If you’ve made the decision to earn an MBA, it’s paramount that you choose a program that is high in quality. A high-quality program is one that will provide you with solid business education, valuable academic experience, and impressive professional credentials. While there are many characteristics of quality education, when it comes to choosing a quality MBA program you might want to consider the following factors.
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that a high-quality MBA program will be accredited by a reputable and respected business organization. These types of organizations thoroughly examine business schools and programs in order to determine whether or not they meet academic standards characteristic of superior business education. You can tell a lot about the quality of an MBA program by the organization that accredits it. In the world of business education, there are three well-known organizations that have a reputation for accrediting the most excellent schools and programs, and which are also recognized by either the U.S. Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education or both.
Global MBA Ranking 2021
|France / Singapore||188,432||96|
London Business School
|3||University of Chicago: Booth||US||200,287||121|
Iese Business School
|4||Yale School of Management||US||186,887||133|
|6||Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management||US||190,975||102|
First, there is The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which was founded in 1916 is one of the oldest, and considered one of the most prestigious, business school accreditors. Currently, the association has granted AACSB Accreditation to 620 member institutions within 38 countries, according to AACSB International. Second, is the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, which since 1988 has been dedicated to its mission of promoting excellence in business education. Even though this organization is fairly young, according to ACBSP, it currently accredits 529 campuses and more than 700 MBA programs. Third, is the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, which is the youngest of the three as it was only formed in 1997. IACBE states that it accredits business programs and colleges and universities worldwide that demonstrate characteristics of excellence, with over 230 member educational institutions in more than 20 countries.
When it comes to an online MBA program, the importance of esteemed faculty who are experienced, educated, and innovative cannot be underestimated. Students should be wary of a program in which instructors act more as course managers doing more administrative work than actually investing themselves in teaching. Ideally, there should be little to no difference between online and on-campus instructors when it comes to education levels, academic background, and professional experience. MBA program faculty are usually required to have a graduate-level education, professional work experience in an area relevant to business, and specialization or expertise in the course they are instructing. Additionally, online instructors have the added challenge of having to teach students using untraditional methods which means they have to make an extra effort to engage and motivate.
Therefore, it is also extremely important that faculty of online MBA programs are tech-savvy as they will be required to use a variety of technology tools to create lessons, direct discussions, distribute information, and manage assignments. Once you find a program that you are interested in, spend a little time researching the educational and professional backgrounds of faculty members. If you are unable to find enough information, don’t be afraid to contact the school and ask what type of credentials the online faculty possesses, as well as which ones demonstrate that they are adequate to teach in a virtual learning environment.
Quality online MBA programs will consist of the exact same, or extremely similar, curriculum as that of an on-campus program. Most of the time business schools take their on-campus MBA programs and adapt them to an online teaching format, meaning that they still consist of the same assignments, readings, research, and activities. This ensures that there is little difference as far as education is concerned between traditional and online students. Remember that earning an MBA online should never mean less work, and sometimes may require even more academically from students, in terms of activities, as they are not required to be present for class time. You can check if the quality of an online MBA program is the same as that of an on-campus program by comparing overall program curricula like required courses, as well as each course’s major projects, materials, assignments, and examinations.
Considering that an online MBA program is delivered completely electronically, technology is one of the most essential tools in an online program. A high-quality program will take advantage of the most recent technological advances and utilize them to enhance the virtual learning experience. Most programs will be facilitated through a virtual classroom where students can conduct school-related activities such as accessing course-related materials, turning in assignments, streaming instructional videos, participating in discussions, responding to lessons and keeping track of grades. Commonly referred to as a course management system, it’s important that these systems have a user-friendly interface that is easy to understand and navigate through, as well as an overall design that encourages interactivity, participation, and communication. When it comes to choosing where to earn an MBA, many schools will let you take a look at the type of software, systems, or other technology tools that are utilized in online programs. Be sure to thoroughly examine all electronic resources that are used to deliver online classes and evaluate whether or not they will provide you with an adequate learning experience.
Each year various reputable publications and organizations publish their lists of annual college rankings. These rankings are purposed to reveal how institutions of higher education and their academic programs, stack up against one another when it comes to a business school’s faculty, instruction, reputation, and students. While each publication or organization uses its own methodology to determine ranking placement, common factors include student selectivity, quality of faculty, curriculum, methods of instruction, student satisfaction, and employment outcomes. Students should be cautious to never choose a school on rankings alone, but they are a useful tool when comparing business schools and can be indicative of a quality MBA program. A higher ranking business school or program, as well as ones that are ranked at all, are more likely to provide you with the quality education you are looking for in an MBA program. Our next section will tell you all you need to know about MBA rankings.