Online MBA is witnessing more takers than before and there has been a rise of about 30-40 percent in applicants for online MBA in Asia-pacific regions.

Online MBA Slowly Gaining Currency Among Professionals in India

Given its numerous benefits, the online MBA is increasingly becoming the preferred mode for acquiring the degree by working professionals in India, a positive sign for the e-learning companies who are trying to make a mark in the industry.

An MBA is always a favored degree among aspiring managers and potential organizational leaders. But, getting a bona fide MBA from an institution that matters isn’t always a piece of cake. Aspirants face different limiting situations, socio-economic and beyond, that throw a spanner in the works. Not everyone is ready to invest the required toil, money, and time to gain a regular MBA. Many had financial limitations and filial duties while other lack the talent and resources to meet the high entry bar of such programs.

A mid-career professional, stuck in a vicious circle of earning the present livelihood and aspiring a higher move in career, has no recourse to get a regular MBA degree. However, things seem to be changing for good. Earlier a shift from regular to distance provided some respite. Now, the possibility of getting an online MBA has opened doors to break the cycle of stagnation and slowdown in one’s career. Online MBA is witnessing more takers than before and there has been a rise of about 30-40 percent in applicants for online MBA in Asia-pacific regions, according to a report by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).  

Why Choose an Online MBA?

While choosing the online mode for doing MBA, there are many questions which come across one’s mind, especially of those who seriously want an MBA degree, for instance, “Is the degree accredited?” “Does it hold the same value as a regular MBA from a good institute?” “Will I gain as intensive learning experiences as a regular MBA holder?” 

Other equally recurrent doubts would be in the form of “Will the degree help me in getting the next promotion?” “Do I have the technical know-how to do it online?” “How will I manage to study along with work and family?” “Who will clear my doubts in an online environment?” “Will I get the benefit of learning from peers and networking with industry?” and so forth.

These questions are only imperative and originate from various reasons underlying people’s desire to get the degree. An article on ACADEMIC ADVICE BLOG of University of the Potomac crisply tries to answer the question “Is an Online MBA Right for You?” Some would want MBA to learn the managerial skill, some for authenticating their experience, some for making a whole new career, and so on. Their expectations from, and thus questions to, online MBA providers would apparently be different.

Benefits of Doing MBA Online

The first and foremost thing about studying online is that it provides flexibility to the learners. So, online mode is predominantly for those who want to strike a work-life balance along with pursuing their career related aspirations. The flexibility an online MBA can provide instills the motivation to complete the course if one has an inherent desire and passion for chasing one’s career goals. So, the second thing one must assess is one’s own strong determination and internal motivation before opting for online learning.

The flexibility an online MBA can provide instills the motivation to complete the course if one has an inherent desire and passion for chasing one’s career goals.

Now, coming to accreditation and recognition, there are presently only a handful of institutes offering online MBA in India, and all of these are accredited universities, e.g. Pondicherry University and Amity University are NAAC A+ accredited. Most of the institutes offering MBA in distance mode also use online platforms and mobile apps for imparting instructions, e.g. Sikkim Manipal University and IGNOU.

Then, there is availability of online Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from institutes like IMT and Symbiosis Centre for Distance learning. Some online learning companies are designing and developing courses in collaboration with other recognized institutions. Amity Global Varsity offers globally recognized MBA course with triple-crown accreditation in association with The Open University, UK.

upGrad offers Executive MBA program crafted by NAAC accredited NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education. Great Learning offers Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Business in collaboration with Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, US. The UGC (online courses) Regulation, 2018 is projected to further fuel the demand of online MBA courses in India. Recently, UGC green signaled Chandigarh University to start distance and online education. The university is now readying itself to launch 10 programs from January 2020, including MBA.

What does an Online MBA Course Offer?

The online learning environment (OLE) is continuously transforming itself for better and with the help of latest technological developments, it has fairly succeeded in providing learning experiences at par, if not richer than that of regular campus-based classroom environment. The curriculum includes the same components as of a standard MBA course and it is continuously updated in tune with the industry need.

The online MBA course involves the same rigor and comprehensiveness as a full-time course but has the provision for the learner to adapt the course requirement according to his/her own pace.  Many research studies on comparative analysis of online vs offline learning has corroborated with this fact.

The features such as increased interactivity, user engagement, synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication, virtual live classrooms, discussion boards, chats, videoconferencing, 24X7 access and availability anywhere anytime offer immense opportunity to undergo a self-paced learning and interact with instructors and peers.

Related social networking sites and apps may further help in establishing contacts and build one’s own professional network. Some of the online MBA providers, i.e. institutes or online learning companies also form tie-ups with universities and have industry linkages to provide best learning experience and placement opportunities. Overall, as a busy employee in an industry with less or no time to enrich and upscale, you can surely gain a competitive edge by earning an online MBA.

Is Doing MBA Online Worth?

Getting the maximum out of your online MBA degree purely depends upon your involvement and knowledge acquisition. Knowledge is what matters when a company hires or gives you your next promotion. The online MBA gives you world class exposure to study material and learning resources but how much you benefit out of it depends upon your personal interest and commitment.

Clubbed with a rich work-related experience, which an already working professional possess, the MBA degree adds up on the CV and lends recognition to his/her practical exposure via a bona fide certificate. It opens further avenues for potential career advancement. But, one should choose carefully the best online MBA course which suits his/her needs keeping in mind the factors discussed.

Online MBA: Rising Demand and Impact on E-learning Industry

Globally, and in Asia-Pacific Region, there is a conspicuous upward trend for online MBAs. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reported a 69 percent rise, between 2013 and 2018, in the number of business schools offering online MBAs accredited by it, with maximum growth in Asia-Pacific region.

Further, the GMAC compiled figures indicated a general decline in applications for two-year programs across schools in US, 70 percent schools reporting about it. In India too, we may sooner or later witness the phenomenon given the flexibility online MBAs are ready to offer in terms of time and space.

As discussed above, an online MBA is a lucrative degree which provides one with managerial skills, core competencies for senior positions, a global business perspective, networking opportunities and professional growth. India being an emerging economy has a huge demand for trained business graduates in various fields like finance, accounting, hotel management, health and human resource management, etc.

Also, an online MBA with constant up gradations and global exposure gives just the right footing for the professionals willing to work abroad.  The online reskiling and upskilling companies are trying to offer the learners the best of the experiences to meet the increasing demand for online MBA.

Second only to U.S. in e-learning market size, India is emerging as a hub for e-learning companies and edtech startups. The rising trend of online MBA worldwide is positively influencing the growth of e-learning companies and shaping the market.

Rikisha Bhaumik

    Rikisha Bhaumik is Honorary Associate Editor at Courseware World and has over 5 years of active association with the field of e-learning along with 10 years of active and continued association with school education. She is adept at experimenting with innovative tools and technologies in school education and her direct involvement with learners and pedagogy has given her an augmented insight into the scope of e-learning in school education. Her writing repertoire mainly consists of detailed and research-based articles on various e-learning concepts and trends.

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    Rikisha Bhaumik