U.S. News and World Report ranks more than 300 online MBA programs — and the list is growing because these programs allow professionals to earn a degree while continuing to work in their current roles.
“Many working adults aren’t going to be able to push pause on their career, on their life to attend school full time,” says Mary Carr, dean at the Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI). But choosing the right program is crucial.
When selecting an online MBA, there are four fundamentals to consider:
1. The curriculum
Understand what you are going to learn. “Jack Welch has been involved in the development of our program from day one,” Carr notes of JWMI, “and he continues to provide insights on the curriculum based on the companies and industries he consults with around the world. In that way, we ensure that what we teach aligns with the skills employers are seeking in their leaders.”
2. Investigate the faculty
Just as important is who is teaching you. “For example,” Carr says, “our faculty are all academically qualified, but they also have real-world experience in some of the leading companies in the world including P&G, Microsoft and Deloitte. They serve as business mentors to students.”
3. Look for a student-focused program
Many academic institutions are focused more on the faculty and research side. Look for a program that has a student-first philosophy.
4. Gauge the ROI
The return should be clear, Carr says. “For example, we conducted a survey of 1,281 students in their last term at JWMI and found that 2 out of 3 of them are getting raises and promotions while enrolled.”
The bottom line is the benefit to your career. “Our whole philosophy is the ‛learn today, apply tomorrow’ model,” says Carr. “We want to transform the lives of our students and give them the tools to be better leaders.”