Maybe it just popped into your head unexpectedly this morning. Maybe it has been a nagging thought for years now.
“Should I get a master’s degree?”
It’s a question that crosses almost every professional’s mind, particularly for those looking to advance in a career, shake up their job prospects, or check something off their bucket list. Of postgraduate degrees, one of the most popular has quickly become the MBA—and for good reason.
A recent study by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that nine out of 10 MBA and business master’s graduates felt business school provided a strong return on investment. The value of the degree itself was just as favorable, with 90% rating it as good, outstanding or excellent.
Given the time and expense, it’s not a decision to take lightly. You need to weigh the reasons for going, determine how you’ll pay for schooling and assess the full scope of career benefits of the degree. It’s also important to find the right program and get to know the possible alternatives to advance your career.
Taking up the coursework
Once you do choose to move forward with a postgraduate degree, it can be advantageous in more ways than you might think. That’s especially true for those debating about earning an MBA through an online program. Here’s a quick breakdown of the ways an online MBA can positively impact your goals.
1. Flexibility. Consisting mostly of busy, often highly successful adults, online MBAs meet students where they are. No matter how many hours you might work in a day, online programs offer the flexibility necessary to pursue a postgraduate degree while maintaining a full-time job.
2. Suitability. Accredited online MBA programs are a good fit for most students. They provide the same academic rigor, admission standards and networking opportunities as on-campus learning. That’s certainly been the case at Washington University’s Olin Business School. Besides, there’s an integrity level that comes with such a prestigious program.
3. Knowledge. MBAs can up the ante on your knowledge base, allowing you to bring more to the table professionally. All the students in an online program say they’ve learned exponentially more than what they’ve gleaned in their professions. You have a chance of learning the nuances of running a business both nationally and internationally.
4. Mobility. MBAs can make you incredibly mobile, as far as where you can take the degree and what you can do with it. Many positions are unavailable without it. Even if this level of degree isn’t a prerequisite, earning one can serve as an indication of your motivation, ambition and hard work—all of which can be attractive to potential employers.
5. Accomplishment. The recognition that can come when attaining the level of education that an MBA offers—online or otherwise—is unmatched in many regards. Roughly two-thirds of MBA graduates advance at least one job level after obtaining a graduate business degree, according to the GMAC study. What’s more, the median income is 75% more than their undergraduate counterparts.
Deciding on an online MBA program
One of the biggest benefits of Washington University’s online MBA program is the learn.WashU platform, a proprietary learning management system where students access courses, classmates and instructors. Think of it as a learning environment mixed with a research network. Not only can you take part in class sessions and complete assignments but shape your learning experience to suit your specific needs.
To be sure, learn.WashU is different from other learning platforms like Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, and so on. The online course delivery would be a logical comparison, but learn.WashU also offers a difference in digital course design, faculty training, media production and digital publishing. Lifelong learning modules are also available to students.
In fact, student engagement with the learning platform has exceeded expectations. They’ve really taken to it. Ultimately, learn.WashU is a whole network of different components that students can draw from while they’re working through their online MBA programs. It has become a seamless experience and a highly valuable tool for students and faculty alike.
The platform also offers career resources, individualized to the student. It matches the school’s services to students’ unique needs by getting to know each student as a person. The team listens to your goals and aspirations and then uses this information to offer guidance on where to focus your attention. Trust that there’s always someone available to coach and mentor you to better ensure success.
Above all else, the program wants students to get their degrees, so much that faculty members are on the phone with online students at 11 p.m.—literally. Learn.WashU understands that you’re busy, working adults. As bright as you may be, you will need help. Perhaps you’ll need tutoring because of a difficult course. Maybe you just need a pep talk. Whatever the case, learn.WashU keeps you connected to whatever you need to achieve your degree.