There’s a recent story in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, titled “The Online MBA Salary Blues,” which discusses the idea that graduates of distance learning MBA programs may not see as much of a salary increase as those who finish traditional, class-based programs.
The story is mainly based on the entrance salary data for the inaugural cohort at University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School’s new online program, MBA@UNC. BusinessWeek essentially posits that since incoming students already make substantially more than the class-based students ($128,500 vs. $55,000 per year,) it will be very hard for the online grads to see the same increase that the traditional students see. Although this hypothesis is mostly speculative and ostensibly limited (after all, the online program at UNC has just begun, and there are only 19 students in the inaugural class) it will be a fascinating case study for distance learning programs generally, seeing as how UNC’s online program offers the exact same curriculum as its class-based program, for the same price.
Ever wanted to see what an MBA lecture was like, without paying thousands of dollars for it? Or are you curious to see if a popular business professor is really that great, or would you like to hear about some new research? Well, with iTunes, now you can.
Many business schools are starting to provide lectures, podcasts, and other resources for free or inexpensively through iTunes. Users can download them and engage them immediately, or put them on an iPad or iPhone and watch (or listen) on the go. Apart from being super convenient, these resources can also give potential students insight into what an MBA program is like from the inside, or just be rewarding to those simply seeking new ideas.
Keep in mind that these videos are not meant to replace the MBA experience (there is no infrastructure for interacting, at the very least;) but they can be extremely valuable nonetheless. Below you’ll find some of the best offerings from some top European MBA programs on iTunes. Note that to use these podcasts and videos, you’ll need to have iTunes installed on your computer, and to use them on the go, you’ll need an iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
Are online MBA programs comparable to classroom-based ones? We asked Andrew Atzert, assistant dean and director of the W.P. Carey MBA – Online Program at Arizona State University
Is online a compromise?
We developed our distance learning MBA program using the faculty who teach in our regular program and the same curriculum in our regular program. We’ve always had the philosophy that our MBA program is the same program as our regular MBA program in terms of the actual degree and knowledge you get from the program.
But at the same time, it’s different. What potential students think is that there’s a trade-off when you choose an online program. And the trade-off is that most people want face-to-face interaction.They want the ability to network with other classmates and faculty. So they accept the convenience of an online program, but they also feel like they’re trading off that interaction. The challenge for us is to try to not have as much of a trade-off, and to offer more interaction.