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Affordability remains the top consideration for many learners searching for the best MBA for consulting online. Graduate students want to ensure they get a good return on their investment by selecting a program that fits their budget and provides adequate training for a higher-paying job in the future.
When researching programs, look at whether you can pay as you go by continuing to work or pay off your debts once you enter your new career. Sticker price does not always reflect program quality. Look at other measures of quality, such as teaching staff, student testimonials, and rankings like those listed below.
Various factors such as financial aid, military discounts, accelerated formats, and generous credit transfer policies can lower costs as can taking classes online rather than on campus.
How to Choose an Online MBA in Consulting Program
If you know a management consulting MBA program is the right choice for you, start narrowing down the list of schools that interest you most. Below you can find a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.
Search for Schools in Your Area
- Even when choosing an online program, it can be helpful to find a school close to your home. Online students often like to visit campus. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning an institution in your area might help you find a job close to home.
Compare Student Outcomes Data
- Many schools readily provide this information on their website, but you may call and ask for it if necessary. This data should include information like employment rates and graduation rates and can give you a good idea of program quality.
Estimate the Expected Costs of Your Program
- Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credits you need to graduate, and multiply that by the cost per credit. Remember to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time spent not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options. Different schools may offer various financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.
Find Classes That Fit Your Schedule
- One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Make sure to explore all time commitments and how they fit into your current schedule.
Look for Partnerships With Local Businesses
- Finding a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy is the main objective in earning your MBA in consulting. To that end, attending a school well-connected with local hospitals and businesses can give you an advantage upon graduation. Many of these partners offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.
Make Sure the Program is Accredited
- Accreditation comprises the formal review process that ensures a school adheres to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the national agency that accredits undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program's status with the AACSB, you can confirm it offers a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally do not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school without proper accreditation, and schools do not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.
Talk to Current Students and/or Recent Alumni
- Former program participants and alumni make the best resources when it comes to making a final decision about an online MBA in consulting. Graduates can give you an unbiased take on how the program served them, what they liked most about it, and what they disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to student resources.
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