Want the best of both worlds? Studying an MBA online could help you boost your career, while maintaining work-life balance.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is on the wish list of many professionals looking to turbo-charge their career. Those three letters – and the skills and experience that come with them – can help open doors to the C-suite and broaden your network of high-flying professionals.
Prerequisites to study many sought-after MBAs include an undergraduate degree and years of professional management experience. However, taking time out of your career to study at this later stage can come at a cost to both your income and career progression.
To remove this barrier, universities have developed online MBA programs that offer a range of benefits – here are five of them.
1. Study when it suits you
Studying an MBA online means you don’t need to put your career on hold or sacrifice family time to progress in your profession. You can access unit material when and where you choose, making it easier to balance work and study.
For Orson Tonkin, head of the fulfilment centre at online fashion store THE ICONIC, this meant hitting the books at night. Tonkin completed his MBA online in 2016 at Swinburne Online. “I finished it in 15 months,” he says. “During the day I focused on work, in the evenings I spent time with my daughter, and at night I was a student.”
2. Broaden your international network
When studying an MBA online, you’ll exchange ideas with a community of high-performing professionals from Australia and around the world.
“I was in student groups with the general manager of an oil rig in Canada and with a casino manager based in Macau,” says Tonkin. “You can bounce ideas off each other just like in an on-campus coffee shop, but the real benefit is it’s an international network that you wouldn't otherwise have access to.”
Adrian Giblett, who began studying his MBA online at Swinburne in July 2017, regards the international network as a key benefit. “In a global environment, online collaboration on projects is becoming much more common,” says Giblett, who is currently completing the Telstra graduate program. “Doing an MBA online gives you that international setting because you’re working on team assignments with people around the world.”
3. Global access to world-class study
Studying an MBA online provides access to internationally recognised MBA programs from anywhere in the world. Tonkin, for example, gained his MBA from a university ranked among the top 3 per cent in the world, while studying from the comfort of his own home.
“I studied at home at night, so I guess the MBA program came to me,” he says.
4. Choice of full-time or part-time study
Completing an MBA online means you can choose your workload – full time to finish faster, or part time for greater work-life balance.
Giblett has chosen to study part time. “I could see no other way of completing it because I have a six-year-old daughter and I work during the day,” he explains. “Going part time has given me the balance I need.”
5. Access to the experts
Just like an on-campus experience, an online classroom comes with the expert assistance of tutors and support staff.
Tonkin says support was available to him by phone or online throughout his MBA. “I had a unit co-ordinator and an e-learning advisor who could help with any questions, and I always had access to tutors if I needed them,” he says. “There’s a good support network available to you when you study online but, like any study, it’s up to you to use it.”
Swinburne Online’s MBA program is accepting candidates for March 2018. Find out more about the degree here.