HOW TO CHOOSE A SCHOOL
It is a simple truth that nowadays one of the best money and time investments when it comes to careers is an MBA program, what is not so simple is how to choose the right MBA School. There are a lot of factors to keep in mind, from accreditations, curriculum, real-world practice to how it would change your life style. Choosing your MBA School may prove to be a real-life challenge.
Well, the first step is not so difficult: Check if the college or university you are interested in is accredited as a whole, otherwise it would not be eligible to have a MBA program. Accreditations are important since they show that the college or university meets basic standards when it comes to education, organization, and qualified faculty.
To find the right online mba program, it's best to use a number of resources including school directories, guidance counselors and visiting traditional schools to inquire about their online alternatives.
Some accreditation bodies are:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASCSC).
- Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC).
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
- European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) in most Europe and Asia.
- Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA) in Europe as well.
- Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa.
- Association of MBAs (AMBA) in the UK.
- All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in India.
Rating is a good way to know what schools offer, but keep in mind that the A grade school according to rating does not necessarily meet your real-life needs so do not rush up and take the next factors into considerations:
Nowadays there are many different MBA program options and, of course, working and studying at the same time does have a potential effect on your family and lifestyle in the same measure quitting your job to have more time has an effect on your finances so you should ask yourself if you can balance both work and studies, if it is an option to quit your job and how any of these will affect your personal and family life. The MBA program options are:
- Two-year (Full Time) MBA programs over two academic years, classes during weekdays.
- Accelerated MBA programs that include a higher course load and more frequent exams. They involve a higher course load with more intense classes and examination schedules. They have less vacation time and they are a variation of the Two-Year (Full Time) MBA programs.
- Part-time MBA programs that take place either on evenings or weekends. They are the perfect programs for students that work and they last three years or more since the course load is lighter than in other MBA programs.
- Executive MBA (EMBA) programs designed for professionals that have 10 years of experience or sometimes more and they meet the needs of managers and executives. These courses last two years or sometimes less while students work full time.
- Distance Learning MBA programs that meet the needs of students that cannot attend classes. There are many variations of this type of program: postal mail courses, email courses, video courses and live teleconference courses to mention some of them.
2. Chances of acceptance:
Some business schools admit only a few students into their programs, thus making the selection process very selective and difficult. The best thing to do is to match up your own background with the school recruiter records.
3. Educational Expectations
MBA programs are very similar and they teach the same basics, however, they have different a different curriculum and when it comes to specializing you must focus on how good the curricula suits your needs. If you are interested in Accounting you should look for the school that offers the best Accounting Program.
Also take into consideration other aspects: Do I have the aptitude to complete the course? How practical is it? Does the course offer the experience that I require?
4. Personal Circumstances:
There are little details that make the difference: Will you be available to attend the course the same day it starts? Does the timing perfectly suit you? Will you need to commute every day?
5. Financial Considerations:
A very important question: Can I afford the cost of the program within the two years or more that it lasts and, if so, will that represent a burden? Will I need a scholarship or a loan? Finances are important and they should be taken seriously so be very careful before applying to any school. Other expenses to factor in are commuting and cost of living.
Now, it is important to define what suits YOU the best, so be critical about the programs that interest you, even if they are first on the rating lists.