If you are itching for a career change or want to expand your employment opportunities and salary, earning an EMBA is an excellent way to do it.
But for those with families or who have full-time jobs, the possibility to return to school may seem unlikely. But you just may be able to pursue your career aspirations and take care of your current duties by enrolling in an online EMBA program. But before you jump on the bandwagon or dismiss the idea entirely, it important that you forget about what you think you know about online education. That said, below are the most common online education myths debunked.
Myth #1. Earning an Online EMBA is Easier. Earning an online EMBA provides tons of flexibility since you are able to “attend classes” at your up most convenience—let’s say during your lunch break, while the kids are asleep, or when you return home from a full-time work day. While yes it’s true you can tune-in to pre-recorded audio and video lectures on “your” time by accessing an online course management system like Blackboard, that doesn’t suggest that the coursework is an easier. In fact, it’s just as intense. You’re still required to take notes, read assigned textbook pages, compose essays, complete projects and prepare for exams all on the given deadlines. Also depending on which program you enroll in, you may need to prepare a thesis. Not to mention that the online format may prove difficult for those who are accustomed to working in large groups, receiving feedback from peers, or who are used to having immediate access to professors. That’s not to say that online students are completely isolated—communication is conducted via chat rooms, videoconferencing and email. But the response rate can be quite slow. That said, online classes are really designed for the independent-type. Note that depending on which program you enroll in you may very well need to go to a special designated facility so that you can take proctored exams to ensure there is no cheating.
Myth #2. Earning an Online EMBA is Cheaper and Faster to Earn. This is completely false. Online EMBAs cost about the same per credit. Some online EMBA programs, like Texas Southern University may offer “tuition packages” that include the cost of yearly tuition, books and extra course materials but when calculated, it costs about the same as attending a traditional school plus expenses. While tuition is the same, you may very well end up saving a substantial amount of more money taking the online route however. This is because you won’t be forced to waste gas money traveling to and from campus, you won’t have to purchase parking passes, expensive meal plans or pay for room and board. And since online professors tend to compile their own studying material into PDFs, etc you may get away with buying fewer textbooks—which as you may already know can run up to $200 per book. As far as length goes, on average each online EMBA program requires about 36 credit hours for completion. That said, it should take you roughly two years to complete your program if enrolled as a fulltime student. While there are a few accelerated online programs offered, if you come across a program that promises an EMBA in only a short year or so, you could be getting scammed by a fraudulent school which leads us to our last myth buster—
Myth #3. All Online Schools/Programs Are the Same. Not all programs should be viewed equally. To identify the prestigious schools from the fraudulent ones, you need to first check the school’s accreditation. Accreditation ensures that the online program meets a particular educational standard. While accreditation is not determined by the U.S. Department of Education, it does provide a handy tool that allows users to search a particular schools accrediting stance. Note that not all schools will be available on the U.S. Department’s Web site. If it is not, you can also use College Navigator to check for accreditation. College Navigator is also an excellent way to investigate a particular school’s statistics, including retention rate, tuition costs, student-teacher ratio etc. Note that while there a multiple accrediting agencies, they are divided into two groups: national and regional accreditation. Both are legitimate, however employers sometimes favor graduates of regionally accredited schools. This is because typically regionally accredited programs are offered through easily recognizable brick-and-mortar graduate schools and thus employers trust that you have a solid education. Of course, if you enroll in a national accredited program/school your education can be just a solid, but you might have to use a tad bit more of your persuasive skills to impress employers during the interview process.
That said, online education can be a lucrative option for those who feel as those their current obligations restrict them from attending a traditional EMBA program.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.