their MBA counterparts:

  • Coaching and developing others
  • Driving for results
  • Selling the vision

Of even greater concern is that coaching and developing others as well as selling the vision were not strongly linked with a business leader’s tenure in their career—meaning that these skills must be developed consciously and purposefully. This is where MBA programs have an opportunity to shine.

To successfully build a program that solves these challenges and continues to produce quality leaders well into the future, universities must be able to create a culture of support and engagement within their programs. This culture must be supportive and conscious of developing soft skills like communication, a sense of ethical responsibility and mentorship.

Why Culture Matters in Our OMBA

As they have long been among the most popular graduate degrees in the U.S., it’s little surprise that MBAs are also among the most popular online master’s degrees. For this reason, we wanted to look at some of the core philosophies and design decisions behind the USC Online MBA, and how these choices have led to the success of our alumni.

Our program is ranked as a top 10 program, according to U.S. News & World Report. According to PayScale, USC MBA alumni earn an average salary of $127,071, considerably higher than the average for all MBA graduates ($84,000). One of the things we’re most proud of, however, is the authentic and close professional bonds online students form within their cohorts.

“Students started telling us that, in many ways, they felt more ‘connected’ to their online classmates than they did to their residential classmates from their undergraduate days,” said Miriam Burgos, Academic Director of the OMBA program.” In fact, five of our recent alumni grew so close during the program that they are now starting a business together.”

Interested in reading our full interview with Miriam? Read the full Q&A by clicking here.

Building One of the Best Online MBA Programs

The main challenge for building a successful MBA degree online (or on-campus) is in developing the truly vast number and types of skills that students must have to lead in modern business. For us, this meant creating a program that has strong links to real-world business problems and that combines academic rigor with creativity and teamwork.

1. Creating the Vision for our Online MBA

We created the foundational philosophy for our OMBA long before the program launched, and this has continued to inform decisions regarding supporting socialization in the Online MBA and beyond as well as choices regarding collaboration tools and technology.

The team that crafted the OMBA’s core philosophy brought together top faculty and administrators, united with the vision to create the best MBA program for working professionals and prepare them for the next generation of business.

“Our continuing, positive impact on the career trajectory of so many successful professionals keeps everything exciting!”

Miriam Burgos, Academic Director for the USC OMBA

One of the things that has come to fruition as a result of this philosophy is the importance we put on leveraging virtual meeting and collaboration technology both for informal and formal interactions—it is often those conversations that happen by the office water cooler that spark ideas for meaningful innovation, so we wanted to be able to support those kinds of spontaneous interactions in a virtual environment as well.

Our philosophy has not changed since the program was launched, but, because the primary driving force behind it is the value it provides to people, rather than strict, set-in-stone results, it forces us to continuously improve, and always look toward what’s next in the business world.

2. Watching and Supporting the Evolution of our Cohorts’ Culture

Creating a space where strangers can become friends and close professionals is no small task, but it is a necessary one both for the success of business education and businesses themselves. One of the questions many new companies find themselves asking is how they can maintain the culture and values they started with as they grow.

“The members of each cohort form very close bonds with one another, and they become deeply committed to one another’s success. For the faculty, watching this culture evolve is a wonderful experience.”

Miriam Burgos, Academic Director for the USC OMBA

We look at this problem from several major angles. As noted above, we put a strong emphasis on making informal interactions a key element of our OMBA. One of the ways we encourage close connections in a structured way is by designing group projects that offer students the opportunity to solve real-world business problems and choose work that aligns with their passions.

Because students have access to open lines of communication with their peers and faculty, and have multiple ways to engage, they can bring their ideas to life together. Similarly, they can apply the insights and collaboration skills they learn to their careers immediately, so students are engaged in working together because it has real and immediate value to them.

3. The Future of Business Education and the Future of Business

In many cases, businesses look toward the adoption of technology to solve these kinds of challenges. It is true that technology is an element of success in a world where distance and geographical borders are no longer barriers for communication.

At their core, however, the challenges of modern business are not technology problems— they are culture problems. For example, organizations can have the best collaboration platforms in the world, but these platforms offer no value if no one uses them.

“Business education will need to become increasingly focused on soft skills while continuing to build hard skills like data analysis and strategic thinking. Shareholders and other stakeholders expect modern business leaders to successfully leverage the abundance of data available in every industry. They also expect company leaders to behave ethically, communicate successfully with their teams, and lead by example.”

Miriam Burgos, Academic Director for the USC OMBA

At the same time, we’re also seeing a greater importance placed on ethical responsibility in business, even in fields traditionally thought of as objective, like data science and analysis. Therefore, business education must evolve. Universities must be prepared to not only create leaders who can make sound business decisions, but who understand the broader ethical implications of those decisions.

This is where top-tier MBAs shine. Because, at the end of the day, coursework that covers the basic elements of business decision making, finance, marketing and management can be found almost anywhere. But, for business education to be truly meaningful, it must be able to consistently facilitate the thousands of subtle interactions, spontaneous meetings and culture of constant improvement and support that define the most successful businesses in the world.

About the USC Marshall School of Business

USC Marshall is one of the premier business schools in the U.S. and internationally recognized as a home for path-breaking research that emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and social responsibility.

The USC Online MBA from the Marshall School of Business is built to help students succeed in the digitally driven business landscape, providing a curriculum focused on the practical skills expected of today’s global leaders. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Marshall brings undergraduate and graduate students a unique perspective on the world, including global opportunities for experiential learning. The vibrant and active Trojan alumni community includes more than 89,000 people in 92 countries.

The USC Marshall – Best Online MBA In US

The University Of Southern California Marshall School Of Business will offer an online MBA program with a curriculum designed specifically for the online learning environment. The program, focusing on emerging online business topics such as internet analytics, social media, virtual teams, and entrepreneurial thinking, will begin this fall.

The 21-month program will provide students with a foundation in all core areas of business, and is grounded in analytics and communications from beginning to end. Led by renowned members of the USC Marshall faculty, online coursework will be conducted primarily in an asynchronous format, with weekly synchronous seminars conducted by faculty via webcam and a one-time, one-week on-campus event. This format enables students to enjoy a flexible learning experience that features real-time interaction with faculty as well as educational content that can be viewed at any time.

The program will incorporate live action cases, interactive exercises and virtual teams. Students will have the ability to take classes in online programs at other USC schools and enroll in additional online courses from Marshall MS programs in entrepreneurship, marketing and global supply chain management. The curriculum was created specifically for the program, rather than just taking traditional in-classroom content and putting it online.

“Our top mba programs in usa will allow students from around the world, regardless of time zone and location, the opportunity to join the Marshall Trojan Family and benefit from a world-class MBA degree,” said James G. Ellis, Marshall dean.

John Matsusaka, USC Marshall Online MBA academic director and the Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise, added, “Online technologies continue to rapidly reshape our world. As an innovator in higher education, our new program pushes the USC Marshall MBA into the online world, allowing us to deploy new learning technologies and to reach students across the globe.”

The school will partner with All Campus, a creative agency and enrollment services firm, to help support both the program’s launch and its continuous growth.

“Our team looks forward to partnering with such an esteemed university on a program that’s built to raise expectations and change the way we all think about the online MBA,” said Joe Diamond, CEO of All Campus.

USC Marshall has a strong record of developing successful online programs, including a Master of Business Taxation and a Master of Global Supply Chain Management. The school has invested in considerable infrastructure to develop online learning programs, recently training and supporting faculty and developing a dedicated instructional team and studio to build out the online MBA program curriculum.

About the USC Marshall School of Business

USC Marshall is one of the premier business schools in the U.S. and internationally recognized as a home for path-breaking research that emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and social responsibility. The USC Online MBA from the Marshall School of Business is built to help students succeed in the digitally driven business landscape, providing a curriculum focused on the practical skills expected of today’s global leaders. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Marshall brings undergraduate and graduate students a unique perspective on the world, including global opportunities for experiential learning. The vibrant and active Trojan alumni community includes more than 89,000 people in 92 countries.

About All Campus, LLC.

All Campus partners with non-profit, traditional institutions of higher education to provide essential support, helping clients explore the full possibilities of online learning. A partnership with All Campus is close, dedicated, and flexible, allowing schools to select from a range of marketing and enrollment services to suit their needs. All Campus proudly provides sophisticated, data-driven recruitment strategies, proven enrollment expertise, and creative designs across a portfolio of over 40 programs covering a wide variety of student interests and academic pursuits.

Press Contacts

For inquiries regarding the USC Marshall School of Business:

Amy Blumenthal – amyblume@marshall.usc.edu213.740.5552

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