An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a prestigious postgraduate qualification that teaches students key business and leadership practices. An MBA degree is highly valued by employers across a wide range of industries, and many graduates secure top positions with enviable starting salaries and excellent job security.
Getting an MBA via a traditional classroom-based programme is often unobtainable for professionals who are already working or have other commitments, such as young children. Fortunately, an MBA course online offers a flexible learning solution and makes it possible for anyone to earn this prestigious postgraduate degree. If you’re considering enrolling in an MBA programme online, then here are some tips to help you survive and thrive on your course.
Research what will be involved
You should never enrol in an online MBA programme without having a thorough understanding of the coursework and what will be involved. Getting an MBA qualification is a massive undertaking, and you should consider the implications of the course before you sign up. Enrolling in an online MBA before you are ready could be a huge waste of money and time, so it pays to do your research.
You should find out key information such as what topics are covered in the curriculum, tuition fees, course length, placements, admission requirements, and so on. Most reputable business schools offer detailed information and guidance on MBA programmes and what to expect. You can also visit popular news sites like the tes to find informative articles and content on MBAs and the benefits.
Understand the long-term benefits
An MBA is a popular stepping stone to executive-level jobs in companies and large organisations. Getting an MBA requires a hefty investment, but this should be outweighed by the benefits. Focusing on the long-term benefits will help you stay positive and motivated while you are studying for an MBA qualification. Below are some top benefits of getting an online MBA:
Executive job opportunities
An MBA isn’t a guaranteed ticket to an executive position. However, the qualification can unlock top-level positions and help you break into competitive business industries such as the Wall Stress finance sector. Having an MBA will enhance your employability and set you apart from your peers with similar qualifications and experience.
Most MBA graduates land executive positions not long after they complete the programme. MBA grads are eligible for top-level roles in a vast range of industries, including marketing, technology, human resources, technology, and healthcare.
Impressive earning potential
According to careerkarma.com: “Graduates of top-rated business schools receive an average annual salary of $161,566 post-graduation.” The amount that you earn after graduating will depend on your job role and industry. For example, graduates who work for private organisations typically earn more than those who find employment in the non-profit sector. That said, working for a non-profit company can offer MBA graduates additional benefits such as high job satisfaction and a rewarding sense of fulfilment.
If you are searching for ways to boost your earning potential, then getting an online MBA could be the answer. One study found that MBA graduates earn more than their coworkers without a postgraduate degree. The cost of getting an MBA qualification should be recovered quickly once your salary increases post-graduation.
Some key skills that will be enhanced during an MBA program are critical thinking, communication, leadership, and intellectual creativity. These skills are highly transferable and can benefit many job roles outside of the business sector.
MBA graduates can be found working in a wide variety of industries, including IT, healthcare, government, hospitality, and many more. An online MBA will teach you an advanced skill set that will help you reach your ultimate career goals.
Choose the perfect online MBA programme
Online MBA programmes have surged in popularity, and there are now hundreds of different courses available. This can make picking the right online MBA program a difficult task. Explore the different MBA programmes on offer and narrow down your options until you have a shortlist. If the schools you are interested in also offer classroom-based courses, then you may decide to visit the campus to get a feel for the school and the business department.
You will also need to decide whether you want to study for an online MBA part-time or full-time. If you are keen to climb the corporate ladder or plan a career move, then a full-time online MBA might be the best option. Whereas, a part-time programme could be the ideal solution for a working professional who has family responsibilities. MBA Central states that “part-time MBA programmes usually take two or three years to complete, although some part-time courses require up to five years of study.” On the other hand, a full-time MBA program can be completed in as little as one year, although you won’t have time to hold down a job during this time.
Consider the pros and cons of online learning
Online learning offers a multitude of benefits over brick and mortar courses, although there are also some disadvantages you should be aware of.
Advantages of online learning
The flexibility of online learning is one of the biggest advantages for professionals who are working or caring for families. You can choose when, how, and where you study and tailor learning around your routine. Online learning will also allow you to advance your digital skills and become more confident in your technological abilities. Another advantage of online degrees is that they tend to be more affordable than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Disadvantages of online learning
Some students find it difficult to find the motivation to complete coursework without a strict learning structure and direction from an instructor. While most employers now recognise online education as credible, some organisations still prefer traditional courses. You will also have fewer networking opportunities and social interactions when you choose an online MBA programme.
Consider these advantages and disadvantages carefully to help you decide whether an online MBA programme is the best option for you. Generally speaking, you will be successful at remote learning if you are organised, committed, and self-motivated. You may prefer a classroom-based course if you prefer more structure and enjoy regular social interaction with your peers and teachers.
Follow a consistent study schedule
You should take full advantage of the flexibility offered by online MBA programmes and study at a time that is convenient for you. However, you should avoid completing coursework and learning tasks sporadically. Instead, stick with a consistent learning schedule and study at pre-determined times.
Following a consistent study schedule is one of the most effective ways to stay on top of your MBA coursework and achieve your learning goals. Read through your course information and highlight important deadlines and exams. Then, create your study schedule around this info and determine how much time you will need to dedicate to individual learning tasks.
Design your ideal learning environment
Your learning environment has a major impact on your academic performance and outcomes. For instance, studies have shown that mess and clutter can distract students, resulting in poorer performance and increased stress. It can be more difficult to stay focused when you are studying at home, so you must design a productive learning space that will motivate you to achieve your learning objectives.
Follow this step-by-step guide to design your ideal learning environment at home:
- Choose a location where you will complete your learning tasks. This may be your bedroom or a home office, for example. Avoid picking a communal area like the living room where you are likely to be distracted by family members or housemates.
- Buy essential learning equipment such as a desk and office chair, a laptop or computer monitor, course books, and stationery.
- Remove potential distractions from your learning space, such as televisions and games.
- Add some greenery with house plants. Research by org found that plants can reduce stress, improve concentration, and increase attention by 70%.
If you find it difficult to complete coursework at home, then you might want to look for an alternative learning environment such as your local library or a quiet coffee shop. You may find that leaving your house helps you focus and engage with your learning tasks.
Eat three balanced meals every day
Online MBA programmes are demanding, and you must pay close attention to your physical health and wellbeing. Don’t let healthy eating habits slip while you are studying, and make sure that you eat three balanced meals a day. You should also avoid the temptation to snack on treats loaded with fat and sugar. Instead, opt for nutritious low-calories snacks like nuts, fresh fruit, and rice crackers.
Avoid relying on junk food and takeouts when you are busy, and plan your meals so that you always have healthy home-cooked options available. Cooking food in bulk is a simple way to improve your diet and save time and money. Easy batch meals include curries, stews, soups, and pasta bakes. You can cook large quantities of these dishes and then store them in your refrigerator or freezer to reheat when you are short on time and need a quick, healthy meal.
Lead an active lifestyle
Medical experts advise that adults should get around 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day as a general goal. A lack of exercise can result in multiple health issues, including obesity, type two diabetes, and heart disease. Despite this, many people fail to lead an active lifestyle or get the recommended amount of exercise.
Finding the time to exercise can be a challenge when you are enrolled in an online MBA programme, particularly if you are trying to balance other commitments on top of your learning. Regular exercise is fundamental to good health, and you must make exercise part of your daily routine. If you don’t have time to hit the gym every day, then try going on a brisk walk after lunch or doing exercise DVDs at home. Take a look at this article by Vogue for some quick workouts that you can do at home.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is another essential component of good health. Your body heals itself while you sleep, and you should aim to get between around eight hours of shut-eye every night. College student sleep statistics reveal that over half of university students suffer from sleep deprivation and feel tired during the day.
Here are some suggestions to improve your sleep quality while studying for an MBA:
- Get into a regular sleep pattern by going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time.
- Invest in a comfortable and supportive bed and bedding.
- Improve the sleeping conditions in your bedroom e.g., install blackout curtains to reduce the amount of outdoor light entering your room.
- Avoid drinking any caffeine in the afternoons and evenings.
- Don’t use blue-light emitting technology like smartphones before bed.
- Drink a soothing herbal tea before bed.
Make mental health a priority
Getting an online MBA while trying to juggle work and personal commitments can be emotionally draining, and you must pay close attention to your mental health. It is not uncommon for MBA students to feel overwhelmed by their workload and experience episodes of burnout.
If you are struggling, then make sure that you ask for help straight away. Your course instructors may be able to give your useful advice and support. If you are trying to do too much, then you may need to cut down your work hours or hand over some responsibilities to gain extra time. Remember that your mental health and wellbeing should be a priority, and you must make time to relax, unwind, and de-stress.
An online MBA can help you advance in your role and set you up for long-term career success. Online MBA programmes have made it possible for professionals to earn this prestigious qualification without delaying their careers or sacrificing family time.
Balancing an online MBA with work or family is not easy, but it can be done with careful planning and commitment. The above tips should help you achieve your academic goals and stay healthy and happy while earning an MBA online.