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Worldwide, around 250,000 people are currently enrolled in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. However, only 3.8% of all students are enrolled in the seven most competitive MBA programs. So if you don’t enroll in one of these schools, does it still matter where you get your MBA?


In fact, for many students, the top seven schools are inferior to smaller schools. The most competitive schools make it difficult to network, get to know professors and access help when needed. Getting an MBA is about more than just graduating with the right piece of paper. Great schools help you build your skill set, offering personal attention that caters to your strengths. 

If you’re an adult contemplating going back to school for your MBA, it’s important to choose a school with a rigorous but flexible curriculum. You deserve the opportunity to pursue higher learning without upending your entire life, and that’s what SNU offers. Here are some factors to consider as you weigh your MBA options: 


Does it matter where you get your MBA? 

An MBA is about more than just rushing through your classes to earn the piece of paper at the end. Your graduate studies offer a deep well of skills that will serve you for the rest of your professional life. And although much of what you learn is covered in your coursework (e.g., accounting, business structure, international business practices), you’ll also learn soft skills. 

These skills are just as important and hard to master if you’re not in the right environment. They include: 

  • Business social norms, including how to address people, appropriate workplace attire and cultural competence. 
  • Communication skills, including strategies for communicating with a wide range of people. 
  • Interpersonal skills, such as giving and receiving feedback and nurturing professional relationships. 

School is also a significant networking opportunity. The relationships you build in school may shape your professional life for decades. Networking is about more than handing out a business card. It requires cultivating meaningful relationships with people who like, respect and trust you. These meaningful relationships are easier to build in a smaller, close-knit setting like SNU. SNU’s innovative cohort model deliberately nurtures these relationships from day one. 

What are some other things to look for in your MBA program? 

  • Your program should be accredited. This ensures that employers will respect your degree, and any credits you earn will transfer if you change schools. Look for accreditation by an organization such as Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). 
  • The school should be academically rigorous, and your professors should be experts in the field.
  • The school should offer support to help you enroll and graduate. This is where larger, big-name schools often fall short. If you have a busy, high-stress life, look for responsive professors, a chaplain, financial aid support, an easy application process and support for your unique needs. For example, SNU supports veterans with its innovative VETS Center
  • The program should offer real-world experience and meaningful projects. SNU students complete a capstone project to nurture their developing skill set. 

Is an online MBA worth it?

An online program offers immense flexibility, helping you save time you would otherwise spend getting ready, commuting, finding parking and more. 

However, many students worry that employers won’t accept an online MBA. The truth is that an online MBA can be a great benefit. You can continue working while you go to school, which may help assuage your employer’s concerns. If you continue working, you’ll have a chance to test the skills you’re learning in real time. You’ll also have more control over your time and schedule, helping you more deeply engage with the material and earn better grades. 

Employers increasingly respect online programs for these reasons. 

In one recent survey of recruiters, most either agreed with or were neutral about the statement: “My organization values graduates of online and in-person programs equally.” Even if your potential employer doesn’t value online degrees, your degree does not list whether you pursued your courses online or in person, and you don’t need to list this on your resume. This is why it’s so beneficial to enroll in an accredited, brick-and-mortar school like SNU. Employers who don’t recognize the value of online programs will still value an education from these schools. 

There’s no right way to get your MBA. But for many adult learners, the benefits of online learning are immense. Weigh your options with our guide


Are you struggling to choose the right MBA program for your business career?  Check out SNU’s guide to MBA programs. →


How long does it take to get your MBA?

The time it takes to get your MBA depends on your program, whether you have prior or transfer credits and how quickly you complete your classes. 

At SNU, students take one class at a time in six-week intensive sessions. This allows you to focus on one course, network meaningfully and get to know professors who may support you professionally. Students can graduate in as few as 18 months and take classes online or in person just one night per week. 

An online MBA program may shorten the timeline to graduation by preventing family- and work-related disruptions. So if you’ve considered or enrolled in an MBA before but found it too time-consuming, online learning could help you achieve your goals faster. We offer rolling admissions so that arbitrary deadlines don’t delay your dreams.


How do you pay for an MBA?

One of the biggest motivators for students pursuing an MBA is the chance to earn more. Management occupations routinely pull in six figures, even right after graduation. 

Adult learners have plenty of financial aid options. Even if you have defaulted on a student loan or are struggling financially, SNU may be able to help you. Our financial aid counselors are committed to your success, and the results speak for themselves: Most of our students receive financial aid. So don’t let financial concerns derail your dreams. You may have more options than you realize. 

At SNU, every student matters. We invest deeply in you as an individual, not just an academic. We’re here for you from day one and would love to help you chart a course to the life you desire. 

Are you curious about the possibilities? Check out our Graduate Business Program Comparison to see where an MBA from SNU can take you.

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