45,038 is the number of students enrolled in online MBA programs in the 2020-2021 academic year. For the first time ever, the online student population outnumbered the in-person full-time one (43,740). At last count, in fact, there were 1,095 online MBA programs offered by US higher-ed institutions alone. MTU’s TechMBA® ranks well among this crowd.
Why the rapid increase in both online MBA programs and enrollment? Well, one of the main reasons is that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the education game. At first, universities were forced to offer online and hybrid options. But then they kept rolling these out. In other words, the coronavirus crisis made both prospective students and employers more receptive of online programs. A New America poll also found that the belief in the quality of online learning actually increased by 16% during the pandemic.
Furthermore, 83 percent of the hiring executives in a CNN survey affirmed that an accredited online degree is as credible as an on-campus program. When it comes to online MBA degrees, a survey from the Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy Fund had similar findings. That is, 71 percent of employers now view the quality of business degrees earned online as equal to or even better than traditional in-person programs.
So Why Earn MTU’s TechMBA®?
Back in July 2022, in my first blog, I introduced Michigan Tech’s newest online program: the TechMBA®. This program is still going strong. And there are several reasons for both its popularity and credibility.
Only 248 percentage of the 1,095 online MBA programs (less than 25%) offered by US institutions are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. MTU’s TechMBA® is one of these select programs. In other words, the TechMBA® is not only accredited but also respected by industry, business, and STEM professionals. In fact, MTU’s online MBA program regularly ranks as one of the top in the state.
Michigan Tech’s online MBA is not just business (adminstration) as usual. The TechMBA® is also one of the 24% of US online MBAs that have a STEM focus. That is, MTU’s online MBA degree allows students to leverage their STEM backgrounds and technological competencies. Students develop the fundamental business administration, project management, and communication skills required for STEM-professional roles. These skills qualify graduates for leadership roles in their chosen engineering fields. Those who complete the TechMBA® program are also adept at taking on project management, technical sales, and entrepreneurship positions in STEM-related workplaces.
The US News reports that when it comes to in-person MBA programs, the average age of students is 27. For online programs, however, that age rises to 33.
And 91% of online MBA students even worked full time while pursuing their degree.
What these numbers mean is that online MBA programs, like the TechMBA®, attract older students seeking flexibility in their education. Online learning, for sure, does involve an adjustment period. But there is no need to relocate, readjust your schedule, or leave your job. (There is also no need to frantically dig out from a snowstorm only to arrive to class a late, sweaty mess.)
Smaller, Tighter Class Community
Online learning often means increased interactivity. Research has shown that online learning is as good as if not better than face-to-face instruction. When it comes to peer-to-peer interaction and discussions, online classes may even surpass the effectiveness of their in-person versions. And in a smaller program, such as that of the TechMBA®, there are even more opportunities to connect with peers and instructors. More opportunities to develop those communication skills that are central to leadership roles.
As early as 2016, Fast Company reported on how several employers began increasing their education requirements. A later CareerBuilder survey revealed that this trend has continued. In other words, an advanced degree may help you not only get that job in the first place but also move up the corporate ladder more easily.
Then there is the matter of salaries. According to a study done by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, those holding advanced degrees may earn over 30% more over the span of their career than employees with only bachelor’s degrees.
Strong Return on Investment
Investopedia has noted that MBA graduates who specialize in consulting, finances, and technology management earn the most. And according to one Fortune article, the median salaries for those with MBA degrees are substantially higher than those without them.
The Corporate Recruiter Survey survey (Graduate Management Admission Council) also found that the median 2022 starting salary of new MBA hires was $115,000. And that salary, which is a historically high figure, doesn’t include the median signing bonus of $10,500.
And you also get that ROI faster with an MBA. A recent Wall Street Journal analysis of federal student loan data found that 98 percent of MBA programs leave students with more manageable debt loads than graduates of other programs.
Other Benefits of the TechMBA®
The short list of why you might pursue an advanced degree, such as an MBA, includes the following: acquiring the necessary credentials, pursuing your interests, moving into more fulfilling, impactful roles, gaining additional job security,and increasing your compensation.
But there are other, more personal incentives. Whatever your current degree or desired career path, we’ve summarized some of the advantages for pursuing an advanced degree or earning an MBA degree.
Learn More About the TechMBA®.
If you’d like to learn more about the in-demand MTU’s online MBA degree, come listen to the experts.
That is, Mari Buche (College of Business), David Lawrence (Vice President for Global Campus and Continuing Education), as well as members of the Global Campus team will be holding a virtual interest session on the TechMBA®.
This online event will be on April 11, 2023, at 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM. Please bring your curiosity and your questions.