Traditional, classroom-based MBA programs have always been a central pillar for business students MBA . But now online MBAs are entering the arena, causing students and employers to pose some big, serious questions. Are online MBAs really equivalent to classroom-based degrees? Could they actually provide the same level of business expertise? As the trend toward distance learning takes hold, many are dropping their pretenses and viewing both as legitimate options.
The strongest asset classroom-based MBAs have is reputation. Since the first Master’s of Business Administration program was introduced at Harvard University in 1908, MBA holders have been viewed as the upper crust of business graduates for their versatility in areas such as administration, finance, project coordination, human resources and risk management.
MBA holders are usually the highest paid, the first to be promoted, and the most likely to become CEO or chairperson. Even veteran employees with long-term experience frequently take a back seat to young graduates with freshly minted degrees.
Another part of the traditional MBA program’s appeal has been the interactive classroom environment where students work in teams, piecing together innovative strategies and putting them to the test, the same way they do it in the real world. Graduates from these programs came out perfectly sculpted for the work environments they were going to enter, ready to excel in the business world.