Students who are contemplating pursuing an online MBA program have many questions. With each program, there are many factors to consider. What will an online experience be like? Will future employers respect my degree? Will my online experience be advantageous for my current situation and future career? Will my job prospects expand? Will the degree offer me a return for my time, effort, and money?
Online MBA Today is sitting down with Pam Delany, the Director of Graduate Admission and Recruitment of the W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, to help answer some of these important questions. ASU was founded in 1885 as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe, 27 years before the establishment of Arizona as a state. Its main campus is located in Tempe, Arizona and receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. Currently, over 51,000 students pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level degrees at ASU. The W.P. Carey School of Business receives its excellent business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The 60-credit hour, 21-month online MBA program offers areas of emphasis in Finance, International Business, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. The Princeton Review deemed the business school 9th best in the nation while the Financial Times has ranked the online MBA the 11th best in the world. The ASU online MBA can also be seen in the top five in the U.S. News & World Report online MBA Ranking, as well as seen in the following rankings from Online MBA Today: Top Online MBA Programs in Arizona, Top 50 Online MBA Programs, and Top Online MBA Programs in Supply Chain Management.
Online MBA Today: What are some key differences between an online MBA and a residential MBA programs that prospective students should be aware of?
Pam Delany: The primary difference between online MBA and residential MBA programs is the way students have access to curriculum. Many online MBA programs can be completed 100% remotely, without ever having to step foot on campus. Students access their course content and engage with faculty and classmates via computer technology rather than in a classroom setting. In highly-ranked online programs, students typically are using the same rigorous curriculum as they would use at a residential program. Students considering an online MBA should compare that program's curriculum with on campus options to ensure they use the same innovative technology.
Online MBA Today: What do you think are some advantages of an online MBA program versus a residential program?
Pam Delany: Both online and on campus part-time MBA programs are ideal for professionals who wish to advance or pivot their careers while continuing to work full time. When considering online MBA programs, prospective students should look closely at the curriculum to ensure the degree program provides the same, accredited, rigorous and innovative curriculum as residential programs. Once curriculum quality is determined, the following advantages are available to online MBA students:
- Online programs are ideal for students who work and travel extensively for work. Coursework can be completed at any hour, anywhere in the world.
- Prospective students who are not able to move, can access top online MBA programs from their own city or country.
- It is a myth that online MBA programs do not allow for quality conversations and relationships with classmates. Online MBA programs actually require more participating in course discussions that student experience in the classroom. This is because of the uneven communication effect when in person conversations are often dominated by only a handful in the room. Online programs require that each student read, reflect, and share their insights and learnings with each other providing higher quality conversations.
Online MBA Today: What makes your program unique among online MBAs?
- A pioneer in delivering an Online MBA, W. P. Carey School of Business launched the program in 2004. The W. P. Carey Online MBA consistently ranks at the top, most recently #5 in Online MBA Programs, 2019 US News and World Report.
- The W. P. Carey Online MBA uses the same innovative, high-ranked curriculum as its Professional Flex part-time MBA.
- W. P. Carey Online MBAs have the opportunity to combine the MBA with degrees from ASU's highly ranked Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (MBA/Master of Legal Studies) or the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering (MBA/MSE Electrical Engineering and MBA/MS Industrial Engineering).
- Full access to W. P. Carey's high-ranked Career Management Services with opportunities to attend online workshops, participate in virtual 1:1 career coaching, and access career opportunities.
- Fully online, students can earn a high-ranked program from anywhere in the world.
Online MBA Today: What do you look for in successful applicants to your program?
Pam Delany: Successful candidates have demonstrated success in their careers, as well as academically. W. P. Carey looks at each candidate holistically, taking into careful consideration work experience, test scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, and essays.
Online MBA Today: What has been the experience of your graduates in the job market?
Pam Delany: The majority of W. P. Carey Online MBA students are currently working while they are in the program. However, both career changers and advancement seekers have access to a mix of robust Career Management Services offerings.
Online MBA Today: Anything else you'd like to say about your program?
Pam Delany: The W. P. Carey Online MBA program offers two start dates: August and January.
BIG TAKE AWAYS
COMMUNICATION: Many people believe that when a person acquires their education online, it is a lonely education where students have no real relationships with other students or enough verbal communication with classmates. Pam has explained to us that this is a myth. The Arizona State Online MBA Program is quite the opposite. In a classroom setting you tend to find that only a few students dominate the conversation. In comparison, Pam describes that this "online program requires that each student read, reflect, and share their insights and learning with each other providing higher quality conversations."
PIONEER: As the W.P. Carey School of Business started their Online MBA Program in 2004, they were one of the first toenter this type of program into the world of education. Being ahead of many other colleges and universities, having much experience, and many years of learning, perfecting, and developing the curriculum and program, contributes to ASU's Online MBA continued top rankings. It is certain that many students do and would greatly benefit from a program that is a pioneer in its field.
ADVANTAGE: Students who are pursuing this Online MBA have the uniquely advantageous opportunity to combine their MBA with other degrees offered at ASU to help expand their education and career options beyond the MBA. This is a great asset to this program. The degree options are: Master of Legal Studies, MSE in Electrical Engineering, or an MS in Industrial Engineering.