Charting the rise of the University of Birmingham’s Online MBA

Standing out in a competitive job market is a growing concern for many professionals. With the Online MBA, forward-thinking individuals can accelerate their careers from anywhere in the world

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Having recognised the need for greater flexibility, the University of Birmingham created the Online MBA for professionals who wished to work and study simultaneously

According to an analysis by the Financial Times, the principal reason students complete an MBA is to increase their salary. In 2018, almost two thirds of alumni had more than doubled their pre-MBA earnings, while the global average income of those who had completed an MBA three years previously rose to $142,000 (€126,012) in 2017. Consequently, the market for MBAs has become extremely competitive.

As a well-established provider of distance learning and blended forms of education, the University of Birmingham has long recognised the need for more flexible modes of delivery. This commitment to building a stronger learning portfolio was further demonstrated by the launch of its Online MBA, which provides individuals who are seeking professional development with the same quality educational experience as campus-based alternatives.

Thanks to the Online MBA, students can now develop specific business skills from anywhere in the world, boosting their career prospects and allowing them to stick their heads above the parapet.

Flexible learning
Although studying for an MBA has obvious benefits, fitting classes into a busy schedule can be challenging. Having recognised the need for greater flexibility, the University of Birmingham created the Online MBA for professionals who wished to work and study simultaneously.

This balancing act offers an appealing alternative to those who are looking to apply their learning in real time and helps students to remain competitive in the job market throughout their studies and into graduation. What’s more, the course has extended the university’s global reach, making it more accessible to those students who could not have realistically attended the campus.

Through practical experience, the Online MBA provides students with key insights into today’s business principles and approaches. Furthermore, those enrolled onto the programme are able to explore all areas of business – from marketing and finance to international business and advanced strategy – drawing on the guidance and experience of expert faculty members from around the world.

What really makes the Online MBA unique, however, is the 100 percent online nature of the programme. Studies are undertaken entirely via the University of Birmingham’s immersive online learning environment, Canvas, which means there are no obligatory trips to campus.

Demonstrating quality
The Online MBA’s overall exposure in the marketplace has grown, too. In August 2016, the programme was the first 100 percent online MBA to receive formal accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA). Since AMBA requires a significant level of interaction in its accredited programmes, most other online or distance-learning MBAs are forced to include a residential element.

The fact that the University of Birmingham is able to deliver an AMBA-accredited course without the need for a physical campus is credit to the university’s innovative programme design and leading online learning facilities, which benefit the online learning community the university serves.

More recently, the programme was rated third in the UK and 29th globally in CEO Magazine’s 2018 Global Online MBA Rankings. With an overarching aim of identifying schools that combine quality with return on investment, CEO Magazine used fact-based criteria to assess all universities offering online MBAs. As such, the result could be considered an early indication of how the programme is being viewed in the international community. It also reflects the high standards that were set during the design of this qualification.

It is not just about the core educational experience, either: the Online MBA also extends to the extracurricular side, including the networks that students build and the experiences they gain. Combine this with the additional support the University of Birmingham offers – from student services and technological support to its dedicated Careers in Business team – and it’s clear to see this is a distance-learning MBA programme that has been designed to meet the needs of the 21st-century market.