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4 Factors to Consider when Choosing an MBA program

January 30, 2020 1:37pm

You’re ready to broaden your career horizons and earn your master’s degree in business administration. But with the growing popularity of the degree in recent years, there are more than a few to choose from. So what makes an MBA program right for you? Here are some basic factors to consider when narrowing down the right school and program.

Consider accreditation

No matter what MBA program you decide to pursue, you should always attend an accredited university or college. Accreditation is a voluntary process an institution goes through that validates that it meets quality standards. Colleges can be accredited either regionally or nationally, the former being the most widely recognized. How your school is accredited can have an effect on your credit transfer. With few exceptions, credits earned at national-accredited institutions will only be accepted at other nationally-accredited schools. And whether you can transfer credits you’ve already earned can mean more time and money for you in the long run. You can easily find out whether a school you are considering is accredited and how they are accredited on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Consider an online program

If you are in the market for your MBA and currently have a career, you should consider online degree programs. These tend to work well for adults with jobs, families, or even military commitments since you can work to complete courses on your schedule from anywhere. Classes of online programs are often offered in either six or eight-week sessions throughout the year, making it possible for you to earn your degree faster than you would in a traditional setting. You’ll also save time by not having to commute to and from a brick and mortar campus. And while you won’t be physically next to or in front of your classmates and instructor, technology has made it easier than ever to stay in contact and work closely with your peers in the online classroom setting!

Consider the faculty

Along with researching what you will be learning, it’s also wise to explore who will do the teaching. You should examine your school’s faculty members and do some digging on their background. It’s good to know what their experience is and what they will be bringing to the classroom. Are they in fact experts in their field? Where have they worked previously? How many years of experience do they have in their profession? These are all questions worth finding the answers to before you enroll in a program.

Consider the time to completion

What is your career plan? Are you hoping to enter a management position in the next two years or less? Are you OK with it taking a little longer than that? Make sure you do your homework on how long your MBA will take to complete. Consider all the factors, including the course requirements, sessions or semester length, and the time you will have to commit to coursework while holding down your current job and fulfilling family and personal commitments. Contact your school’s admissions department and discuss how quickly you can get started in the program, how many classes you can handle at a time, and a realistic time frame for degree completion. If this program can be completed on your timeline, great! If not, you can continue to look at other programs that will be a better fit for you.

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