What are the key factors that individuals should consider in the MBA decision process?
Mary Carr: The MBA decision process for most individuals comes down to the tradeoff between time and money. Many working professionals juggling work, life, and family can’t commit to traditional programs that require them to attend classes in a traditional setting.
Yet, they recognize that the leadership and business acumen skills an MBA can provide are critical to their career progression. As online education has gained acceptance among both students and employers, the number of online MBA options has exploded in recent years.
When selecting an online MBA, there are four fundamentals to consider:
- The curriculum
- Investigate the faculty
- Look for a student-focused program
- Gauge the ROI
- The bottom line is the benefit to your career. Our whole philosophy is the ‛learn today, apply tomorrow’ model.
- We want to transform the lives of our students and give them the tools to be better leaders.
How do employers benefit from their employees pursuing a professional MBA?
Dean Sippel: What’s the value of an MBA? It’s often a question I receive from employers at JWMI.
There is a great deal of noise surrounding whether an MBA is necessary. Some corporate officers are critical of the cost, claiming an MBA is too expensive to be valuable, that schools don’t have students’ best interests in mind, or that students can learn equally as much through hands-on experience in their career.
In response to many critical views, an online MBA is often more economical, allows for students to work while they earn their MBA and in the case of a Jack Welch MBA specifically, revolves around the student and his or her success.
The online MBA structure benefits not only students but also their employers since lessons from the classroom can be applied immediately on the job. Similarly, students can bring business challenges to the classroom and receive feedback from both professors and peers.
Lastly, there is a very practical concern that many companies don’t have the resources to build training programs that teach both business acumen and leadership skills. An MBA gives employees plenty of opportunities to grow their technical skills and acquire new management skills – including strategic thinking and critical analysis.
At JWMI, students learn proven business and leadership lessons from Jack Welch and experts from today’s leading organizations such as Berkshire Hathaway, Netflix, McDonald’s, Boeing, Home Depot, Medtronic, and more.
In addition, our faculty members are all experienced professionals, not just tenured academics. So, students receive mentorship from functional experts with real-world experience.
What are the key features of an online MBA?
Meghan Rodgers: One of the biggest benefits is flexibility. With an MBA, working professionals can build a diverse set of leadership and business skills that can be applied to every industry and position. At JWMI, students benefit from an asynchronous class format. They can log into class and complete their coursework in their own time. This structure allows students to carry their MBA through travel, relocation, and even job changes without missing deadlines.
How does a professional MBA differ from a residential MBA?
Meghan Rodgers: Today, there is no difference in quality between online and residential MBA programs. Students often have access to the same curriculum, faculty, and career services regardless of program structure. The decision often comes down to time and resources.”
What advice would you have for someone working at an executive level, with over five years’ managerial experience considering getting their MBA?
Dean Sippel says: There is no age limit for earning an MBA. Deciding to go back to school involves considering family obligations and approval, workplace support, financial concerns, time allotment, and an understanding of the family-work-school balance.
At JWMI, the average age of students is 40, and we attract students at all career stages, across all industries and functions and from around the world. This diversity adds to the robust peer-to-peer learning environment.
What do you believe to be some of the myths around studying an online MBA?
- Online MBA programs aren’t credible
- Online programs are easier
- Earning an online MBA requires self-discipline, self-motivation, perseverance, and sharp organizational skills
- I won’t meet people during an online MBA
- I’ll never interact with my professors
- Employers don’t recognize online MBAs
- The financial return is lower for an online MBA