Couple looking into online business schools

The Pros and Cons of Online Business School

Being a full-time student can be difficult, but balancing work and a family while attending class can be exhausting. That’s why universities are offering more and more online classes, and with the rise in online degree programs, going back to school is easier than ever before. Online business school can give your career a leg up, but it's important to know the good and the bad before you sign up.

Pros...

Convenience

This is the most attractive aspect of online programs. If you’re interested in taking online classes offered by a college in your area, you’ll find that there is very little in-class time. The professor might hold a meeting at the beginning of the semester to go over the class requirements, and then assign all work online. For wholly online classes, you probably won’t meet with classmates face-to-face at all. Oftentimes of the coursework is made available all at once, allowing students to work at their own pace. A motivated student can complete her degree quickly with accelerated online classes and a well-planned schedule.

Affordability

There are plenty of expenses associated with being a student, and they aren’t limited to tuition and books. Commuting to campus can take a toll on your gas budget. The MBA program you were looking into might be located states away, and in addition to travel costs, you need to find a place to live.

Thankfully, you may not need to worry about relocating: schools such as Penn State have started introducing expansive online catalogs (sometimes referred to as a “global campus”) so you can have the premier education without uprooting your life. If you’re looking for a better bargain, for-profit schools like Kaplan University tend to charge less per credit hour.

…and Cons.

Questionable Accreditation and Reputation

This is a problem with some for-profit schools. With new online colleges seemingly popping up out of nowhere, it’s crucial that you’re certain of a school’s accreditation. You may end up with a transcript of credits that are nontransferable.  Although the attitudes towards online-only degrees are changing, there has been (and still exists in many offices) a preference towards traditional degrees in the workplace.

Limited Networking

Some projects may be collaborative, but unlike a traditional classroom, you will hardly get to know your classmates and professor. Discussions often take place via message boards or other forms of online communication. An important part of school is broadening your network; learning from business experts can be done over the internet, but creating a connection requires extra effort. Befriending your peers may not be your highest priority, but a wise professor can be a valuable asset in the future. 

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