Online MBA vs Regular MBA: Which Is the Right Choice for You?

In today’s highly competitive job market, advanced degrees such as an Online MBA vs a Regular MBA have become increasingly important for career advancement and success. Among the most sought-after degrees in the business world is the Master of Business Administration (MBA), which provides students with broad skills and knowledge in finance, marketing, management, and leadership. 

Traditionally, earning an MBA required attending classes at a prestigious business school on campus, where students would engage in immersive learning experiences, network with industry leaders, and form lasting connections with peers. However, in recent years, the rise of online learning has disrupted the traditional model of higher education, offering students a flexible and convenient way to earn an MBA from anywhere in the world. 

Online MBA programmes have gained popularity among working professionals who want to enhance their skills and knowledge without taking a break from their careers. 

However, the question remains: is an online MBA as valuable as a regular, on-campus MBA? In this blog, we’ll explore the difference between online MBA and regular MBA programmes and assist you in deciding which one is the right fit for your career goals and lifestyle. 

Major Difference between Online MBA and Regular MBA 

When pursuing an MBA, students have two options: an online MBA and a regular MBA. The differentiating factor between them is the mode of delivery.

Traditional MBA programmes typically have full-time classes conducted on campus. In contrast, online MBA programmes offer more flexibility, allowing students to complete their coursework and assessment remotely. 

Another significant difference between online MBA vs regular MBA programmes is the level of interaction with lecturers and peers. 

Regular MBA programmes offer face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates, providing a more immersive learning experience. In contrast, online MBA programmes rely heavily on communicating through video conferencing, online forums, and school email to pursue the course curriculum. Additionally, the structure and pace of the programs may differ based on your chosen educational partner. For example, regular MBA programmes usually follow a strict curriculum plan with a set schedule of classes and assignments. In contrast, online classes allow students to plan around their schedules to study. 

Online MBA: Best for Working Professionals 

We’ve covered the main difference between online and regular MBAs. Now we’ll explain why earning your MBA online might be better if you are a working professional. 

Flexibility 

Suppose you are currently working and you are looking for a promotion. In this case, the online MBA programme is a great option. The best business schools that provide top MBA online programmes ensure that their students have a hassle-free experience with flexible schedules.  

Data from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business revealed that the figures of accredited US schools with online MBA programmes increased by 85% from the academic year 2016-17 to 2020-21. 

It is one of the reasons why many working professionals with career aspirations of attaining managerial positions pursue them nowadays.

Career Advancement 

The job industry is growingly competitive, and it is challenging to secure a job, let alone climb up the corporate ladder to a higher position. With the emergence of remote work, managing employees has also become tricky. 

Adaptability and eagerness to learn are top traits employers look for in managers, which can significantly improve your career opportunities. An online MBA will prepare you for this. They will allow you to become better at working in and leading teams across virtual platforms and remote workplaces. You will also be versatile in your job operations. 

Learn Modern Concepts 

An online MBA programme will equip you with crucial knowledge to increase your worth at the workplace and have excellent career opportunities in various sectors. 

The online MBA also emphasises modern business concepts to prepare you for the evolving workforce. For example, digital marketing, financial analysis and risk management are some of the most in-demand areas in doing business.  

Regular MBA: Best for Fresh Graduates/Switching Careers 

However, a regular MBA may be the better fit if you are a fresh graduate or looking to switch careers. Here’s why:  

Networking Opportunities 

A big reason why you should enrol in an MBA is that you can build your support network. Pursuing a regular MBA in school offers many opportunities, from working with academic leaders and industry experts to networking with alums and forging meaningful relationships.

The connections you build with your peers, lecturers and mentors may provide you with career opportunities or even help with specialised tasks.  

research study by Santander Universities revealed that 25% of UK students currently run or plan to start a business while studying. Therefore, if you’re a budding entrepreneur wanting to build your own company, having a supportive network is crucial to start a business

Develop Skills Fast 

We are sure that you – like many others, probably think that choosing work experience is superior to a school experience, as it provides real-world problems that cannot be easily replicated in a classroom setting.  

However, one of the benefits of a regular MBA is that it provides the learning environment for you to pick up the right skill sets needed quickly, to either work in an organisation or even build your own business. It could be a cheat sheet.  

The regular MBA covers many aspects of business operations, including finance, marketing, management, operations, etc. So yes, you could learn about it when working in an organisation or setting up your business. But it would take so much longer. A regular MBA provides you with crucial knowledge to set foot into the business world within a year or two, depending on the programme duration. 

You Can Make Mistakes 

Sounds cliche? But it is a valuable piece of advice. If have not tried, you will never know. Making mistakes and learning from your failures is key to developing an adaptable, flexible and resilient mindset.

The regular MBA programme is great because it creates a safe space where students can fail and get recommendations from industry professionals, peers and professors before they go ahead with their ideas.  

It is a highly underrated aspect of the programme because there are no second chances in the real world. Therefore, it is crucial to use failure as a stepping stone to work towards success. The regular MBA programme provides you with the opportunities to try some ideas. 

Online MBA vs Regular MBA Admissions Requirements 

If you have decided which MBA to take, the next step is to determine if you qualify for the programme. The admissions requirements are different at each educational institute. At MDIS, the requirements for the regular MBA awarded by the University of Sunderland, UK, are as follows:  

· Possess a relevant degree  

· Have an equivalent professional qualification  

· Working in a senior/managerial role but without a formal academic background  

Here are the requirements for the online MBA programme awarded by Edinburgh Napier University, UK, at MDIS:  

· Possess a Bachelor (Honours) Degree with at least a 2.2 CGPA and 2 years of working experience  

· 8 years of relevant work experience if the applicant is above 30 years of age 

Online MBA vs Regular MBA Cost at MDIS 

Now that you know more about the programmes offered by MDIS, let’s look at the difference between an online MBA and a regular MBA in terms of cost. 

For the online MBA, you can choose a specialisation track in one of four disciplines; health management, hospitality and tourism management, leadership and innovation, and marketing.  

The tuition fees are S$20, 120.40* for local and international applicants. 

Meanwhile, the tuition fees for the regular MBA programmes are S$23,760.00** for local applicants and S$27,864.00** for international applicants. 

* Source: Online MBA from Edinburgh Napier University, UK

**Source:  MBA from University of Sunderland, UK

Online MBA vs Regular MBA Career & Salary 

Moving on to a hot topic, career opportunities and remuneration are always one of the main things that candidates look forward to when they pursue an MBA. You may be worried that an online MBA will limit your career opportunities and salary range. 

According to a faculty director of MBA programmes and professor of management at the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration, it was revealed that the online MBA graduate’s salary range from USD$100,000 to USD$250,000, level with mid-career professionals. 

Simply put, the earning potential and career opportunities are similar for graduates of both the online MBA and regular MBA programmes. 

Pros and Cons of an Online MBA vs Regular MBA 

If you have forgotten everything up to now, don’t worry. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the online MBA vs regular MBA for you to make the best choice. 

Online MBA vs Regular MBA: Conclusion 

The online and regular MBA are great options for increasing your skill sets and expanding your career opportunities. However, it is also essential to choose reliable programmes from reputable educational institutes to ensure that your learning journey is experiential and fruitful.  

Established in 1956, MDIS has been a pioneer in the private educational landscape for six decades. We offer a range of full-time and part-time MBA programmes awarded by UK and US universities. Contact our consultants today who will assist you with your online MBA or regular MBA queries. 

Muhd Erfan

With a passion for knowledge and a commitment to intellectual rigor, Erfan explores complex subjects with depth and clarity.

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Muhd Erfan

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