Online MBA Vs Traditional (Campus) MBA

There used to be a stigma surrounding online courses and their authenticity. However, with the rise of technology and the age of the post-pandemic world, online courses are more credible than ever before. The MBA allows people in the business world to advance their careers to the next level. They will learn management techniques and all about the cogs in the engine that keeps the world of business turning. 

Now that traditional and online courses are viewed in the same light, there enters the debate of which is the right route to choose. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, but there are plenty of practical arguments for both. Throughout this article, we offer arguments for each side to help you come to an informed decision. 

What is an MBA?

The Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), is a course designed for graduates in the business world to push their career to the next step. Often, this course will be studied alongside an active work position – and will lead directly into a management role. Modules covered in the MBA include financial management, human resources, operations management, marketing research, and customer relationship management. 

As well as the core modules covered, students can merge the MBA with other specialisms. For example, you can study technology, which will put you in an excellent position to land high-paying jobs. 

Traditional MBA

The traditional MBA involves physical study at a university of your choice. This is an excellent choice for those who prefer face-to-face learning and rely on the requirement of showing up physically. Below are some reasons why a brick-and-mortar course may be preferable.

Move Somewhere New

There are 1000s of courses on offer throughout the USA, which all offer different course materials and hold differing levels of prestige. Deciding where to study for your MBA is a challenging prospect. If you work for a business that is miles away from your university of choice, this can make the choice even harder. However, if you’re looking for a new adventure and relocation, the traditional MBA would be the perfect option.

You Struggle with Self-Management

If you attend a physical university, you don’t need to worry about creating a schedule. All you need to do is follow the timetable and show up to lectures – you can work everything else around your pre-allocated study times. 

Better Access to Tutors

It goes without saying that if you attend a traditional course, you have greater access to university facilities including easier appointments with tutors. For some people, this boils down to simply preferring face-to-face contact over remote access. 

Greater Access to University Culture

When you attend a traditional university, you can get involved with extra-curricular activities that you won’t be able to access remotely. For example, the majority of universities have sports clubs that are hugely popular and allow for the pursuit of interests outside of studying. 

Student Support Access

Completing a master’s in any discipline can be stressful, and student support are there to help. Attending a traditional course will give you greater access to support services. Although you can access these remotely if you study online, the opportunity to talk to someone physically wins over to have a video call. 

Still Room for Flexibility

Whether you study traditionally or online, you can have the flexibility you need. Many people work and have families alongside courses. Studying part-time will allow you to spread your assignments and physical classes alongside other requirements you have.

Online Can’t Compete with Some Universities

Truth be told, although all universities no matter their level of prestige, offer remote options for an MBA, you can’t study online through the likes of Harvard and get the same recognition as those who study their traditional courses. 

You Will Pay More

Okay, so this isn’t a reason to study a traditional MBA, but all good things must come to an end. When you study via brick-and-mortar, you will be looking to pay around $60,000 for the cost of your course, which is around $30,000 more than the average cost of an online MBA course that holds the same qualification. 

Online MBA

Now, we let the online MBA take the stage. This option is great for those who lead extremely busy lives, don’t want to move cities, and are excellent at self-management. 

Results are Faster

Typically, if you study a traditional course, you’re looking at pledging two years of your life to the course. However, if you opt for the online course, you can often be finished within 12 months. Further, when you apply to the top universities online, you won’t need to sit the GMAT or GRE – which is a bonus.

Larger Network

When you study traditionally, your network is limited to the physical location of the university, which will be largely American citizens. However, when you decide to study online, you will be working alongside brilliant minds from countries all over the world including Poland and Ukraine. Having a large-spread network is essential in the world of business. 

Boosts Your Experience as a Professional

Okay, so this can be achieved through both routes. However, with the online course, you will be able to improve your active professional experience because it’s easier to complete the online course alongside a physical position. You should ensure that your chosen course is delivered by experts in their respective fields. 

Proves Management Skills

We’re not talking about business management skills – you will learn about that through both the traditional and online options. However, if you opt for the online course, you will demonstrate your ability to create your schedule around your life and the ability to stick to it on your own accord. 

You Can do it From Anywhere

The beauty of an online course is that all you need is a laptop and a solid internet connection, and you can do it from anywhere. This means that if you want to escape to a sunny destination and attend your lectures from a beach with a cocktail in your hand, you can. With a pinch of research, you can find out everything you need to keep yourself online whilst traveling

More Class Discussions

As you aren’t in a physical classroom, the majority of online courses will require you to actively participate within the group forum. After all, they need to make sure you’re still alive. In many ways, this is better than attending the traditional course, in which you can simply attend and say nothing at all. Bouncing ideas around off other people will give you greater growth opportunities. 

The Myth is Busted

As mentioned previously, there used to be a myth that online courses weren’t viewed as highly. However, when you achieve your MBA from an accredited university it will hold just as much weight as a traditional course. 

Welcome to The Technological Age

With the advancements in technology, there is a cry out for people who understand both technology and business. With an online degree, there will be a heavier focus on technology. When you complete your course and apply for jobs, you will have an edge over your competition. 


Alongside great flexibility and fantastic networking opportunities, you get it all at a cheaper cost than the traditional course. On average, you will be paying around $30,000 for your course. Quality programs are will expensive, even when you complete your course online. However, with the 1000s of courses available across the USA, there will be a course out there to suit everyone’s financial need. Remember, you will finish your course faster and will reap the rewards of your investment sooner. 

Admission Requirements

Traditional courses tend to require you to take tests to stand a chance of being accepted onto the course. However, academic achievement isn’t everything when it comes to online courses. If you’re already in a job, your employer may sponsor you, which can place you directly through the admissions process. As mentioned earlier, when you apply online, the admissions team will overlook the need for the GMAT or GRE. 

The Winner Is… 

This is where you come in, it’s your job to decide on the winner. There are excellent reasons why you should study traditional and online courses. You need to assess your needs and make a choice. For the traditional course, you can explore other cities and have direct access to university facilities. Alternatively, if you choose to do an online course you will expand your network internationally as well as be encouraged to actively participate. 

No matter which course you take, you will have taken your career onto the next step and be capable of accessing higher-paid management roles. However, when it comes to the speed of the course and the lower course fees, our suggestion would be to explore the online route further. Another reason for our weighting leaning this way is that the world is focusing increasingly on technology – which is something you will learn as standard with the online MBA.

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