Are Online MBAs Respected?

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Online degree programs continue to grow at faster rates than programs of “brick-and-mortar” institutions. The number of online degree programs offered by brick-and-mortar schools has significantly increased over the past decade. This increase is largely due to the flexibility of online programs which allow students to maintain their current jobs while pursuing their masters in business degrees. Despite the many advantages of online learning, there is still the lingering question of how well are online MBAs respected and received by recruiting agencies and hiring managers. Degree seekers want assurance that their earned online MBA will be reputable among employers and will enable them to be competitive in the job market.

The Quality of Online MBA Programs
When online MBA programs first launched, there was considerable debate over the quality of instruction and the depth of preparation received. Employers who only have their own college experiences to draw upon are often more skeptical of the type of instruction delivered in online platforms. They are likely more reluctant to hire those who earned their MBA degrees online. In an interview with the US News at , Bruce Weber defended online degree programs and strongly opposed the suggestion that online instruction was just a watered-down version of brick-and-mortar programs. Online instructors are often the very same instructors who teach or have taught in the traditional degree programs. These instructors bring the same high quality and expectations of their ground courses to their online courses.

The Online MBA Advantage
A leading edge the online MBA students have over those earning degrees from ground campuses is their ability to effectively navigate in the virtual world of things which is really where the future of business lies. Online MBA students graduate with already established networks and can bring those business ties to a future employer. Graduates of online MBA programs need to be well versed in the selling points of their online learning experiences.

The Changing Reputation of Online MBAs Among Employers
Employers who were once uneasy about hiring MBAs who earned online degrees are experiencing a paradigm shift. Instead of seeing online MBA degrees as inferior, employers are now seeing the advantages of learning online. These advantages are described best at This article discussed a 12 year study conducted comparing learning outcomes of students in online and ground degree programs. Findings of the study revealed that online students out-performed students who received face-to-face instruction. Employers are questioning less the validity of earning MBAs online. They are increasingly concerned with the reputation of the institution the online degree is earned from.

The Reputation of Online MBA Programs
The reputation of the university itself strongly impacts the credibility of the online degree program it offers. If the degree is earned from a highly reputable college such as Harvard, no one will even think of questioning the integrity or quality of online degree programs offered. Likewise if a degree is earned from a less reputable institution, it will be highly scrutinized. Employers are most turned off by for-profit schools who accept anyone willing to pay into their programs. reports on how employers prefer a more selective application process for gaining acceptance into online MBA programs in its article found at

Not All Online MBA Programs are the Same
It’s also important to note all online programs are not the same and should not be judged without looking specifically into what is offered at each. The reputation of the online program is also impacted by accreditation. Employers look for MBA degrees earned from AACSB accredited programs. To be accredited, online programs must show evidence of meeting the same standards and requirements ground programs do to receive accreditation.

Online MBA Students Learn Just as Much or More
It is often hard to value a new way of learning which is so different from the way instruction has always been delivered. Employers, instructors, and students may question whether you can really learn all there needs to be learned about the world of business in an online platform. A recent study conducted by The U.S. Department of Education validated the quality of online learning. Findings reported online learning to be equal to and better than learning achieved at campus-based colleges.

Online MBAs students who earn their degrees from accredited, reputable colleges will not only be well respected but well sought after by recruiting agencies and hiring managers.