There’s a lot to consider when deciding to go back to school to earn your MBA. If you’re a business owner, how do you find the time to run your company and go to class? If you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder, how do you convince your boss going back to school will benefit both of you in the long run? The key seems to be flexibility.
According to the Association of Independent Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), many MBA applicants are becoming more open to the idea of non-traditional MBA programs. One of the main reasons cited by applicants is affordability, along with time and other factors. Accelerated, hybrid and online MBA programs now give applicants more cost-effective and efficient routes to a degree, while also providing more flexibility for adult learners.
In AIGAC’s annual survey, consisting of 3,500 MBA applicants in 2016, 41 percent reported affordability as being one consideration when applying to school. One aspect of affordability is finding a way to balance work and school rather than choose one or the other. Based on AIGAC’s survey, it’s clear to see a lot of business professionals are reimagining how they pursue an MBA.
Considering many organizations see the benefit of having employees with MBA degrees, more are offering flexible scheduling and reimbursement programs in order to retain ambitious, talented employees continuing their education. Non-traditional MBA programs accommodate workers within such organizations, providing students with the scheduling to excel academically while increasing their value within a company. Likewise, hybrid and online programs give more flexibility to business owners who often have longer work hours and specific scheduling needs.
Perhaps this is also why AIGAC notes interest in traditional full-time two year programs is down 20 percent in 2016. Figuring out how to take the time off of work is proving increasingly unfeasible for many Americans who hope to go back to school. More flexible options provide personal and professional benefits and also give students more control over their work/school/life balance.
Regardless of which route students choose, accessibility to MBA degrees is of the utmost importance. AIGAC’s findings seem to emphasize that students want programs that meet their needs when it comes to affordability, flexibility and career payoff. Adult learners and students looking to reenroll often have esoteric needs that don’t fit into the full-time educational model. Traditional routes may be good for some, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone. Herzing University offers flexible MBA degree programs on its 11 campuses and online.