With all of the advances in online classroom technology, earning your MBA online is quickly becoming a viable option and the stigma attached to online MBAs is fading away. As graduates with online degrees enter the workforce and succeed, the programs gain credibility. This is a huge shift from the norm when even only five years ago, employers shied away from candidates with an online degree.
While this is certainly good news for the students and alumni of online programs, they still have to work hard to stay competitive with students of traditional classroom MBAs. Employers still feel that the online MBA is not as challenging or rigorous as the traditional programs. Many said they didn't feel the online program could recreate the experience of face-to-face student interactions in the classroom, on teams, and in-group projects. Unfortunately, some employers haven't come around yet and believe that online MBA students aren't as serious as their classroom counterparts.
So what can those pursuing an online degree do to stay competitive in the job market? It helps to choose a program with a curriculum that mirrors the school's full time MBA curriculum such as MBA@UNC at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. Make sure you're putting as much effort into your school search, GMAT preparation, and applications as you would if you were attending an in-person program-it is a big decision! Employers also are more open to MBA students with stellar academic records and impressive work experience. Yes the online MBA has many benefits for those looking for flexibility or convenience-but be aware you will have to work harder than face-to-face MBAs.
In summary, an online MBA won't hold you back nearly as much as it did; however it will require a greater effort on your part to stand out from those who got their degree in person.