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Distance MBA – A Higher Education Option worth Pondering Over

In today’s busy world where people hardly have any time for further upliftment, it becomes very difficult even to think about further studies. Many people, apart from earning and supporting their basic needs, want to study as well. However their responsibilities always hinder them from going for further studies. But higher studies need investment and time. Given these problems that many people have and keeping in mind the demand for certain courses, higher education institutions have devised various flexible modes of pursuing higher education. One of the courses that is in huge demand is MBA. That is one of the main reasons why distance MBA has gained recognition over these years. By keeping in mind about the various categories of people, their diverse backgrounds, their age leading B-Schools are coming up with various distance learning programs.

A proper MBA needs investment in terms of money. Rather an MBA can be called an investment plan which pays value in future. Most students opt for a full time program and their courses are financed by their parents. But then, there is a large chunk of people who want to work and study at the same time, and it is for them that a distance MBA is ideal. People who want to have a good job experience and at the same time want to study may opt for a distance MBA. More and more people, both young and middle aged, housewives are joining these courses. Particularly these things have culminated into the opening of many B-schools offering a wide range of distance learning courses. The question however arises when we think about the course fees. The course fee is different, depending on the policies of different B-Schools. Comparatively the course fee of a distance MBA is quite less when compared to the course fee of full time MBA. The distance learning programs however can start from Rs. 30,000 and can reach up to Rs. 5 lakh. Many institutions have come with loan facility where people can opt for educational loans which are repayable after one joins the job after the accomplishment of the degree. Some institutions have the facility of giving the money in the EMI form, where there are institutions which takes the money semester wise and institutions where people pay the lump sum money at the time of enrollment. A distance MBA is also flexible which enables a student complete the course or appear for the examination from anywhere in the country. This adds to the advantage of a distance learning program as easy accessibility is very important.

In Distance MBA, institutions generally do not provide classes but only materials and coursewares. This is a big advantage over many of the full time MBAs. Most of the full time MBA courses generally do not provide materials to study. Students strive to accumulate and gather materials by searching the internet, downloading the e-books or buying the books or hiring them from the libraries. However in a distance MBA, the courseware is couriered by the institution directly to the student’s address and the money of the courseware is included in the course fee.

Various institutions are coming up with different kinds of subjects and specializations. However among the wide ranges of subjects, some subjects fall under the standard subjects that most of the other institutions offer. Among the standard subjects primarily subjects like economics, organizational behavior, managerial effectiveness, accountancy and other subjects are taught and in specialization, a major in finance or marketing, information technology, human resources and operations are offered. However many institutions are coming with subjects like telecom management, global management, general management etc.

However there are pros and cons of a distance MBA. There are a lot of advantages of a distance MBA like affordable course fee, freedom, no attendance problem, no travelling to the institutions, no age limit, easy accessibility, flexibility. Now there are certain disadvantages as well. As the study pressure is less than a full time MBA, students often take it lightly and later on find it difficult to cope up with the immense study pressure just before the examination. Communication is another disadvantage when it comes to a distance MBA. Regular communication, interacting with the professors, faculties as well as the other students develops self confidence in a student. Presentations, brushing up the skills also play a significant role. A distance MBA lacks on these fronts. Placement is another concern. Generally distance MBA courses do not provide placements unlike the regular MBA courses. Today on the job training is gaining significance as it is not about learning only but also implementing. Many full time MBA institutions offer on the job training programs and projects to the student unlike the institutions offering the distance MBA. Thus the exposure of a full time MBA is greater when compared to the distance MBA program. But there are quite a few benefits and advantages of those institutions offering distance MBA that work wonders for people. Distance MBA is thus more suitable for people who cannot attend regular classes or want to earn the degree irrespective of their age, gender, profession and background. It is much of a people oriented program in the sense that the rigour and stringencies of a full time program do not exist in these courses. Also, the number of institutions offering such courses is many thereby creating greater number of choices for interested candidates. It is also a feasible option for people who want to avoid the cut throat competition in seeking admission to the top tire B-schools of the country. Some of these institutions are also coming up with unique solutions to place their students on completion of the course. This has lent further credibility to these courses. On top of that, some of these courses involve special trainings provided by eminent consulting companies wherein the students are certified on various skill sets. This has further strengthened the feasibility of these courses.

In all, a distance MBA from a proper institution really counts and has much more to offer as compared to the general belief that the course is just about acquiring a degree and that the certificate is simply a sheet of paper since the courses are now focusing on employability keeping in mind the demands of the market and not just the students.

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