Students who are contemplating an online MBA program have many questions. What will the MBA program be like? Will I benefit from an online experience? Will I receive the same education as a residential student? Will employers respect my degree and see my education as credible? Will my job prospects expand? Will the program be worth all that I put into it?
Online MBA Today is sitting down with Carly Broussard, the Director of the MBA Program at Lamar University, to help answer some of these important questions about their top-ranked online MBA. Located in Beaumont, Texas, Lamar University is home to more than 15,000 students and is one of the fastest growing colleges in Texas. Their College of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This 36-hour credit program is one of the most affordable, high-quality online Masters of Business Administration degrees in the nation. Along with having a nationally recognized faculty, Lamar University's online MBA has been ranked one of the Top Best Value Online MBA Programs, one of the Most Affordable Online MBA Programs in the country, one of the Best Online MBA Programs, as well as highlighted in the categories of Management and Healthcare Management. Beyond those two specializations, this Online MBA offers specialization options in Criminal Justice Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Construction Project Management.
Online MBA Today: What are some key differences between an online MBA and a residential MBA that prospective students should be aware of?
Carly Broussard: The only differences are the method of delivery and the few additional MBA concentrations offered only online, for example Port Management, Criminal Justice Management, Construction Project Management, etc. The same professors who teach in our campus program also teach our online courses and the material taught in either format is the same content.
Online MBA Today: What do you think are some advantages of an online MBA program versus a residential program?
Carly Broussard: Online offerings help students with established careers and families work an MBA into their already busy life. The convenience of working on assignments at a time that fits around other commitments makes this option desirable for students.
Online MBA Today: What makes your program unique among online MBAs?
Carly Broussard: We are a smaller institution, so the amount of personal attention you receive, even in an online class differs from other universities. Our courses are set up in such a way that even when you work on assignments such as discussion posts for a course, you are working with all our MBA students enrolled in that course, whether they are online or on-campus. We also have a variety of concentrations within our program. These concentrations allow students with the ability to customize their degree plan to fit their career aspirations.
Online MBA Today: What do you look for in successful applicants to your program?
Carly Broussard: For admission, we consider a combination of GPA and GMAT scores. For students with at least four years of advancing managerial experience and a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA, we offer a GMAT waiver option.
Online MBA Today: What has been the experience of your graduates in the job market?
Carly Broussard: Many of the students in our program are employed while completing the MBA. We find that students advance in their careers during or after the completion of their coursework. The goal of our program is to help our students learn how to become better decision makers, using relevant data. This approach benefits our students no matter their industry.
Online MBA Today: Anything else you'd like to say about your program?
Carly Broussard: We are one of the most affordable MBA programs. This serves our students well when they consider the return on their investment. A graduate degree that costs less than $25,000 is a worthwhile investment when considering the return in future years of employment. Also, the time to completion is short. Students with an undergraduate degree in business can finish our program in as few as 16 months. Most finish in 18-24 months.
Anyone who is interested should sign up to attend the next MBA open house. Attending our MBA open house gives a student valuable information about the program and allows them to ask any questions they may have.
Big Take Aways
Good ROI: It is highly important for a prospective student to evaluate their possible Return on Investment (ROI). Can that they can get out of a program exactly what they need to be successful? Is it worth the time and money they put into it when they have to make sacrifices to earn their degree? Lamar University has one of the most affordable MBA programs, which only increases the possible return. They also offer a shorter completion time than most other universities, meaning that students can start reaping the rewards of their hard work before students from other schools.
Flexibility: An online education is particularly attractive to students who are currently employed. Lamar University has many students that are employed while completing their online MBA program. They have found that students who are currently attending classes or have completed their courses advance in their careers. The flexibility of being able to successfully pursue an MBA while still taking care of all of their current responsibilities, as well as continuing to gain on-the-job experience is what makes an online degree desirable for many students.
Personal Attention: In the MBA program, there are the same professors and the same course content no matter the modality of the student. Also, being a smaller institution, Lamar University professors are able to give more personal attention to each student than other larger universities and programs, even in the online classrooms. This allows a student to fully know that when they start Lamar University's online MBA program, they have an excellent advantage of having professors who have time to answer their questions and help guide them throughout the entire program. Also, the way the courses are set up, whether you are an online student or a residential student, you will have access to all of the MBA students in that course when posting to discussion boards.