Online courses from business schools: Weighing the pros and cons of online courses

Online courses in business leadership and management training offer certain obvious advantages. Online courses allow people living around the world the convenience of being able to study at home in front of the computer.

If you are a busy executive, online courses are appealing because they promise you new knowledge without your having to take time away from your job. And many business schools are now offering executive education programs through online courses. But if you are considering enrolling in a 1 year MBA, an Executive MBA program or other management training programs, it is worth considering some of the drawbacks of executive education delivered entirely through online courses.


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Benefiting from the Internet revolution

Dramatic changes in IT have transformed the way companies do business and the same is true for business schools. Distance learning means you no longer have to go to a classroom for executive training programs.

But some business schools have thrown out the baby with the bathwater by delivering training and development programs exclusively through online courses. While online learning offers convenience and flexibility, you stand to miss out on a lot from executive education delivered solely through the Internet.

Looking beyond cyber solutions
So what else is there to gained beyond what you can learn in front of a computer? It turns out there are many extras offered by top international business schools that combine valuable face time with distance learning programs. Some of the benefits include:

  • Insights gained from interaction with other participants and group discussions
  • Ability to focus on personal goals and leadership skills through one-on-one executive coaching programs
  • The opportunity to forge life-long relationships with peers
  • The chance with top-rated MBA and EMBA programs to see first-hand how business operates in different parts of the world through on-site visits
  • The possibility of training that is customized for your company, including teamwork and special projects

Interacting with peers — and experts
Business leadership training, good business leadership training, focuses on understanding more about human behavior, including your own. One of the advantages of business courses that involve classroom time, seminars and leadership coaching is that they involve contact with other people.

The importance of social interaction and networking shouldn't be underestimated. Stuck alone in front of the computer screen you risk being isolated and out of touch.

Practice makes perfects
Some of the top business schools in the world are making their executive programs more relevant by working with companies to develop curriculum. This collaborative approach results in programs that drive learning into the workplace through company-specific assignments.

You can benefit from personalized management training designed to resolve challenges faced by you and your organization. Leadership training simply doesn't work unless you are able to practice your leadership styles in front of others — peers and expert coaches.

Getting the best of both worlds
There's no doubt that online learning has revolutionized executive education. Good business schools utilize state-of-the art distance learning techniques to enhance the delivery of their business administration programs.

But they also retain on-site learning modules that bring all the advantages we have just discussed. This allows for part-time studies that minimize time away from work but allow for the all-important human touch.

Without giving up your job you can benefit from top business school courses that involve time on campus but will take you much further than purely online courses.

Still looking for Online Courses?

Find how IMD's online program Strategic Thinking will develop your skills! All IMD online education comes with weekly personal coaching. Download the (NEW) program brochure now.

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