MBA basics: Choosing Distance Learning can be a Lifestyle Decision

Perhaps your work involves travel and you need the flexibility to study when and where you like; perhaps you can neither afford the time nor cost of tuition fees, along with (unpaid) time off work to attend a full-time or part-time MBA.

Or, you live, say, in Ukraine, but want an American MBA when no such school is available; equally feasibly, you live and work in the back of beyond, and want to stay there, many hours away from the campus and classroom.

Whatever, you have weighed up the options and decided to trust all to the digital age and take an online, or distance learning, MBA.

That, you thought, was the hard part; choosing a provider would be the easy bit.

But not so fast; online providers themselves offer a wide variety of programmes, and in some ways the choice is even broader than for a traditional MBA; remember, once online, it is just as easy for someone in Calcutta to choose a provider in Singapore or Spain as it is New Delhi.

This was fundamental to Franck Besseat, a French computer engineer, looking west in the choice of his MBA provider.

“I wanted a North American degree because I was already planning a move there. Online programmes are great for people who seek to relocate; you can prepare your integration for your future working environment,” he says.

Mr Besseat already fitted one of the classic distance-learning profiles; he had a busy job, including travel across time zones.

“This choice was driven by my working constraints; I needed a programme flexible enough to enable me to prepare my assignments off-line, and to log on at will, independent of time and location,” he says.

Sures Muniandy, a Malaysian national with a degree in life sciences, was another “classical” online MBA recruit: “I’m married with two kids. I was a sales manager in pharmaceuticals before my MBA. I wanted a university that offered flexible times, without attending classes, as I was travelling extensively; and I wanted weekends for my family,” he says. Read full story.


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