How Do Online Management Degrees Differ From Traditional?

Online degrees are skyrocketing in popularity as technology has advanced to make programs more interactive and virtually incomparable to traditional education. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate enrollment in eLearning courses increased from 8 percent of all students to 20 percent of all students in the last decade.

Based on these statistics, it is clear that online degrees are gaining popularity with undergraduate and graduate students. In fact, because many people earning a Business Management degree at the master’s level do so while working, online programs are highly advantageous because of their flexibility and self-paced nature. Students who are considering enrolling in an online degree program in management should consider how these online programs differ from traditional classroom education. But what exactly are online Management degrees all about? And how do online Management degrees differ from a traditional, classroom-based Management program? Let’s explore…

Video or Audio Lectures

The main difference between online Management degrees and on-campus learning is that students don’t have to formally attend classes. Instead, they access a series of course materials online, usually in the form of video or audio lectures recorded by the professors. In some cases, there may also be live streams of lectures or discussions to mimic a classroom setting, but it’s all accessed through the computer. To succeed in an online Management program, students need to be able to focus on the lectures even when they’re not listening and participating in person. These videos or audio lectures are hosted on an online student portal where students have 24-hour access to viewing the material.

Discussion Forums and Group Projects

In addition to multimedia, many online degree programs include an element of interactivity with classmates. Schools often set up discussion forums that students can access and post their responses to lectures or reading materials. In addition, students often work on group projects remotely with classmates. Groups may send emails to one another, participate in conference calls, and use collaborative software, like Blackboard or other open-source software, to work on projects together. Because interpersonal skills are so important in business careers, most online degree programs include group projects to hone these all-important skills.

Self-Structured Scheduling and Pacing

Online programs are much more independent than on-campus courses, which actually can benefit managerial students who usually have a natural-born independence and drive. The ability to access course materials at any time rather than being tied down to a class schedule is a huge value for working professionals. Students need tip-top time management skills to stay on top of learning the material and completing projects, though, which can be difficult when they aren’t touching base with classmates and professors in person on a regular basis or committed to a particular schedule.

Course Material

Although online Management degrees have a different format than classroom-based programs, the same course material is covered. Students can rest assured that regardless of what format they are using, they will still get a solid education in Management. The skills taught in the courses are both challenging and practical – and they will transfer to nearly any workplace and provide a foundation from which to excel in a management career. Students considering this route should research reputable programs to find the best way to earn an online degree that will advance their careers.

Keep in mind that if you lack a natural ability to “self-start”, tend to procrastinate, or prefer a face-to-face learning environment, then an online Management degree is probably not for you. On contrast, if you covet flexibility, already have professional or personal obligations, and are technologically proficient then this type of degree is perfect for you. Peruse through Management degree options, and see if any of the specialization pique your interest.

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