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Are online or in-person MBA programs better?

I plan on attending an in-person MBA program, but I want to keep my options flexible.

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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Genevieve,

I am sure it’s both exciting and nerve racking to be preparing for an MBA program. Kudos to you!

Concerning the format, online or in-person, this may be a personal preference question (as Rebecca mentioned) if the MBA is exactly the same regardless of the format.

More importantly, consider comparing different program offerings and formats to determine if you have the access to all the same opportunities. Look for opportunities to do internships, participate in certain events on campus, study abroad, research, etc. If there are academic and social experiences that are important to you and they are offered to all students (online or in-person), then you should be okay in your college search.

Be sure to review MBA entry requirements carefully. For example, many programs may have a work-after-your- bachelor’s degree requirement before you can apply. Also, pay attention to GMAT or GRE requirements (if needed). Finally, please consider programs that have many concentrations or options for your MBA, such as Accounting, Finance, Real Estate, Financial Engineering, etc.

I hope this helps to clarify and all the best!

Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice and the kind words! :-) Genevieve
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Ayush’s Answer

The major issue with online MBA is the lackluster experiential learning and difficulty in forming informal relationships. As online MBA is often attended by working folks, many of them are located across the country and discussions stop as soon as classes end. There may be networking sessions organized but they can not match the ambience of a physical classroom or a networking event where you see people everyday and can do activities together.
An in person MBA also allows you to interact with recruiters, guests and professors both before and after events/classes. An in person MBA also allows you to plan multiple events with your fellow classmates much more easily. You feel much more as part of a cohort with everyone going through classes, parties and recruitment together.

Online MBA may save you some money in fees and relocation money but in the long term you will most likely do an MBA once, so you should try and make it happen in person even if its part-time.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective! Genevieve
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Thomas’s Answer

An online MBA program can be a great option if you're looking for more flexibility in terms of when and where you study. It can also be a good option if you want to keep your current job and study part-time. However, an online MBA program may not offer the same networking opportunities as an in-person program.

An in-person MBA program is likely to offer more networking opportunities, and it may also be a better option if you want to build relationships with your classmates and professors. However, it can be more difficult to balance work and family commitments with an in-person MBA program.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Genevieve
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you would like to take a MBA degree. Perhaps I can try to share my experience and views.
In MBA course, it is an very interactive courses. that involving a lot of discussion with the professor and your classmates. The classes are usually conducted via Business case studies & discussion and projects. That is the crucial part of your learning in the entire course. The instruction led part is comparatively less weighted.
On the other hand, you can establish the network with a your classmates and alumni. This will form an important part of your assets .
So, you may have more benefit if you can attend the MBA courses in person than online. You may not able to have that level of people contact via online.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Genevieve
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi-

There are pros and cons to both in person and online course work. COVID pandemic and shutdown has certainly taught us that.

Focusing on the positive aspects;
On line course work usually allows for greater flexibility with scheduling. This may be important if juggling course work, employment and outside interests/family.
But in person is very important to build relationships, networking and collaborative work. In person often allows you to form study groups and project teams. Such groups/teams can provide experience and education not found in a text. The ability to build interpersonal skills working with others could be a wonderful experience.

I suppose if really torn between in person and online courses, consult the learning institution/school to see if there is hybrid option where most classes are in person, but perhaps some could be taken remotely or on line
Thank you comment icon Thanks again Elizabeth! Genevieve
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Shweta’s Answer

It is a personal choice. I would go for in-person course.

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you!! Genevieve
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Sarah’s Answer

I personally preferred the benefits that came with an in-person MBA program, such as the face-to-face interactions with my peers, the networking opportunities, collaborating on group projects together, etc. It was also nice to have in-person interactions with my professors, which I think would have been more challenging in an online setting. But, as everyone else has stated, it really comes down to your own personal preference and situation. Many of the people who took the virtual MBA route at my university were working at least part time (with some full time), so online courses provided them the flexibility they needed. I chose the in-person route because I knew I wanted to grow my network and experience as much of the on-campus offerings as I could. I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Genevieve
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Piper’s Answer

Definitely up to you! I know folks who have had a great experience both in-person and through a virtual program.

I personally am in an in-person MBA program and the networking opportunities are phenomenal. The ability to meet with your classmates, collaborate on projects, and get to know your professors is really valuable and something that can be tough to replicate in a virtual program.
Thank you comment icon Thank you!! Genevieve
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Tyghe’s Answer

I'll echo what the others wrote. Personal preference was huge for me, but may not be for everyone. Networking and experiential learning can certainly be more limited in an online course, but that also may be offset by the convenience.

A couple of additional comments not addressed by others, though:
• There are hybrid programs out there that may combine some of the benefits of both online and in-person.
• Degrees from online-only schools may not be as well-respected by people who are making hiring decisions, particularly early in your career (educational institution becomes less important as your progress through your career, in my experience). I'm not sure if the same bias exists towards online-only degrees from institutions with a physical campus. I'm not saying whether or not this is fair, but wanted to put it out there.

One last piece of unsolicited advice: take some risks in the classes you take. You may be surprised with what you learn and how it helps you in the future. I use lots of things I learned in my program that I never thought would be particularly helpful in my career.

Best of luck to you in your education and career!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for taking the time to help me out!! Genevieve
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