Today’s business professionals operate within an increasingly competitive business environment. When it comes to advancing your career in a crowded field, there are a small number of ways to gain an edge over your peers.
Many professionals choose to further their education in order to stand out, and a Master of Business Administration is often a strong choice. If you’ve been considering pursuing this avenue but aren’t confident of which type of program to pursue, here are four specific ways that an online MBA program can help establish your success in a digital world:
1. An Online MBA Can Provide an International Perspective
The International Bar Association reports that social media has “broken down geographical borders,” and, in tandem with other digital technologies, has made it possible for people to conduct business on a global scale. In fact, in today’s business environment, a business can just as easily work with people in its own geographic area as with those who live half a world away. Similarly, the flexibility an online MBA degree affords provides the opportunity to study alongside people from around the world. This type of MBA degree allows for interaction with various cultures and ways of thinking, while studying the business training necessary to excel as a business leader. This cultural influence can help widen an individual’s way of thinking and approach to the world, which can help position a student as a leader in business that is not limited by cultural borders.
The flexibility of an online program can also help connect students with professors who are not limited by geographic location. Online programs can draw exceptional instructors who may not have the time to teach full time, or cannot be available for an on-campus program. With professors from a wide array of backgrounds, they may provide students insight into real-world solutions that may work for their businesses. Ultimately, having the opportunity to learn alongside business leaders from around the country, and potentially around the globe, can translate into a more nuanced education of global business.
With students and professors participating from locations around the world, an online MBA can offer students a diverse and global perspective. It seems natural, then, that Washington State University’s Carson College of Business online MBA program has a unique international perspective built directly into the coursework. Students have the opportunity to spend time studying internationally, with excursions to international businesses, through an optional international field study. WSU’s online MBA program also offers an international business concentration that can uniquely prepare students for careers in a global marketplace. From international business management to international marketing and finance courses, the concentration can teach students how to make North American products and strategies successful in foreign markets.
2. Online Programs Can Prepare Students for the Digital Workplace
With today’s workplace increasing its digital prowess, companies are adding more and more technology to their daily practices – many are even offering the option for telecommuting. An online MBA degree curriculum can prepare business leaders to work in this digital workplace, exposing them to a unique set of digital tools and telecommuting strategies. In such a program, online students may become accustomed to using technology during business-related group work, which will also translate well into the corporate world.
3. Online Programs Can Offer Improved Networking Opportunities
In addition to the education provided by an MBA program, earning an MBA provides the opportunity to expand your professional network. Harvard Business Review indicates that networks “influence the resources, support and advocacy you get during the course of your career.” Forming a strong network can be crucial to your success, and your graduate school training is one place where you can start to build that network.
Your classmates and professors may become people you tap for job opportunities and serve as sounding boards for your own business endeavors and ideas. Just as your professors are not limited by geographic location, your classmates are not limited in this way either. So, your professional network, grown through your coursework, can expand literally around the globe. Conversely, with a traditional program, you may expand your network, but your fellow students may not have the national/international reach that students in an online program may have.
This type of growth in your personal and professional network can also expand your thinking process to embrace a more multicultural approach, which may be critical to your business success. Conducting business with a diverse perspective learned through your curriculum and potentially gained through your connections and interactions with a diverse classroom, can further expand your business’ reach.
To make the most out of the networking opportunities an online MBA provides, it is important to be active in your program. Here are four ways to be active in your program:
1. Participate in discussions
2. Follow people in your coursework on LinkedIn
3. Use the opportunities afforded to you to grow and expand your connections
4. Leverage professors’ contacts and guest lecturers to grow your network
4. Online Programs Can Help Position You with Career Opportunities
While no program can guarantee a particular salary or career opportunity, the reality is that the better trained you are for the current business climate, the better you are prepared for future job prospects. An online MBA can provide you with the opportunity to expand your thinking and embrace digital business technology, while also providing a global perspective. When businesses are looking to place people in positions of leadership, they often search for internationally focused and tech savvy individuals, and an online MBA can help build your expertise in both of these areas.
Are you ready to embrace the benefits of an online MBA program? Consider Washington State University’s cutting-edge program, which can provide you with the training and international perspective you need for your future business career. With a flexible program designed for working professionals, this online MBA degree program can give you the insight and training that is helpful in navigating the digital business world.