7 Reasons Why Online MBAs Are Respected

Nov. 12, 2020

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Many individuals that pursue an MBA degree are working professionals who are seeking to better themselves. The flexibility of online programs allows working professionals to maintain their current role while pursuing a master's degree. This opens the door to distance learning, night classes and the ability to obtain the degree at their own pace. 

While there was the option to complete an MBA in person or online prior to COVID-19, most in person instruction has transitioned to be completely virtual due to the current circumstances. If there was ever a stigma around online degrees, that has been washed away with the evolution of the times. 

Despite all the advantages of online instruction, there is still the lingering question of how well online MBA degrees will be accepted by employers and recruiters. We sat down with seven recruiting professionals to hear why online MBAs are nothing but respected! 


It Takes Intense Time Management and Motivation

Some industries respect online MBAs more than others. While the education material is usually the same no matter the format, there is often a stigma attached to degrees earned online that make it difficult for those who carry them that they are lazier or “took the easy route.” However, online MBAs demand just as much discipline and work as traditional degrees. In fact, in my experience, online degrees can prove to be more difficult because of the intense time management and motivation someone needs to stay on track during the program. Don’t discredit those who have earned their MBAs online!

Jennifer Schissel ’08 BSBA (Accounting), Director of Finance and People at Y Scouts

It Shows Dedication Outside a Full-Time Career

Online MBAs have grown to earn a respectable reputation. The thing about online MBAs is that, often, these are people who already work full-time in their careers and cannot afford to physically go back to school and work at the same time. In my experience, the people who go back to earn MBAs, online and off, are dedicated workers. They are the most likely to work the hardest and continue crafting their skills. The process of completing their degree online is simply to allow them more flexibility to get everything done.

Kristy Bach ’87 BSBA (Marketing), COO of BestCompaniesAZ

It Offers Flexibility While Keeping Respectability 

In this age, where so much emphasis is given on the virtual environment, an online MBA is a good alternative to an in-person MBA for people who would like to work and pursue an MBA at the same time. Having a very flexible schedule, and also having almost the same curriculum and the teaching staff as the full-time MBA program, an online MBA entails a very similar experience. One of the highlights of the Eller MBA program is the global business experience--optionally offered to the online MBA track--which makes it a great learning experience. Considering the similarity in the experience undertaken by full-time MBA students and online MBA students, the online MBA can be seen as a very respectable and flexible alternative to the full-time MBA.

Deepak Udupa ’20 MBA, Product Management Intern at Markitors

It Provides Networking and Social Capital Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a seismic shift in the future of higher education. Quite frankly, it has caused higher education to take a long-overdue look in the mirror. Online MBAs are becoming more commonplace and respected due to factors ranging from safety, accessibility and cost. My experience in Eller’s Eller online MBA program has been one of seamless digital learning, flexibility and learned skills directly applicable to my career in operations management. The Eller MBA program is intentional about affording the student the same opportunities of networking and social capital typically only obtained in on-campus MBA programs.

Nicholas J. Canete ’21 MBA, Service Manager at Konecranes

It’s the Difference Between Lifestyle Choices

Online MBAs are increasingly respected in the same way that self-published books are increasingly respected. At one point, both were viewed as less rigorous processes and therefore less "valid" in some way. Now, however, more and more people understand that an online MBA or self-published book isn't about merit, it's about a lifestyle choice, putting those options closer to par with the traditional alternatives.

Jay Baer ’92 BA (Political Science), Keynote Speaker

Same Aspect of Learning 

Online MBAs are treated with the same respect as that of full-time MBAs. Several attributes come into play when you target education online. Thanks to the pandemic, even my full-time MBA is now a flexible one because I transitioned to online learning. I can confidently say that my knowledge level would've been the same even if I was attending the classes in-person.

Sri Sagar Kalisetty ’20 MBA , Product Manager Intern at Markitors

It’s Becoming More Common Today

Online MBAs are definitely respected. With more programs moving to an online format as an option, or even a hybrid program, it's becoming more common. It's important to focus on the experience you attained not only from the education online, but also from the classroom and in-person learning opportunities that may accompany your online program.

Elyse Flynn Meyer ’07 BSBA (Marketing and International Business), President and Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions


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