Online MBA programs are a viable alternative to an on-campus MBA program; various institutions have started compiling online MBA rankings in order to determine which among the numerous, sprouting online schools are the best on their respective pursuits to mold management students.
Here, first, is an analysis on why online MBA programs are on the leap today and why students are eager to take them up. Many students can afford an on-campus MBA but cannot go to their dream school because of the sheer distance, perhaps reaching thousands of miles and crossing oceans, or because of their employment status. Many simply do not want to leave their homes. Alongside these, MBA schools attempting to widen their reach around the globe have begun to harness the power of the Internet - and are now dishing out business education at par with what many on-site business schools offer.
Like traditional rankings for MBA programs, there are also reliable online MBA rankings which enable one to gauge the prestige of an MBA degree obtained through the Internet. Here are the world top 10 online MBA rankingsfor 2011, together with a brief description of the schools involved.
Top 10 Online MBA Rankings
1. University of Phoenix
2. University of Maryland University College
3. Kaplan University
4. Walden University
5. Indiana University: Kelley
6. Ellis University
7. Northeastern University
8. Babson College: Olin
9. Arizona State University: Carey
10. Thunderbird School of Global Management
Online MBA rankings are measured also according to the standards used to measure traditional MBA rankings: peer review, quality of educational experience, quality of students, and benefits accorded after graduation (average starting salary, number job offers and type of companies offering them) by the degree. Some parameters are modified to suit online specifications; for instance, student and faculty not meeting each other in person, the equipment used in rendering lessons, and the suitability of the program to students with differing lifestyles and abilities are all taken into account. However, reviews of online MBA programs are scarce, thus many prospective enrollees consult online MBA rankings.
A note, though. Choosing an online MBA school, based on online MBA rankings, happens not to be a clear-cut decision as easy as sitting in front of a computer and clicking some icons in order to enroll. You have to meditate well on it. While traditional MBA programs are deemed to be 'generic', that is, producing a homogeneous pool of MBAs differing only in the school from which they graduated, but possessing nearly the same values, online MBA programs cater to diversity. Babson College, for instance, offers a fast-track MBA; Thunderbird School of Global Management has a Global MBA program tailored for Latin American managers. While online MBA rankings are helpful, it is better to evaluate each online program in detail, and choose the one best fit for your individual needs.