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More Business Schools Offer Online MBA Programs



By Catherine Groux
Posted August 23, 2012 12:00 PM

More business schools are launching online MBA degree programs.
More business schools are launching online MBA degree programs.
Today, students who seek an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree will find plenty of options, as many top business schools across the country have recently leapt into the online education market. Given the immense popularity of web-based courses among both students and business schools alike, many academic professionals speculate that online education could be the future of the MBA.

Increased Interest From Students

Currently, about 3 million students are enrolled in completely online degree programs, a recent study by the Learning House and Aslanian Market Research states. Of these individuals, about one-third are pursuing business degrees, making this the most popular field of study for online students.

Michael Horn, the executive director of education at Innosight Institute, a nonprofit think tank in California, recently told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that one of the reasons online MBA programs are so popular among students is the cost. Today, fewer individuals can afford to leave their jobs to enroll in a full-time, on-campus MBA program; however, online education can offer a solution by allowing students to complete their courses on their own schedule.

"It allows [business schools] to offer the education experience to students who are still working and not forfeit tuition, which makes it better for everyone," Horn said.

New Online MBA Programs Emerge

As more students become interested in earning an MBA degree entirely over the internet, an increasing number of business schools are responding by launching online programs. Recently, Ohio University's College of Business announced that it has listened to students' demands and will launch an online MBA option in the fall of 2012, according to a press release.

"Over the years, we have received many inquiries from professionals about an online MBA program so we are pleased to add this to our offerings," said Hugh Sherman, dean of the university's College of Business. "We believe this program will allow ambitious professionals with multiple demands on their time to accelerate their career while balancing work, family and education."

Additionally, institutions such as the University of Texas Pan-American's College of Business Administration, the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and Thomas Edison State College have all announced they will offer online MBA programs this year, BusinessWeek reports.

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