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Is an online MBA worth it?

November 13, 2019

Consider A Flexible, Critical Thinking Program 

When students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) online degree program at Creighton University Heider College of Business are ready to go to class – they pick the time and day that’s convenient for them, log onto the classroom website and begin the week’s assignment.

A woman on a laptop smiling

Online Degree Programs are Growing

In an attempt to make MBA programs more accessible to working professionals, a growing number of business schools across the country are bringing the master of business administration degree program to the student via online learning—allowing students the flexibility to keep their jobs and their income.

When U.S. News & World Report published its ranking of online MBA programs for 2019, it ranked 300 online MBA programs, nearly double the 180 programs it surveyed in 2017. 

Creighton University’s MBA program was ranked 17th among 301 schools in the US News & World Report's 2019 Best Online MBA Programs. This ranking is based on engagement by instructors; aptitude of students enrolled in the program; expert opinion from high-ranking academic officials at MBA programs; faculty credentials and training; and the availability of diverse learning technologies and other student services.

“Online education opens the doors to higher education to many more professionals who want to advance in their current jobs but realize they need to expand the breadth of their business and leadership skills in order to move up the ranks,” says Eric Neuman, PhD, MBA program director and associate professor of management at Creighton University. “Businesses respect the value of an online degree as many well-known schools have adopted online learning and incorporate high academic standards.”

Flexibility is Key

The number of students enrolled in online MBA programs is also growing. Of the 400 students enrolled in Creighton’s rolling admission MBA program, approximately half are now online students.

“What students love about Creighton’s program is the high flexibility we provide,” says Todd Darnold, PhD, associate dean for graduate programs at Creighton University. “Creighton offers a hybrid approach that allows students to participate in a combination of online and classroom learning. You can start your degree whenever you want and we allow ample time to complete it. You can also pursue a dual degree that allows you to get two degrees with fewer credit hours and less cost.”

 Once you have completed some basic business classes, you can then tailor your classes to fit your needs. If you desire to have more classroom experience, you can attend on-campus classes whenever it fits into your schedule, says Darnold.

MBA online classes at Creighton are limited to 20 students to allow the instructor ample time to engage with students, participate in discussions and respond to questions in a timely manner. “Through a variety of technological tools including discussion boards and video conferencing as well as group projects, there is a lot of interaction between students and faculty,” says Neuman.

Online Courses Sharpen Critical Thinking

Instructors agree that online learning forces students to use more critical thinking skills and organizational skills because they must analyze material, synthesize it and then write about it on discussion boards. This also helps students develop better communication and writing skills, which are critical in management level positions. Online programs also encourage time management skills and self-motivation.

Satisfaction levels of online MBA programs are quite high. Poets & Quants recently surveyed graduates of these programs and asked them whether they would recommend the program they completed to friends or relatives. On a scale of one to ten, with ten reflecting the best answer possible, graduates gave their programs an average score of 9.22. The survey also found high rates of satisfaction on many aspects of the programs from quality of the professors in the virtual classroom to the effectiveness of career advising in the program.

Do your research before enrolling

Not all MBA programs are the same.

“The market for online master of business administration programs has become very competitive,” says Darnold, “and not all schools offer the same caliber of experience that you will get at a high quality business school like Creighton University. Our goal is to provide the best learning experience possible for our students by holding the line on quality for everything from our faculty who teach the courses, a comprehensive curriculum to creating a rich learning environment to the students we admit. Students need to do their homework before selecting an MBA program.”