Completing Business School Through Online Classes Could Earn You An M.B.A.

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What with the stalling job market and the declining stock market, an increasing amount of  people are turning to graduate degrees to become more… marketable. Yet those with jobs already are reluctant to step down in order to devote all of their time to school, so a handful of business schools have come up with a solution: hybrid M.B.A. programs.

Hybrid Programs Combine Time In Class And Online.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the costs of a hybrid program—which has nothing to do with the Prius, but combines classroom time with a heavy base of online courses and instruction—tend to be lower in the long run for universities than traditional programs. For students, it means that relocation is largely unnecessary and that the bulk of their work can be done where many of these students are anyway—at the computer.

The Monetary Cost Is Similar, But There Is A Social Cost To Hybrids.

The cost for students, however, is roughly the same as a full-time M.B.A. program. Drawbacks include a lack of face-time with other students and professors and therefore a lack of community, which is the primary reason that more schools haven’t begun their own hybrid programs.

Hybrid Graduate Degrees Are Advantageous In The Job Hunt.

This lack of community also means that current students won’t be attending on-campus job fairs or recruiting sessions to compete directly against their classmates, and can instead submit résumés directly to employers without specifying graduate degrees as hybrid programs. What with the current reliance on and growth in technology, hiring managers have so far tended not to deem hybrid programs as any less worthy than fulltime enrollments, despite the less stringent admission standards.

New Program, Same Decisions.

Those who can are scrambling for a leg up when it comes to gaining—or advancing—employment. A hybrid M.B.A. is the same credential on our résumé as if we had picked up and moved to Babson Park, MA., and allows career advancement in the same way. Similarly, it takes the same toll on our finances. When it comes down to it, enrolling in a hybrid program is the usual weighing of cost vs. advantage: is it better for our future to carry student loans along with a suffix to our name, or to remain committed to the job we’re lucky enough to have already?

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