An Online Business School: The Best Fit for Your Education Needs

Online business schools have exploded in popularity in recent years. Whether it's a working professional that wants to advance in his career or a younger student that doesn't prefer the traditional classroom, online business education has become popular with all different types of students.

If your job dictates that you can't attend a traditional classroom during the day or live too far away from a campus, online schools or distance learning can help. Many new programs are hybrids--half classroom learning and the other half online. Many of these classes are also at night, so students can still work during the day.

Online Education: Job-Saving Alternative

Many businesses pay more and give you more responsibility--and more pay--when you have a business education. But if you're a working adult, that can put you in a pickle: keep working dutifully and stay in your current position, or quit altogether and go back to school and earn the degree that can put you ahead. Online business schools create a third and much preferred option: Keep your job and work toward your preferred degree via the Internet on your own schedule.

Online Classrooms Direct to You

Many online business schools market themselves heavily toward the busy adult. For the distance learning institution, the traditional college student might be a stay-at-home-parent, willing to advance his career but preferring to avoid the ivy-covered buildings and throngs of recent high school graduates who tend to be more concerned with the university social scene than their education. Distance learning schools have irregular schedules to meet your needs or no schedule at all. Classes tend to go one at a time and are heavily concentrated. Remember summer school?

Competing for Your Dollar

Online business schools also give rise to regular competition for your local university. The local college used to be the only school. But now online studies are available to you almost anywhere in the country. If your college is based in Boston, Mass., but you're in the middle of a garlic farm in Gilroy, Calif., you can still attend that school full-time without ever leaving home. If you don't like what your local university has to offer, there are literally hundreds of online schools, all clamoring for your dollar.


Admissions at online schools tend to be more lenient. Don't let that fool you, as the work loads are the same, but look for a few things:

• Work experience in a field related to your business degree is almost as important as prior education.
• For many undergrad programs, you can apply with just a GED.
• MBA programs usually want more work experience than the undergrads. They obviously require a bachelor's degree, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in a business-related field or carry a high GPA.
• Despite higher tuition costs, most online business schools are quick to get you on the fast track for student aid.

Online College Explosion

Online education, or distance learning, has exploded in recent years. Colleges and universities that offer any form of distance learning is at 66 percent of all accredited schools. According to the Department of Education, more than 12 million students enrolled in distance learning: 77 percent online, 12 percent in hybrid/blended online and classroom courses, and 10 percent in other distance learning classes for the 2006 to 2007 school year.