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Why Online Management Degree Programs Are Growing in Popularity


Online management degrees can open the door to a fulfilling and lucrative career as a project leader or people leader. Whether you pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Science in Management (MSM), a Master of Organizational Leadership, or another management-focused degree program, you can gain the confidence and leadership skills you need to excel. 

Perhaps you’ve considered going back to school, but you aren’t sure the logistics would work out. With today’s online options, you can conveniently earn your degree in a way that fits your lifestyle. It’s no wonder these online programs are growing in popularity.

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The Growing Popularity of Online Programs

Online degree programs have been increasing in popularity over recent years. In fact, two-thirds of colleges are adding online programs to meet student demand. 

This growth is reflected in management programs, as well. Data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (as reported by Fortune) shows that, among accredited institutions in the U.S., the number of those with fully online MBA programs increased by 85% between the 2016–17 and 2020–21 academic years! 

This trend began prior to the pandemic, though that event did further the shift in focus toward online and hybrid learning. Business schools have seen firsthand the advantages that draw many adult learners to online programs, specifically.

Why Are Online Management Degree Programs Gaining More Traction?

Students looking to get their management degree may be drawn to online programs for many reasons. Let’s look at a few factors driving the popularity of these programs.

Flexibility and Convenience 

In a survey, 73% of prospective MBA students said that “rather than attending lectures and collaborating on virtual projects with other students at fixed times, they would prefer to study at their own pace.” That’s exactly the sort of flexibility you get with many online management degree programs.

If you’re pursuing a graduate degree in management, you’re likely already a working professional looking to elevate your career. You can continue working by opting for an in-person program with night classes or by choosing an online program. 

Compared to on-campus programs, online degree programs typically offer the most flexibility to complete coursework at your own pace and to more independently manage your schedule. This versatility is especially attractive to working professionals and individuals with families or busy lifestyles because they can balance their education with their career and personal commitments.

Access to a Wider Range of Institutions

Another advantage of choosing an online program is the much longer list of programs available. Most adult learners want to stay in their current location while they earn their degree, so for traditional on-campus programs, they’re limited to colleges and universities within driving distance of home. 

With an online degree, this is no longer a concern. Instead of factoring in geography, you can choose the program that is the best fit for your interests and goals. Pay attention to factors like a program’s accreditation, curriculum and school culture.

Virtual Community and Support

One reason students may be more drawn to on-campus programs is the sense of community and robust support they can expect from faculty, staff and peers. Although this may have given in-person programs an edge in the past, today’s online programs use modern tools to help students virtually collaborate with each other, interact with professors and take advantage of student services.

At Southern Nazarene University (SNU), our online learners benefit from a cohort model that allows them to experience relational conversations, have accountability and feel connected — all from the comfort of home.

Earn Your Management Degree Online

The surge in popularity of online management degree programs is driven primarily by their unmatched flexibility, expanded accessibility and improved virtual support systems. For many adult learners, online management programs offer the ideal way to earn a graduate degree and confidently step into a leadership role.

Want to learn more about furthering your education online? Check out “What to Expect from an Online Degree Program”!

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