Best online business school programs promise executive education in a convenient way by allowing you to study in front a computer, where and when you want. With leadership and management training from the best online business school courses, you have the potential to acquire new knowledge and skills without giving up your position.
That can be a big plus. If you are a busy executive unable — or unwilling — to sacrifice your job, the best online business school can offer a handy solution through distance learning programs. By studying at home you can gain extra qualifications while continuing your career.
But you are likely to find that even the best online business school will underperform in certain crucial management training areas compared to one of the traditional business schools with a campus and classrooms. Let's explore that a bit further.
The evolution of online learning
Improvements in technology are definitely boosting the options for online learning through the Internet. More and more business schools and universities are offering distance learning programs.
Top online programs involve such features as virtual group work, video summaries and conference calls to discuss assignments. Emails, discussion boards and other electronic forums provide ways for you to stay in touch with other participants and professors.
The limits of online courses
Well-designed online courses may make sense for some areas of executive education, particularly when taken in addition to business courses that involve classes and time on campus.
But you may want to think long and hard about degrees in business offered from online business schools, even the best online business school. While online learning can supplement face-to-face education, you could find yourself missing some of the personal interaction with others that you get in the classroom.
With MBA and Executive MBA programs offered only through digital courses, you stand to lose out on such features from top international business schools as:
- Small-group discussions with peers from around the world
- One-on-one sessions with expert professors
- Opportunities to network, make lifelong connections and generate career opportunities by meeting fellow participants in person
- Leadership coaching and feedback from professional coaches
- Chances to practice your leadership and management skills in front of others in a supportive environment
Reputation counts in executive education
Another practical issue with best online business school programs is how well employers and executive education experts regard them. Online business schools simply do not have the reputation of institutions that combine traditional learning techniques with distance learning programs.
You can avoid wasting time and money by ensuring that you sign up for top executive education courses from a top-ranked business school. Independent, highly regarded sources such as Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times and Forbes publish rankings of the best business schools and their management training programs.
Key factors for success
There are a number of reasons why the top business schools in the world stay high in the rankings on a regular basis. One factor is the high quality of research conducted by faculty that feeds into the management training offered by a top-ranked business school.
Another thing to consider is the global perspective of good business schools, reflected by diverse participants from different countries and professors with international backgrounds and intimate knowledge of the global marketplace. The best institutions also collaborate closely with companies to ensure a curriculum that is relevant to the real needs of business.
If you are mulling digital options, you need to ask yourself whether you can really count on such attributes from the best online business school.