There’s no doubt our world is currently defined by digital transformation and a rapidly evolving global economy, which explains why the pursuit of higher education has transcended the confines of traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. The proof is in the numbers. Last year, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) — the primary business school accreditation agency — reported that for the first time ever in the US, graduate students enrolled in online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes outnumbered those in full-time, on-campus programmes.
It’s not hard to understand why. As the demand for advanced business skills continues to soar, the flexibility and accessibility offered by online MBA programmes have become a game-changer for individuals seeking to elevate their careers. These virtual degrees are equally apt for mid-career professionals seeking to pivot into new industries or aspiring entrepreneurs keen on sharpening their strategic acumen — at their convenience, without needing to set aside their existing responsibilities.
The balancing act can be fruitful, allowing professionals to apply what they learn in real time, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Assignments and projects can often be directly applied to the workplace, creating immediate value for both the employer and the student, who won’t have to worry about using their life’s savings on tuition fees either.
Online MBA programmes tend to be more cost-effective compared to their on-campus counterparts. Tuition fees are often lower, and there are fewer expenses related to commuting, accommodation, and other incidental costs. A majority of online programmes offer a range of financial aid options, scholarships, and flexible payment plans as well, making them more accessible to a broader demographic.
Some programmes even offer accessible pathways to experienced professionals without a traditional bachelor’s degree. Some prioritise work experience, recognising that practical knowledge and skills gained in the field can be just as valuable as an undergraduate degree.
This is the message IU aims to convey through its MBA for Professionals programme. Its recognition of prior learning (RPL) process ensures experts and managers with six years — or more — of qualified work are able to transform their careers from anywhere in the world while working toward receiving formal academic recognition.
The best part? The curriculum they receive is not adapted. Everyone gets to experience the full IU MBA experience upon provisional approval — and a little more. Once students receive access to IU’s digital campus, they can begin an “Introduction to Academic Work” course. This period will equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the preparatory module successfully, which consists of a seminar paper that can be completed in 12 weeks and a 30-minute long oral exam.
Then, students will be able to develop the competencies required to match top international positions. Simon Z, a marketing executive working in the Netherlands, is only 22 years old and is well on his way to leadership roles thanks to the MBA he will soon complete.
“Do I think that IU can help me get the management roles that I want in the future? Yeah, definitely,” he says. “When you look at everyone who is in management positions or higher in a multinational, nine out of 10 did a master’s, so… I feel like it definitely will help. I also really like that a pre-master’s is not required, so it saves me time. It’s also pretty good to combine with your job.”
There’s never been a better place for professionals like Sandburg, who want to have it all — simply because when it comes to providing a wholly accessible education, IU undoubtedly stands out. In fact, doing so has been its mission since it was established in 1998. Today, the university is one of the first German universities (of applied sciences) to receive a Premium quality seal in “Excellence in Digital Education” from FIBAA. It is also the first German university to achieve a five-star rating and 99 out of 100 points on QS Quacquarelli Symonds for online learning.
These accolades prove online learners at IU are in good hands, which explains why the university currently hosts over 100,000 students — all of whom have access to the one-of-a-kind IU Learn app. Available on both iOS and Android, the learning application grants students 24/7 access to interactive study materials like videos, lecture notes, quizzes, and podcasts. Experience it here.
At IU, embracing digitalisation extends to assessments as well. Even exams can be booked and completed online, allowing for a more flexible and accessible evaluation process while contributing to a smaller carbon footprint.
Sold? Applications are free, there’s no need to wait. Click here to begin your MBA journey with IU.