Difference Between an Online MBA and a Traditional MBA

by : Amelia Turner



MBA programs are a popular choice for many mid-career professionals who want to earn a credential in management level to prepare for their career advancement. Nowadays, with the available of online education programs, you have a choice to earn your MBA degree from traditional MBA program offered by a campus-based university or through an online MBA program. What are the differences between the online and traditional campus-based type of MBA programs? Knowing the basics will help you to decide whether or not these programs are right for you.

In term of educational goal, both online learning and traditional MBA programs general share the same goal of preparing the students for many fields, functions, and industries to help them progress toward a specific career goal. Both online and traditional MBA can be considered equally difficult and have a similar type of curriculum. Both MBA learning types are able to help you achieve your career goal, but instead of spending hours in class as in traditional MBA program, online MBA students are expected to dedicate their time to study independently.

Traditional MBA program will have a time table which you need to follow to attend the classes on time. If you decide to pursue your degree through campus-based MBA program and at the same time maintaining your current employment, you may need to adjust your working schedule to fit the time table of your MBA courses. Most working individuals who sign up for traditional MBA program will normally enroll into evening classes or time after work. They also need to commute to and from school and they might miss the classes if they need to stay after work due to important assignment or project. For those working individuals who are frequently travel on job assignment, they may have difficulties to fit their time to the fixed time table of the MBA courses.

Online MBA programs solve the above problems with the features of flexibility, self-pace and convenient of attending classes from any location as long as the location has internet connection for the student to login into the online classes. The online students who pursue their MBA online can attend the classes, downloading their training materials and assignments, submitting their courses from their comfort location through internet connection. The flexibility time tables of online learning allow students to plan their own study time based on their learning pace and convenient schedule. The features best fit for most working individuals who have busy working schedule. The frequent travelers are able to take advantages of studying anywhere and at anytime with online MBA program.

While traditional MBA courses require you to attend the physical lectures and work with your physical peers on group assignments, online curriculum generally consist of lectures, reading, assignments which are all in text, multimedia and audio format which you need to login to the school's online system to view or download the materials. Most of time you are using online channels such as online discussion board, online chatting, email and sometime phone calls to communicate with the lecturers and online classmates.

In general, online MBA and traditional MBA programs are similar in term of curriculums but different in term of the learning media. Online MBA programs require the students to be more self-motivation and self-discipline to make progress to complete on their degree program.