How Are Online MBA Programs Different From Traditional MBA Programs?

How Are Online MBA Programs Different From Traditional MBA Programs?

MBA programs are a popular choice for many mid-career professionals who want to earn a credential in management level to prepare for their career advancement. Nowadays, with the available of online education programs, you have a choice to earn your MBA degree from traditional MBA program offered by a campus-based university or through an online MBA program. What are the differences between the online and traditional campus-based type of MBA programs? Knowing the basics will help you to decide whether or not these programs are right for you.

In term of educational goal, both online learning and traditional program general share the same goal of preparing the students for many fields, functions, and industries to help them progress toward a specific career goal. Both online and traditional MBA can be considered equally difficult and have a similar type of curriculum. Both MBA learning types are able to help you achieve your career goal, but instead of spending hours in class as in traditional MBA program, online MBA students are expected to dedicate their time to study independently.

Students and professionals who are interested to pursue a degree in Master of Business Administration should consider carefully the pros and cons of online MBA vs. traditional MBA.

Online MBA Offers by USC Marshall


Here is a list of things that points the difference between the two ways to get an MBA program to help you in choosing what program to enroll:

Overall expenses

Comparing the overall expenses (tuition, education materials, transportation expenses and living expenses) for the programs that is cheaper to take up MBA online than traditional on-campus. This is because taking up online MBA can save you a lot on transportation and living expenses alone since you don’t have to commute to school or relocate to a place near the university you were admitted.


It is no doubt that being in a classroom promotes interaction between your classmates and professors. And since a traditional MBA program requires you to attend lectures and exams in a classroom, then it encourages each student to have healthy discussions and arguments with their peers and professors, which develops their public relations. It allows the students to work with different people, interact with varied personalities to better prepare them for the actual working environment in the real world. It prepares them to be interactive and not aloof in the workplace.

On the contrary, taking up online MBA utilizes online media (emails, audio and video files and e-learning software) and virtual interaction (chat, discussion boards and forums) to convey information and to communicate and discuss ideas. This limitation in actual interaction with other students can hinder networking potential which is important in the business world. In spite of this, online MBA students are honed in the technological aspect because they’ve been trained using the online technology during their course, which makes this an edge in the growing advancement of the internet technology nowadays.


Traditional MBA has always been superior when it comes to preference because they are more favored by students. Also, students who graduate through this program are highly regarded. But with the growing industry of the internet market, many universities are offering courses online to make the best MBA programs more available and affordable for students.


Convenience is the major advantage of online MBA vs. traditional MBA. Traditional MBA is not well-suited for professionals who are still working but wants to pursue an MBA degree because class schedules are not flexible unlike that of online MBA. For online MBA you can arrange classes fitting to your own pace and time, and in the comforts of your own home or workplace. People who have work or have to stay at home to care for their kids doesn’t have to disrupt their work or family time. There is no need for them to relocate or take a leave from work to attend an MBA program.


Traditional vs Online MBA

Even though online MBA is more flexible and convenient, it takes a lot of self-discipline, motivation and time management to pass the online course though this doesn’t mean that taking the traditional route doesn’t need the same amount of the above mentioned. It’s just that, taking up online course requires you to work and study independently thus you have to be driven and in control of your time to make the most of your learning.

An MBA program is an investment on your career and future. This is the answer on your pursuit to career growth and financial security because it provides you with an edge on your profession. Both online and traditional MBA programs offer the same curriculum but differ on the learning media used. The two may different in roads traveled but with the same destination, more opportunities and an empowered profession.